BS in Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
This project investigated the viability of screen printing stretchable silver conductive paste directly onto fabric and how the resistance changed under cyclic mechanical loading. The paste tested was DuPont™ PE873 stretchable silver conductive paste, which forms a stretchable conductive path by suspending silver flakes in elastomer that can be elastically strained along with the underlying substrate. The silver pastes were printed directly onto two different high-density synthetic fabrics of different weaves. Other samples were prepared by first printing a base layer between the silver paste and the fabric. One base layer was a solvent-based dielectric (DuPont™ ME776) and a stretchable carbon conductor (DuPont™ PE671). This project determined that printing onto either base layer had a significantly smaller change in resistance under cyclic tensile tests than printing onto the fabric directly. Bend tests also revealed the possibility that the rate of change of strain had a higher impact on the change in resistance than the strain itself.