Painting power onto plastics

Plastic products of the future could have electric power sources painted on them to run moving displays or track stock, thanks to a £300,000 project at Warwick University


Plastic products of the future could have electric power sources painted on them to power moving displays or track stock thanks to a £300,000 project at Warwick University.



Warwick is looking to recruit two postgraduate research students to help researchers literally paint an electronic power system onto plastic surfaces using injection moulding technology.



The technology, under development at university spinout WMG, can cheaply and easily paint even and thin films of electronically active surfaces on to a plastic component or product as it is being manufactured.



Lead researcher Prof Gordon Smith from WMG said: ‘This technology opens up a wealth of possibilities. Plastic drink bottles could have moving displays created as an integral part of the bottle. Or instead of tracking products by hiding RFID tags in them, the whole product or a major plastic component of it could effectively be turned into a giant, impossible to remove tag.’



‘The £300,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC) will be of enormous help in refining this new technology. This funding also provides an exciting opportunity for two bright young doctoral students to work in an exciting environment where they can play a role in the development of a whole new wave of consumer products and technology.’