Roll-to-Roll trends in printed circuit boards

Roll-to-Roll Coating Trends

Roll-to-roll coating trends are helping businesses around the world accomplish amazing things with roll coated materials.

Roll-to-roll coating is one of the most advanced fabrication processes that apply coats, laminates, or prints on a flexible rolled substrate material that is passed between multiple rollers. Engineers use roll-to-roll coating as their go-to fabrication method for making a large number of materials and products.

Roll-to-roll film coating can coat all materials that are flexible and made out of metals or polymers. Engineers coat materials to modify their properties or protect them from ambient conditions. The applications of roll-to-roll coating are endless.

  • Flexible Solar Panels
  • Wearables and Bendable Electronics
  • Rolled polymer materials
  • Components of accumulators
  • Batteries and supercapacitors

Here are some current methods of materials that are coated through roll-to-roll machines.

Roll-to-Roll Coating Trends In The News

Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs)

Roll-to-roll printed perovskite solar cells have attracted increasing commercial interest because of their use as an affordable, lightweight source of solar energy. The coating process can be accelerated on a large scale without sacrificing efficiency.

More recently, roll-to-roll printed PSCs achieved a maximum efficiency of 16.7%. The project was developed by researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. The goal was to deposit the electrode layer without the use of heat treatments or solvents that are known for damaging the sensitive perovskite layer.

Pre-treating the electrode layer eliminates the need for solvents being used, allowing the process to be referred to as ‘solvent free’. Scientists can also work with printing pastes that may not, in normal situations, be compatible with perovskite materials. The rest of the cell can be manufactured using conventional roll-to-roll coating technology. The overall efficiency of the cells was about 16.7%, which is a new milestone for such a device.

Digital Printing Methods

Although roll-to-roll coating methods are usually associated with analog graphics printing methods, recent advancements focus on digital deposition methods to enable rapid prototyping. Thanks to the use of laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), roll-to-roll manufacturing methods can now be used on non-planar surfaces.

Another area of research is the use of electrohydrodynamic (EHD) printing, which allows traces as small as 1 micrometer to be produced using an electric field. IT is an exciting time for roll-to-roll coating, with numerous commercial applications in the past few years. Most of the innovations focus on combining roll-to-roll coating with digital electronics manufacturing.

R2R Holographic Replication Machine

The market for holographic optical elements (HOE) is rising dramatically because it can be used in a range of automotive applications, such as windshield clusters and head-up displays. More recently, car manufacturers developed a roll-to-roll holographic replication machine that is capable of copying master HOEs to a bank film. The result is the production of high-quality products in an efficient manner and on a larger scale.

Roll-to-roll Coating Trends Abound!

To speak to a National Polymer roll-to-roll coating specialist about your current or future project and how these roll-to-roll coating trends might help you, call us today at 1-800-679-0477 for a no cost, no obligation consultation, or use this online contact form.