Stretchable printed electronics are becoming increasingly relevant in modern technologies such as wearable sensors and soft robotics. Almax-RP Corp. manufactures stretchable circuits that are bendable, pliant and conformable. We print conductive inks, such as silver and carbon, onto elastomeric substrates to create these printed sensors. We can manufacture stretchable bio-sensors by combining stretchable substrates with other printed electronics technologies including modified carbon electrodes, Ag/AgCl electrodes, crimped connectors, medical snap connectors, and stick-to-skin adhesives. Traditional printed electronic substrates like PET are not conformable, and may lead to discomfort for the person wearing the sensor. Patients can be kept comfortable for longer by using soft conformable substrates.
Advantages of a Stretchable Circuit Film
Our Stretchable circuit film substrates offer several advantages compared to equivalent Thermoplastic Poly-Urethane (TPU) films. TPU films come with several drawbacks including limited flexibility and low limits of elongation. TPU films are also subject to permanent deformation after small amounts of stretching or elongation. Our stretchable substrates offer superior flexibility and excellent elongation and they have high limits of proportionality, so they stretch proportionally with stress to achieve significant elongation. A high limit of elasticity allows them to experience high stress and stretching without permanently deforming as TPU films do. Stretchable circuit films can revert to original shape after significant stretching and are thus much more versatile and lasting. These films also have greater temperature resistance in comparison to most TPUs. This high temperature resistance allows high temperature curing in manufacturing and allows for usage in high temperature environments. We stock stretchable circuit film substrates that are compatible with a range of different types of inks, including some common inks such as Silver, Carbon, and dielectric pastes.
Choosing a Supplier for your Stretchable Printed Electronics
When using a stretchable elastomer film as a printing substrate, there are a number of challenges to consider. The stretchable nature can lead to smearing or other difficulties in printing due to sticking. Special considerations need to be taken to ensure effective and accurate printing on these substrates. It is important to work with a supplier that understands the challenges of print on stretchable substrates.
Almax is your best choice for stretchable printed electronics from prototyping though mass production. Our engineering teams in Arizona and Washington are ready to help you with your design questions. Then we are set up to do prototyping and low-volume production at our onshore facility in Arizona. For large volume, cost competitive manufacturing we use our facility in Dongguan, China. This means that we can offer you the best service and lead-times, no matter what phase your project is in.