BS in Graphic Communication
Graphic Communication Department
Printing has become a mature industry, forcing printers to create new applications for their manufacturing process. One such application is printed electronics. The gravure printing process allows for incredible speed and exceptional quality for traditional graphic printing. Theoretically, this would be an ideal method for the commercial production of printed electronics. This study analyzes gravure’s capabilities to produce a uniform conductive ink line and what to expect in the future of gravure printed electronics. Printed line properties such as line widening and scalloped edges were determined to impede gravure’s ability to lay down a conductive ink line. Best results were achieved with high viscosity inks, high pressure, and a slow printing speed. Ink surface uniformity was also a problem due to ink dots created from the electromechanically engraved cells, thus increasing line resistance. In general, the gravure process needs to be substantially modified before a mass production of printed electronics can take place. Although it is unlikely that any specific printing process, will completely dominate the production of a single electronic product, gravure will be substantial portion of a hybrid electronic manufacturing process. Possible applications include low power devices, such as batteries or photovoltaics.