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Sun Chemical’s SunTronic IME inks are approved for production use in IMSE parts after passing the demanding materials testing program from TactoTek, a Finland-based company that develops, industrializes and licenses in-mold structural electronics (IMSE) technology.
IMSE parts integrate printed electronics and electronic components within 3D injection molded plastics. They combine structure, electronic functions, and aesthetics in single piece, seamless smart surfaces. In IMSE parts, printed electronics can create many features, including circuitry, capacitive touch controls, proximity sensors and antennas. IMSE parts rely on printed silver-based conductive inks and dielectrics to enable multiple layers of printed electronics.
“TactoTek is committed to delivering IMSE technology that is predictable, reliably mass produced and performs well through a lifetime of use,” said Paavo Niskala, SVP Advanced Engineering at TactoTek. “IMSE combines diverse materials into a single integrated materials stack, so those materials must be chemically compatible and maintain their electrical integrity through IMSE processing, including thermoforming and injection molding. Our materials verification processes are designed to ensure that each input to an IMSE solution performs well independently, and that the entire stack-up of materials perform well, and predictably, in combination.”
IMSE smart surface technology benefits many markets, including strong demand from home appliance, smart home/Internet of Things and automotive segments. The majority of IMSE solutions are human-machine interfaces—control panels that combine touch controls, sophisticated lighting, wireless connectivity, and beautiful appearance in a single 3D part that can be as thin as 2mm.
“Our customers are embracing smart and interactive surface technologies, and TactoTek’s IMSE is a leading choice,” said Tony Searle, Business Director Electronic Materials, Sun Chemical. “Moreover, the smart surface market is a natural extension for Sun Chemical. Our high-tech screen graphics have been market leaders for many years in the industries now adopting IMSE technology, and we are in the unique position of delivering material solutions for decoration, 3D form factor and electronic functionality. We are very excited to have our SunTronic materials validated in TactoTek’s IMSE process and by their rigorous reliability testing.