Electroninks today announced that it has received nearly $1.5M in Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding to develop advanced manufacturing hardware and particle-free conductive inks for printed circuit boards from the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO).
The Air Force will use Electroninks’ advanced manufacturing hardware and particle-free conductive inks both at home and in rapid and austere (remote) environments to provide an agile manufacturing solution for printed circuit boards (PCBs) on demand and at the point of use. The solution better enables the Air Force to reduce waste and extend aircraft and other systems lifespans — all while driving down costs and increasing mission readiness.
PCBs are used in every electronic device from modern aircraft to guidance systems.
The current manufacturing process to produce PCBs, which are tailored to individual applications, can take weeks or longer, plus the market is currently dominated by foreign manufacturers, causing supply chain risks. Electroninks’ contract enables an economical, rapidly deployable and portable additive manufacturing solution for PCBs.
“Electroninks particle-free inks and CircuitJet printers have the potential to provide a highly reliable and flexible solution required for development of printed circuit boards needed to help sustain important Air Force systems,” said Leslie Edmondson, RSO Innovation & Integration Program Manager.
Electroninks particle-free inks provide versatile, low-cost, domestically produced, all-in-one additive manufacturing solutions. Electroninks CircuitJet I and Circuit Jet II printers can print PCBs on demand and with a 90 percent reduction in the cost of metal inks.
“The U.S. Air Force is known for leading innovation in technology and science. At Electroninks, we are committed to using the power of advanced materials to enable and manufacture the products of the future,” said Brett Walker, Electroninks CEO. “This SBIR contract places Electroninks at the forefront of major developments that will help change and shape the Air Force of the future.”
Electroninks highly conductive inks are the first and only high volume manufacturing particle-free inks to work with inkjet printing. The company’s proprietary inks are formulated in silver, gold, platinum, nickel and copper and are stretchable, highly reflective, RoHS compliant, catalytically active and antimicrobial. The company does not use traditional binders and surfactants, providing superior environmental stability and reliability. Electroninks inks are free from impurities – approaching 99.99% metal.