Arjowiggins’ PaperCoat wins IDTechEx award

Arjowiggins Creative Papers has announced that PowerCoat, its revolutionary paper for printed electronics has been awarded the prize for Product Development in the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe/Graphene LIVE 2013 Awards. 

Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ PowerCoat is a unique cellulosic paper formulation and coating process that provides an ultra-smooth and flexible substrate that facilitates the seamless integration of printed electronics and printed graphics, opening a world of possibilities in the packaging, advertising, textile and pharmaceutical industries.

PowerCoat is a sustainable substrate with polymer-like smoothness (as low as 10 nanometers) that offers excellent printability and ink adhesion properties without any plastic content. Its surface reduces the consumption of expensive silver inks and supports high-resolution fine patterning (down to 5?m) of any solution-based electronic layer.

When conventional papers are printed with conductive inks, several issues are generally raised: ink is too easily absorbed by the paper causing unnecessarily high levels of ink consumption; surface roughness leads to low resolution patterning and decreased conductivity; yellowing and colour fading, as well as altering of other physical characteristics of certain substrates occur during sintering (the process which fuses conductive inks to the substrata).

Using existing pressroom environments and processes, the remarkable thermal stability of PowerCoat allows for precision control during sintering. Its structure can withstand the high temperatures required for low-resistance silver ink without discolouration. It can endure a sintering cycle set at 200°C for 5 minutes, as well as flash (photonic) sintering without any noticeable change in physical characteristics.

PowerCoat is ideal for roll-to-roll processing due to its high dimensional stability under mechanical tension. It makes high resolution printing of fine patterns possible with fewer registration issues.

For a long time, it has been said that “plastics make it possible”. PowerCoat has proven that paper is just as reliable for applications in the world of printed electronics and at the same time is much less hazardous to the environment than plastics.

PowerCoat outperforms even the best plastics and is recyclable and sustainable. This novel paper has excellent smoothness and higher thermal stability than most PET / PEN plastics.

Additionally, since POWERCOAT allows higher printing speeds than most plastics, because of its impressive thermal stability, production costs can be further decreased while productivity and efficiency can be improved.

With its natural properties and incredible smoothness, PowerCoat makes way for more efficient use of expensive chemicals and inks and is 100% recyclable, biodegradable and FSC certified, so saving on the cost of production as well as reducing environmental impact.

A 5 to 10X reduction in silver ink consumption has been demonstrated compared to conventional screen printing technology when using PowerCoat in RFID antenna inkjet printing. This in itself is a revolution as less ink means less of an impact on the environment and lower overall production costs.

Like the iPAD PowerCoat is a product whose applications are limited only by the imagination and existing interactive technologies. Its value at the moment revolves around the following:

• Resistors, capacitors, self-inductance and other passive components • More efficient creation of RFID antennae where less ink can be used • Sensing technology such as walls and handheld devices • Electrodes for batteries, circuitry for display, lighting etc • Integration of intelligent functionality in disposable labelling and packaging The ground-breaking paper enables passive and interactive circuitry to be integrated with existing printed products. In this way, the flexible paper substrata facilitates the integration of a whole range of electronic functions into graphics, from embedded RFID tags to condition-sensitive sell-by dates on fresh produce and thanks to its natural roll-to-roll capability, it is also possible to produce large area products such as sensor walls and flexible displays.