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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Conductive binderApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2016-12-06 09:52:42 ... Most recent comment 2016-12-07 11:03:00
    Pigments Paint Making Paint Additives Paint Mediums Other
    Every now and then, I have to make conductive paint with my students. Up until now, I do it with graphite and acrylic binder, which sort of works. Sort of, because the acrylic is an insulator. So basically what I am doing now, is to underbind the paint, so it still conducts current.
    I know there are conductive binders though. Ulysses Jackson from Golden suggested polytiophene as a conductive binder, but I cannot find it anywhere. Does anyone know if there is another conductive binder that could work?

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerWhat are you applying this to? Do you require the resulting paint to be flexible and resilient? If not I would think that graphite ground into gum arabic would work. You could always add a bit of honey (like is done in watercolors) to provide a little bit more flexibility if needed. If your needs are more complicated than this I can reach out to some of the scientists on our board.
    Baade, Brian
    2016-12-06 12:30:24
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentIt's used in a workshop called "Tinkering new media", for students where they're trying out all kinds of stuff. So they will be using it for all sorts of things. Some use it in a painting, some on textiles, some on wood, etc. So flexibility and resillience: yes, preferrably. That is why I am using an acrylic binder, up until now. I think the solvability of gum arabic might be a problem for them. Thx, Matthijs Hendriks
    2016-12-09 05:38:05
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerThis is just an idea but have you thought about getting a preprepared conductive paint? I know that you can purchase a pint of conductive paint used for shielding the insides of electric guitars for a nominal price. I almost always shy away from using commercial products for artworks without testing but perhaps this would work in this instance. I will ask around about a conductive binder in case you want to make everything from scratch.
    Baade, Brian
    2016-12-12 13:18:05
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentI see that my last post did not make it to this forum. I'll post again: I am running the Painting Workshop on an Art Academy, and so I do make paint with students from scratch, every now and then. I think it's a good idea to have students make paint at least once, to give them a feel for it. In this workshop ' Tinkering new Media", which is done together with the Electronics Workshop in our academy, the students are making everything from scratch. So indeed I want them to make their own conductive paint themselves. So I hope some scientists here have a solution for my question :-) .
    2016-12-22 08:04:03
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerI have conferred with one of our scientists and it appears that most of the flexible binders will have an insulating effect. The material that Golden suggested is an exception but it is quite cost prohibitive. From what I understand, the important component when using acrylic and other insulating binders is to make sure that you incorporate enough graphite to overcome this effect. I will reach out to another resource here to see if there is a conductive binder that we have not thought about.
    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2016-12-22 13:11:31
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentThanks so much. Until now I used 1 part graphite to 3 parts acrylic binder. That way it is still conductive, but it will rubb off. I also tried 1:6 and that won't rubb off, but it is not conductive anymore. Perhaps I could use a different pigment? Charcoal should work, maybe it won't rubb off as easily as graphite does. I am not sure how well it conducts, though. I am wondering what is used in the prepaired conductive paint that one can buy at the store, both binder and/or pigment. But I now understand why this stuff is so terribly expensive.
    2016-12-23 09:23:09
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentA little bump :-) . So it seems there is no simple solution to my problem....?
    2017-01-31 11:47:18
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerAs far as I can tell, based on the responses I have received, there is no way to do so cheaply if you want to make it yourself and not just use a greater amount of graphite in a more readily available binder. I will ask a few others to see if they can give us any other ideas as this is certainly not our area of expertise..
    Baade, Brian
    2017-01-31 12:59:42
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentVery much appreciated! I could imagine that there is another pigment that does the same as graphite does, but doesn't need as much binder. Perhaps something like charcoal just does the thing, I could try and find out.... I'll let it know!
    2017-02-08 07:54:55

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