High electrical conductivity water-borne inks for textile printing

In a present study water-borne dispersions of conductive grades of carbon black were converted into finished inks.

Basket with rolled up cotton cloths in different colours.
Printing of conductive inks is an attractive means of manufacturing of electronic components on flexible substrates including textiles. Source: kostikovanata – stock.adobe.com. -

When high electrical conductivity is required, inks are preferably made from metal nanoparticles such as silver. However, such inks are expensive and generally not known to withstand severe washing and wearing to which textiles are normally subjected during the end use.

In a present study, which forms a part of a larger study by the authors, water-borne dispersions of conductive grades of carbon black were converted into finished inks followed by washing and creasing tests to ascertain the durability of these inks. The researchers found that not only were the inks stable after letdown with different binders, but they possessed high electrical conductivity despite the fact that the final pigment loading in all of the formulated inks was significantly less than the pigment loading that is generally found in commercial conductive inks.

Electrical conductivity of the formulated inks significantly greater

In addition, the electrical conductivity after washing and creasing tests of the formulated inks was found to be significantly greater than that of the tested commercial conductive inks. This shows that using large surface area, highly conductive grades of carbon black pigments in relatively small amounts in inks for textile printing is beneficial in achieving some of the critically required characteristics, particularly those pertaining to durability of the ink film.

The study is published in: Journal of Coatings Technology and Research  September 2019, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 1337–1349.

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