Conductive paint/ink reinvented for the maker generation

January 15, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor RS Components is expanding its offering with products from Bare Conductive; Electric Paint and the company’s Arduino-based Touch Board.

The products are aimed at the complete range of potential customers, from hobbyists to professional engineers, and including the 'maker' sector. Bare Conductive says that one reason it has partnered with RS is for the access that the distributor has to each of those constituencies.

Electric Paint is a carbon-based paint or ink that comes either in a direct-dispense tube or pen ; or in pots for brushing or screening. The product is electrically conductive (in both liquid and dried states), non-toxic, solvent-free, and water-soluble. It can be used as a liquid wire, as a cold-soldering medium, or even as a conductive adhesive. Suitable for use with low-voltage DC power supplies, Electric Paint can be used as a potentiometer and is suitable for prototyping, repairing PCBs, and painting circuits and sensors on any surface. It can be used to make ad-hoc connections on any dielectric surface, for example “wiring up” components in education projects by, say, following a circuit drawn on paper.

The medium can be employed as a resistive or capacitive touch sensor; it can be overpainted or placed behind a plastic panel to make it permanent (it air-dries but does not cure and remains water soluble). Quoted resistivity is 55 Ω/square at 50-microns thickness; clearly, achieved resistance depends on applied thickness and the company says that 32 Ω/sq is typical for a layer applied by brush. The product screen-prints well, Bare conductive adds.

Also from Bare Conductive, RS will be carrying the Touch Board microcontroller board... next page