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Conductive Ink: Shifting Paradigms with Consumer Electronics
Published Date: 25 Aug 2022

Writing has always been an important medium to convey pieces of information for ages, and inks have been a prominent invention. Almost everyone who ever indulged in writing is familiar with the traditional ink.

Wondering if anyone else has ever dreamed of using special inks to draw things and wishing they turn into real objects. Well, back then, any such possibility was absolutely zero. But nowadays, with us stepping into the digital era, nothing seems like a dream anymore. 

Yes, we are talking about conductive ink. It is not going to make anything your dream come to reality but would offer other benefits like replacing wires & designing circuitry using a pen. And, just connecting a few appliances to the circuit can make it go live. No heavier metals or wires can hinder the device's compactness.

In fact, a recent research report reveals that the Global Conductive Inks Market is set to register a CAGR of around XX% during 2022-27. So if that piqued your interest, continue reading this blog until the end to understand the various other aspects backing the hype of these conductive inks across geographies.

Understanding Conductive Inks & its Components

Conductive ink, as the name suggests, conducts electricity via printed objects. Often infused with carbon, copper, or silver particles, the ink replaces traditional wires in the circuits and exhibits materials like graphene, gold, & copper as substantial components occasionally. These inks can be applied easily to surfaces like metals, textiles, plastics, papers, & even wood.

With conductive nanoparticle inks as the building block of all printed electronic devices & circuitry, they form the basic structure & integrate low-resistance circuit interconnects, antennae, contact electrodes within transistors, etc.

When considering metals, silver is one of the most extensively used ink owing to its oxidation stability & higher conductivity. Also, silver inks offer excellent screen printing solutions with amazing flexibility & resistance. In fact, even the RFID Tags are printed using silver inks.

However, since silver is relatively expensive, it creates room for more affordable yet efficient alternatives. With similar properties to silver & copper, Graphene is also gaining swift momentum in the industry, consisting of a single carbon layer that prevents further corrosion. 

Being the most conductive carbon form, it also offers mechanical flexibility and upgraded performance at a much cheaper cost. These inks perform better in applications like RFID antennae and screens when compared with carbon or silver-based conductive inks.

Things to Assess while Choosing Conductive Inks 

While there is a variety of conductive inks in the market, it is important to know the most suitable ink for a particular application. For that, let us continue reading and learn more. 

  • Based on Printing Process

The deciding factors on how to apply the ink might show greater reliance on the particle size of the ink & the viscosity. The low viscous inks are easier to print, whereas high viscous ones might require silk screening or brushing. And the same goes for particle size as well.

  • Based on the Curing Process

Since the conductivity increases when ink is cured, it is essential to ensure the same before applying the ink to a surface. Air-cured inks are frequently used and are conductive when exposed to air. Regular heat or UV light systems are the other methods used to fasten up the curing technique in these inks. 

  • Based on Electrical Properties

One must choose appropriate conductive inks when the aim is to create slow signals. Such applications require inks with high resistivity. Similarly, for high-frequency signals, low resistivity ink is used.

Role of Conductive Inks in Redesigning Electronic Devices

Conductive Ink has an expansive application in printed & flexible electronics like photovoltaics, power electronics, Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE), touch screen edge electrodes, automotive (defoggers, seat occupancy sensors, seat heaters, etc.), 3D antennas, conformal printing, and EMI shielding, among others. Owing to such wide utilization, other sectors like health care, automotive, & mobile industry are exploring the full potential of conductive inks. 

Since these inks offer affordable & uniform coverage of components at a much higher speed, the advent of new developments & application areas is likely to come into the picture in the coming years. The same aspects shall also generate growth opportunities for the leading players to increase their production & distribution capacities and cater to the burgeoning demands globally. 

Wrapping Up

While Conductive Inks have paved their way into several applications across different sectors, backed by technological advancements & easy availability & applicability, the demand for these inks is likely to remain prevalent in the coming years. Conductive ink with capabilities of printed & flexible electronics hints toward an immense potential to bring revolutionary changes in diverse industries in the future.

The same aspect shall also generate lucrative opportunities for the leading players to increase their production & distribution capacities and cater to the burgeoning needs globally. Hence, it can be concluded that the future of the Global Conductive Inks Market is set to register substantial growth with the active participation of the leading players, expanding their visibility & consumer base worldwide in the future. 

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