Stretchable Inks

Dycotec Materials offer a product portfolio of stretchable inks including; stretchable conductive inks, stretchable conductive adhesives and encapsulants for applications including wearable electronics, sensors and medical devices.   Our portfolio of stretchable inks includes:

  • Conductive silver stretchable inks: these are optimised for repeated elongation to stretch beyond 100% for use in sensor devices such as DM-SIP-2002 or designed to be highly durable withstanding repeated wash cycles such as our DM-SIP-2003 product designed for wearable electronics applications.
  • Carbon stretchable inks: we provide both aqueous (DM-CAP-2100S) and solvent based stretchable carbon inks (DM-CAP-1060S).  These layers are typically applied by overprinting on silver conductive ink layers to provide additional levels of durability and washability for the most demanding of applications.
  • Conductive stretchable adhesives: stencil and screen printed conductive adhesives such as DM-SAS-10030-ST offer excellent levels of flexibility ideal for component assembly wearable electronics applications.  In addition, we offer an aqueous based syringe printable stretchable conductive adhesive, DM-SAS-10010.  This conductive adhesive ink provides elongation up to 100%.
  • Stretchable Encapsulants:  both aqueous and solvent based screen printed stretchable encapsulants are available.  These are typically printed as base and overprinted layers on conductive ink electronic structures offering additional levels of protection for washable wearable electronic applications.

Conductive Inks and encapsulants can be screen printed or applied via a transfer process directly onto textiles, polyurethane or other elastomeric substrates.   Our expertise in wearable and stretchable electronics allows us to advise on suitable stack-up layer configurations for optimal performance for stretch and protection of the conductive ink layer during wash cycles.

We provide our stretchable inks and pastes to a global customer base, offering a flexible delivery service from low volume samples to high volume to meet our customers’ production needs. We can rapidly tailor formulations for specific customer requirements.  We work collaboratively with our customers to ensure rapid product development, qualification and transition to manufacture.

Benefits of our stretchable conductive inks:

  • Both stretchable conductive carbon inks and stretchable conductive silver inks available
  • Conductive stretchable silver inks with elongation greater than 100%
  • Low hysteresis following repeated elongation
  • Use in printed electronic wearable devices, able to withstand numerous wash cycles
  • Excellent electrical conductivity <10 mΩ/□/25 µm
  • Low resistance increase (<60% change) after 20% elongation
  • Excellent proven printability for high volume use
  • Conductive Inks processed at low temperature, 80deg.C
  • Broad compatibility with a range of substrate materials such as TPU, textile and elastomers

Benefits of our stretchable conductive adhesive inks:

  • Overcomes failure mechanism of joint cracking observed in epoxy based printed conductive adhesive inks
  • High flexibility of our stencil and screen printed stretchable conductive adhesives
  • Excellent adhesive performance >70 Kg/cm2 for 1206 LED components
  • Conductive adhesives offer excellent fine line printing capability to enable fine pitch component assembly.
  • Ideal for wearable electronic use
  • Environmentally friendly aqueous stretchable conductive adhesives available with elongation up to 100%

Benefits of our stretchable encapsulant inks:

  • Stretchable ink available formulated using both aqueous and solvent systems
  • Excellent barrier performance to protect the stretchable conductive ink layer during multiple wash cycles
  • Elongation up to 50% possible
  • Both opaque and transparent stretchable encapsulant inks available
  • Proven printability for high volume use
  • Excellent adhesion to a wide range of textile, TPU and elastomer substrates
  • Low surface roughness
  • Excellent breakdown voltage >12 kV/mm
  • High surface and volume resistivities providing excellent electrical insulating performance
  • Ideal for wearable electronic use offering excellent resistance to water and sweat

Applications of stretchable inks:

Our range of conductive stretchable inks, encapsulants and conductive adhesives enable electronics to be seamlessly integrated into wearable smart clothing maximising comfort, ensuring unrestricted movement and providing lightweight and thin profile structures that offer excellent durability in machine wash cycles.  Typical use of our product portfolio of stretchable inks includes:

Tailored Stretchable Inks:

With the myriad of applications for stretchable devices, our customers often require to optimise our stretchable inks for their use.  Our extensive research and development efforts mean that we understand the interplay between washability, stretchability and electrical conductivity.  We work closely with our customers to rapidly tailor our stretchable conductive ink systems to meet both application and printing/curing process requirements. Our extensive facilities enable rapid prototyping, characterisation and durability testing of our conductive stretchable ink systems in industrial applications.  Please contact us for further information and to see how our stretchable ink product portfolio can be used to rapidly develop your concepts to products.