2014-07-22 (Tu) Conductive Paint Experiment COMPLETED

Hopefully my posting at Instructables will bring some more people here. One person there had an interesting question about whether the conductive paint could be waterproof for use in electroforming. I spent the rest of the day testing that question.

Enough background.

Photos were selected and arranged then uploaded to the editor on Instructables.com. Steps were described so a reader could recreate the experiment. The first set of readings were ignored so only the samples which had dried a minimum of five hours had their readings published. The Instructable was published. A link was sent to the Hack-a-Day tip submission email address.
After submission the Instructable became Featured and then became Popular. User tcolson asked about how waterproof the samples would be. I hypothesized the Titebond III sample would be unaffected by water. The Titebond III and acrylic paint samples were submerged in water. Photos were taken at different times to visually inspect their state. A small piece of floating debris was noticed in the Titebond III container at the end of the test. The acrylic paint container did not have any noticeable debris. After soaking for seven and a half hours the samples were given continuity tests.
  • Acrylic paint: 1.398MΩ
  • Titebond III: 5.68MΩ
NOTICE: These measurements are in mega ohms while the previous readings were in kilo ohms. The conclusion is that the recipes are unsuitable for water submersion applications.

Samples were submerged at 4:30pm
One hour later they samples looked the same

 The samples after 90 minutes looked the same

The samples after five hours and forty five minutes looked the same
After seven and a half hours the samples were finished soaking but looked the same from the side
The Titebond III container had a piece of debris, possibly from the sample

There was no debris in the the acrylic paint sample
A resistance test showed that resistance had greatly increased for the paint sample

A resistance test on the Titebond III sample also showed a considerable increase in resistance

Originally the water test was going to be performed by smearing the Titebond III and graphite mixture on a plastic drinking straw since the straw is white in contrast to the dark gray of the mixture and because the straw could be easily submerged. After spreading the mixture over the straw it became apparent the mixture would not bond with the plastic drinking straw.

Freshly spread Titebond III and graphite mixture

The fresh samples were drying

A video was made to show the properties of the mixtures. The Titebond III flaked off the straw using only the back of a knife blade to show they had not bonded. The submerged samples were dried by pressing on a paper towel. They were then scraped with a knife blade to show the resilience of the samples after hours of submersion.

Video of destructive sample testing

 Journal page 1

Journal page 2

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

A list showing of all the final posts of COMPLETED projects.

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  1. Is the mixture of graphite and acrylic paint conductive enough to allow the ringer to chime when doing a continuity test on your meter? I am curious.

  2. I didn't test this but that's a good question. At the measured resistance I don't think my meter would have chimed. If the leads were closer, and the measured resistance was lower, it definitely would have. I believe most digital multimeters have a resistance threshold and they chime when the resistance is one Ohm below that threshold. If I had hooked up a 6V incandescent bulb, batteries, and leads it would have just dimmed the bulb but it would have lit up. Hopefully this answers your question and explains more than necessary.


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