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Inkjet and gravure printing of conductive patterns for the application in lightweight structures

: Hartwig, M.; Gaitzsch, M.; Heinrich, M.; Großmann, T.D.; Kroll, L.; Gessner, T.; Baumann, R.R.

Baumann, R. ; TU Chemnitz, Institut für Print- und Medientechnik:
Printing Future Days 2015. Proceedings : 6th International Scientific Conference on Print and Media Technology for Junior Scientists and PhD Students, October 05 - 07, 2015, Chemnitz, Germany
Berlin: VWB Verlag für Wissen und Bildung, 2015
ISBN: 978-3-86135-626-4
ISBN: 3-86135-626-0
Printing Future Days <6, 2015, Chemnitz>
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Resource efficient manufacturing as well as the avoidance of time and cost intensive fabrication methods play an important role in recent production processes. Sheet to sheet (S2S) inkjet printing as contactless and highly flexible technology and gravure printing suitable for large-area roll to roll (R2R) production combined with production processes like back injection molding or resin transfer molding offer great potential to fulfill the mentioned requirements in the field of smart lightweight applications.
The main focus is the S2S and R2R manufacturing of conductive grid patterns as well as sensor arrays on flexible substrates using inkjet and gravure printing combined with infrared (IR) radiation for functionality formation. The conductive patterns are integrated into composite materials by back injection molding or resin transfer molding enabling data communication, sensor applications or power supply in the field of automotive or clean energy.
The conductive grids can increase the directivity of an antenna signal and hence support utilization of 24 GHz radio together with plastic encapsulation in lightweight components e.g. in the automotive sector [1]. The printed and conductive sensor arrays consisting of various layouts can reflect an antenna signal and thus act as a passive sensor e.g. for remote ice detection on wind rotor blades [2]. The printed patterns can be used wirelessly and are well qualified for large-scale production.
The printed grids are characterized by finest possible line widths and the passive sensor arrays are determined by different layouts of the single cells and their influence on reflected signals. The combination of the mentioned manufacturing methods allows a fast and efficient production of smart lightweight applications in large scale and without cost and time intensive conventional patterning methods.