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Description: Bare Conductive's Electric Paint is just like any other water-based paint... except that it's electrically conductive! This means that you can actually paint wires onto things like models, clothes, furniture, walls, almost anything you can think of. Standard acrylic or water-based paints can even be used alongside Electric Paint to act as insulation or to create multi-layer circuitry!

You can apply Bare's Electric Paint like any other water-based paint. You can use a brush, a roller, printmaking equipment, some intrepid users have even tried to spray the material through an airbrush! It's important to note that as Electric Paint dries the conductivity increases (and will continue to increase to a certain extent even after the paint "feels" dry), so if your project requires calibration, let the paint dry completely before testing it.

Note: Electric Paint is not meant for use on skin!

Note: Electric Paint is not waterproof, but depending on what your application is you can paint over it with a waterproof paint or varnish. On the bright side this does make for easy cleanup.

Features:

  • Water-based, nontoxic and dries at room temperature.
  • Elecric Paint can be applied to a wide variety of materials, including (but certainly not limited to) paper, cardboard vellum, wood, metal, plaster, some rubbers, plastics and many textile.
  • Soap and warm water will take Electric Paint off of most surfaces.
  • Can last years if treated properly and kept dry.

Documents:

Comments 41 comments

  • +1 if you want to see this mixed with Polymorph!

  • Hmm, I think I’m going to need a breakout board for this…

  • Isn’t this the stuff you repair the rear defroster with on an old car?

  • How much paint is in each pot?

  • Does anyone think that this would be a good idea to use for a membrane switch plate?

  • Has anyone used this on tile with any success?

  • It says this paint is not meant for use on skin. Is there an electrically conductive paint that is for use on skin?

  • 29.99 on Think Geek, and they don’t even give any info about the resistance

  • I recommend reading the MSDS before use. One of the ingredients is allergenic which means you might want to turn down the Sparkfun hyperbole and not use it on clothing or fingerpaint with it.

  • Note the resistance chart. This might better be called resistive paint. For conductivity try lessemf ’s copper based paint.

  • Here is a link to where all the MSDS are for the products mentioned from MG Chemicals: http://www.mgchemicals.ca/msds/index.html

    Search by part number: “841 liquid” is the nickel paint “8331…” is the silver epoxy. There is part A and part B 8420 is the silver pen

    My comment about open windows and fan is adequate for hobbyists who use it sparingly. If at a production level type of exposure (8 hours a day), proper organic vapor masks (any safety supply store will have) and proper ventilation are required. Details in MSDS.

  • Is there an MSDS for this ?

  • There is a Nickel based conductive paint that has a resistance of less than 1.0 ohm.mil. This might work better because of the lower resistance. http://www.mgchemicals.ca/products/840.html

    Here’s a Silver Conductive Pen that was mentioned that can be used to draw out traces to create a working circuit, (0.2 ohm) http://www.mgchemicals.ca/products/8420.html

    Silver Conductive Epoxy as well for use as cold soldering in places where heat from a solder iron will damage your circuit, (0.2 ohm) http://www.mgchemicals.ca/products/8331.html

    I work at MG Chemicals (we manufacture the above products) and a big fan of Sparkfun. Leave a few comments for the Sparkfun team if you want them to distribute these products :) Thanks!

    • Just read some comments about the safety issue of these products. It is not something you want to sniff–like paint thinner or even fumes from soldering for that matter. All you need to safely work with these products is a ventilated room (window open and fan blowing fume away from you). The Conductive Epoxy is a non solvent based product so very safe to work with.

  • I wonder if this stuff is bad to breathe? It looks like it’s made of carbon.

    • I would imagine that if you’re breathing enough dust from the dried paint to do you harm then you’re doing something very wrong. It isn’t often you meet a charcoal or graphite artists whose occupation has given them the “black lung”!

  • Interesting product. How fast does it dry? I am asking because it would be great for kids to play with this but if it drys in 4 hours then it can’t be used in a 1-hour workshop.

    FYI, we use black conductive paper in physics labs for electric field mapping. I’d like to see SPE carry it as well.

    http://pasco.com/prodCatalog/PK/PK-9025_conductive-paper-with-grid/#overview

    More conductive paint with silver:

    http://www.pasco.com/prodCatalog/PK/PK-9031_special-conductive-ink-pen/index.cfm

    Just my 2 cents they might be useful to some and you already carry many conductive materials so why not becoming a one stop shop for such things ;)

    • Obviously drying time depends on the thickness of the paint, but it behaves roughly the same as acrylic craft paint. In other words, to be dry to the touch is probably something like 15 minutes. Although it does continue to “dry” after that and the resistance continues to decrease to a certain point.

      You can speed up the drying process by blowing hot air on it to evaporate the water out of the paint but drying too fast will cause the paint to crack.

      Also, remember basic painting rules like “fat over lean,” if you plan on layering it with non-conductive paints.

  • Could this be used to repair worn-out contacts on the rubber buttons found inside remote controls?

  • So from your resistance chart it looks like the sheet resistivity is around 30 to 35 ohms per square. Long runs are going to be highly resistive. Still, lots of cool uses.

  • Say, this seems a lot like Wire Glue…

  • Out of curiosity, if I etched and drilled a 2 sided PCB at home, and used this paint to create the vias from one side of the board to the other, what are the chances it may work?

    • Due to all the unknown factors, I’d venture that isn’t the best use for this stuff. In your case, it’s common to solder a bare copper wire through the via to both sides of the board, then clip off the excess.

      • I’d agree with that. This isn’t going to be a very good or very reliable via. But remember, if you are using through hole components every chip pin lead is a free via – just solder both sides of the board. For what few vias you have left, do what Mike says – you’re going to be clipping off a bunch of resistor and cap leads anyway, so you have plenty of prepped wire.

  • Can this be used to make smd and pth pcbs on non-plated PCB’s

    • maybe? I’ve never used it for that. It’s more for fabric and such. they make pens specially for making traces on PCBs though. you might be able to get this to work, in the same way you can use pliers to screw in a bolt instead of a socket wrench

      • The manufacturer told me that the paint have a life of 6 month post production/storage. I want to buy a bottle but I dont know if you going to give me an old or new one! Or there is no problem? Thank you, Robert!!!

      • I want one of those ;_; you guys should carry them, there would suddenly be an EXPLOSION of clear PCBs made out of plastic!

      • Well I would make a pcb but how resistive is this stuff? might want to post that in specs

        • Not a spec, but as shown in the tutorials, they are using it to vary resistance in a circuit. I cant watch the video currently due to school video watching blocks, and I dont feel this is worth circumventing them for, but I hope it is useful.

          Edit Emailed Bare Conductive and they replied that “The material’s Resistance is around 60 ohms/sq (i.e. a 1mmx1mm square) at a thickness of approx .1mm. In truth it really depends on how you apply the material as shape and layer thickness can change the properties dramatically.” Then continued to say that you can paint it or stencil it and her preference is silk screening.

          Very quick support and informative support staff, I think ill get a case.

          • I’ve actually just uploaded an image representing my experience with the paint. It shows the relationship between length and resistance in straight lines of varying width. Obviously these numbers change when you thin the paint or when you paint multiple layers. Hope it helps!

            • The manufacturer told me that the paint have a life of 6 month post production/storage. I want to buy a bottle but I dont know if you going to give me an old or new one! Or there is no problem?

              • We generally have about a 2-3 month supply on hand. We stock it as it comes in, so you would always be buying our ‘freshest’ stock.

                It would just be best to buy it when you need it.

        • They do not yet have a technical datasheet with any of that information. I’ll post it when it’s available.

          My point is that there are pens and such that are MUCH easier to apply that would work better for the application you’re talking about.

          • Well my point is that this stuff is cheaper than the pen @ The Shack + you get a lot more than you get if you buy it in a pen…

            Also can you check the resistance of this stuff + the rough viscosity of it for possible application as a ‘ink’ in a DIY printer cartage in a printer?

            one other thing… Can you also check if this will conduct the same if it is applied in a fish scale like process vs. applied in one stroke? (in same width & thickness)

            • true, it is cheaper.

              I will be doing a demonstration with it next week in the product post. I’m not sure if I will go into that much depth with it, but we can at least take some measurements and go from there.


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