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Wire glue (Conductive glue)

Posted by DaveR 
Wire glue (Conductive glue)
February 25, 2009 11:31AM
Just came across an interesting product:

Might be an possible alternative to fields metal or conductive paint. I haven't tried anything or researched it yet.

Claims to be 'microcarbon' - might be interesting to try some in a [email protected] style syringe to lay down a simple PCB. I've no idea what the resistance might be like.

Any thoughts?
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
February 25, 2009 12:06PM
I found a very informative post in this thread [forum.servomagazine.com] by MrA


For example, the approximate rho for this stuff is 0.36 ohm inches.
This means that for a bar with circular cross section that is 1 inch
long and has a diameter of 1/16 inch the total resistance from end to
end is 118.7 ohms.


It turns out that it's approximately 0.36 ohm inches for this stuff
after it dries, and wow, that's over 500,000 (five hundred thousand)
times higher than copper! Yikes. This means the emulsion must
be playing a big part in the conductivity rather than the carbon.

It still seems to be usable though because for a diameter of 1/16
inch and only 0.01 inches thick (like a typical connection might
be made) the total resistance would only be a little over 1 ohm,
which isnt that bad, and as Bigglez pointed out, some things could
easily stand this kind of higher resistance, and as he also pointed
out, stuff like this could make the repair of such things possible
when otherwise not. I myself first thought of remote controls
that have keypads that break down and cant be soldered to fix.

Just for fun i made a home made resistor that was about 3/8 inches
long and measured around 250 ohms, and used it to limit current
to a white LED driven from a small 9v battery. The current was
14ma so at least i know this stuff works at low current and
the manu states low voltage too so 120vac stuff is out.
On the downside, it seems to act as a very poor tolerance resistor
because it's resistance changes 10 percent over the temperature
range of 85 deg F to 180 deg F. Thermistor anyone? ha ha.
It might however stablize better at some temperature cycles later,
as yet to be determined, as there was an indication during
the test that this would happen at least to some degree.

Oh yeah, it's water based too, so you can mix it with water
to make it less thick. As it comes, it's a rather watery
paste that runs easily, but more like thick paint than
toothpaste. The drawback is that it may break off of
surfaces like copper, etc., because it reminds me of
dried clay after it dries. I hope this isnt too much
of a problem. But, applying an overcoat of epoxy
might help too, and the manu suggest superglue, but
then i dont know if i would use that myself.

Compare with crappy $25 silver based stuff: Wire Glue has 2x lower rho (better)
Compare with 38 dollar silver based stuff: Wire Glue has 100 times higher
rho (worse)
Thus this Wire Glue is better than the crappy silver stuff (surprising)
but much worse than the better silver based stuff (as expected).

So good for joining things and making resistors, but not for making tracks.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 12:10PM by nophead.

Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
February 25, 2009 01:53PM
sounds like we'll have to wait until someone comes up with a conductive plastic we can use to reprap with...
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
February 25, 2009 02:25PM
... i used a silverfilled 2K-resin as room-temp replacement for welding thin wires on SOIC's - it works, but after mixing you have only 3 minutes left until it's hardened.

For another type of sensors and connecting extremely thin (10 microns and 1 micron) platinum-wires on gold-pads we used a silver-filled polyimide 1K-glue which stays fluid over long time (some years when boxed) and hardens only when heated above 120°C. This works much better but the glue has a very high viscosity (like thick honey) and is very expensive.

So you have to find some cheap conducting and non-oxidizing dust-flakes (compact dust-particles didn't work so good) and a paste-basis like polyimide for heat-curing or slow reacting 2K-epoxies for time- or UV-curing.

Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
February 27, 2009 07:33PM
DaveR Wrote:
> sounds like we'll have to wait until someone comes
> up with a conductive plastic we can use to reprap
> with...
> :-)

I have a sample of it coming in the mail.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2009 07:35PM by Annirak.
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
March 15, 2009 04:14AM
Wire Glue... isn't that solder?
has anyone fed solder through a RepRap to see what happens?

is there any viable potential for either PCBs, or metal fabricated objects?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2009 04:16AM by ian918m.
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
March 15, 2009 07:50AM
ian918m Wrote:
> has anyone fed solder through a RepRap to see what
> happens?
Yeah, a long time ago. I was able to print solder on HDPE substrates pretty successfully. My work revealed that it was obvious that there was a lot of work that needed doing before you had a practical solder extruder, though. I've never got back to doing any more on that, sadly. sad smiley


Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
October 30, 2009 06:20AM
Today the development of an interesting alternative conductor was announced:


Essentially it is a jet-able silver ink that melts below 140 degrees C. The ink is composed of 5 nanometer silver particles, allowing it to be jetted at 900 degrees Celsius lower than liquid silver. 5 nanometer essentially means that 20.000 of them side-by-side would span the diameter of a human hair.

Since normal inkjet ink is already about the price of gold, it's price isn't neccessarily much worse. (Somehow I don't expect it to be cheaper.)

This silver ink's price probably isn't driven by the price of silver as much as it is by the cost of processing it into these nanoparticles and the mark-up that Xerox demands to earn back their innovation effort. If it is acceptable, that would open up so many possibilities!


Erik de Bruijn
[Ultimaker.com] - [blog.erikdebruijn.nl]
Re: Wire glue (Conductive glue)
March 10, 2010 08:42AM
In addition to the above message (printable silver particles that behave like a liquid at normal tempeartures) it might be interesesting to see that you can make silver nanoparticles yourself:

Xerox on printing the nanoparticles:


Erik de Bruijn
[Ultimaker.com] - [blog.erikdebruijn.nl]
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