Research into transparent electrically conductive coatings for antistatic and EMI shielding

The EU-funded project-TransCond, to develop transparent, conductive, flexible coatings is now in its final year. The project aims to reduce the content of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds traditionally used in EMI shielding paints and develop multifunctional polymer coatings. The global market for conductive polymers has risen substantially to over €1.5 billion and is driven by the need to protect electronics in their products and process equipment from damage due to electrical static discharge (ESD) and interference by electromagnetic radiation (EMI). The expected results of TransCond will be the development of the technology to produce economically viable electrically conductive / antistatic coatings for industrial applications. Exploitation of the technology will benefit companies within sectors such as electronic packaging, conductive paints and specialist coatings, EMI shielding and those that require lighting in explosive environments. Graphene nano platelets (GNP) and carbon nano tubes (CNT) have been used as conductive fillers for these novel paint formulations. Furthermore, three methods of graphene production have been trialled. Finally, atmospheric plasma treatment is being successfully trialled for functionalisation and coating. The project which is part funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme is comprised of five European organisations, APT Archimedes Polymer Technologies from Cyprus, TBA Electro Conductive Products and Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira from the UK and Kolor Mix and West Pomeranian University of Technology in Poland.
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