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Introducing Conductor 3
It's been a few years since we introduced our Conductor 2 and Flex 2 inks, but in that time the world of conductive inks has not slowed down. We've kept a close eye on the advancements being made for a material that can provide improvements to our current, great lineup.
With that, we'd like to introduce Conductor 3!
Right away, you'll notice we're not launching a Flex 3 along side it. This is because Conductor 3 is versatile enough too replace both of our previous offerings. This will simplify the workflows for our customers who were printing on both rigid and flexible substrates.
There are a lot more variables we consider when qualifying a new ink. So, we'll cover the main topics below. If you're curious for more information on anything related to Conductor 3, feel free to reach out to our support team at [email protected].
This new ink is still a silver based ink, so for conductivity it performs the same way as Conductor 2. It is still approximately one order of magnitude less conductive than copper and you can still use our guide on Conductivity Considerations for more detailed information.
With Conductor 3, the curing process is the biggest change in the overall workflow. First off, you no longer need to flip your board during curing. That's right, no more flipping! Conductor 3 is a sintering ink which means it actually cures better face up.
Curing is now two stage process with Conductor 3, but it is also much shorter. The board will heat up to 90°C for 5 minutes to dry the ink, then it will spend 15 minutes at 120°C to cure. This lower temperature not only makes it safer to work with but it also makes the wait to cool down much shorter. The whole curing process is 40% faster than with Conductor 2. And as long as you select the correct ink when printing, the V-One software will manage all these changes for you automatically.
Conductor 3 was specifically developed so you don’t have to worry about an oxide layer forming on top of your traces when the ink cures. This means you don’t need to worry about burnishing at all after curing.
- Make sure you set your iron to 180°C with a clean tip
- Always use our low temperature Tin Bismuth solder wire
- Use a light touch and don’t linger too long on a single spot
Things aren't changing here either. When stored sealed in the fridge between 4-10°C the shelf life is expected to be 12 months from the day it's packed. The 'use by' date will still be clearly indicated on the cartridge's label for you.