Conductive Paint

buildscc | 20 Dec 2011 | | projects

Conductive Paint is a conductive material made up of a conductive powder suspended in a binding fluid. When dried the conductive powders will be close enough together that the material itself becomes conductive. There are different kinds of Conductive Paints, but the easiest and cheapest to produce utilizes graphite powder. Carbon Graphite is a surprisingly good conductor and is both easy to come by (as it is often used as a lubricant) and relatively easy to work with and mix into other materials.

Contents

1 Goals/Specs 2 Attempt 1 2.1 Materials List 2.2 Process 2.3 Results 2.4 Possible Improvements 2.5 Resources 3 Credits

Goals/Specs

  1. Produce a conductive material which can be painted onto walls
  2. Material should be useable for cap sense
  3. Material should have a resistance < 100 ohms / in^2 when dry
  4. Relatively low cost

Attempt 1

Picture of the materials I used. Acetone, Graphite, Liquid Tape

Materials List

Total Cost: If you have a container, some paintbrushes and scrap wood you can get by for under $20.

Process

This is a very rough process because I did not have anything to measure with.

  1. Put some insulating tape into a mixing container (1 part by vol)
  2. Start mixing the tape and add in graphite powder (1.5-2 parts by volume)
  3. Add acetone to thin out the mixture into something that can be painted onto a surface (instead of a glue like adhesive). You want this to be relatively thick paint, but a paint not a glue. (1 part should work)
  4. Paint this substance ASAP, because it will dry really, really fast. At first I started painting relatively long portions. I started using smaller samples.

Note: For this batch I used a lot of liquid tape and slowly added more graphite and continuously tested this mixture

REMEMBER: Do this in a well ventilated area!

Results

Resistance Measurements

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
Overload 284.1 kOhm/in. 14.4 kOhm/in. 5 kOhm/in. 1 kOhm/in.

The different trials are the same mix with more graphite added. Not a whole lot of measurement was taken, but as a proof of concept this was very effective.

Possible Improvements

Resources

Credits


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New BUILDS Room

BUILDS went through some recent changes starting with a forced change move as the building went under construction. We managed to hold on to most our original personality and stuff, but not everything made the trip. Some replacements had to be made especially in the art department.

Luckily, we have been able to quickly make up for what has been lacking thanks to some industrious BUILDSers. Take a look. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

TARDIS by Patrick

Previously known as the Boat Room (and a cornucopia of worse names), our small tool closet has been converted into the TARDIS. Naturally, this will give us a great deal more storage space since time lord technology makes it bigger on the inside.

Door by Dan, Pat, and me

Instead of working we revamped the door decoration today to have a fun interaction. I love this one, and you should check it out, but I want to see some variety. Contact Dan, if you have more ideas of what could be displayed there. We throw up a random one and swap it daily.

Red by David

….David wanted to help decorate so we gave him a nice easy project… He even did it all by himself.

SS Air Jelly (working title) by Monica

“Swag on! I’m so much better at painting than any of you.”

  • Monica ‘The Gribbler’

There is plenty of wall space left as well as doors and cabinets. Stake your claim now talk to Monica if you want to do a big project. She is the baroness von taste now.

Peace,

Rusty

baron von website

p.s. We added some barons to assist the officers.

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