Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
  conductive coating samples, before electroforming

Electro-conductive coatings - tests and outcomes

In order for the electro-deposition process to occur it is necessary that the mandrel or base-form has a surface that is capable of conducting an electrical current. If a non-conductive material is used then this must be rendered conductive with the application of an electro-conductive coating.
A number of electro-conductive materials have been trialled as part of the research and the results are laid out in the table 1.

Each coating was tested on a standardized cast wax oval and placed in the electroforming tank for a period of 4 hours at a setting appropriate for a slow and even electro-deposition to occur.

conductive coating test results table

The final choice of electro-conductive coating was dependent on the nature of the form to be electroformed. For simple rounded forms copper paint was used as this was the easiest to apply, less expensive than the silver based coatings and consistently effective. For openwork pieces Entreat T9058, applied with a fine brush, was used. For fine detailed pieces the Silver flake FS2 or airbrushed Entreat T9058 proved to be the most effective.

conductive coatings image


Image 1 (top of page) - Conductive coating samples, before electroforming
Image 2 (bottom of page) - Conductive coating samples, after electroforming