As you all know one can experiment with drawing graphite patterns on paper for forming improvised potentiometer-like-surfaces

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So I was wondering If there's some sort of commercially available resistive materials that could be used for similar tasks, but more sustainable. Are carbon fiber sheets good for this? Material should be lightweight and sturdy, I'd like to try and make a diy resistive touch screen with it. Transparency would be a plus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What use would a non-transparent touch-screen membrane be? (Grin.) Conductive film touchscreens were usually made with rows and columns on facing layers, sometimes with embossed dots in the gaps to keep them apart. The rows and columns were multiplex-scanned to figure out the coordinates of the touch. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jan 31 '18 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Transistor, What use would a non-transparent touch-screen membrane be? Digital finger painting? Maybe? Or touchpads? \$\endgroup\$ – Catsunami Jan 31 '18 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ i think those screens use gold strips so thin you can see through it. there is conductive paint, sold at maker outlets in small batches, but for a screen you would be better off with capacitive sensors on the side, charting the finger disruptions into a grid \$\endgroup\$ – dandavis Jan 31 '18 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ carbon fiber only conducts along the fibers and it's insulated by resin. slider potentiometer carbon trace is made from just graphite and glue. you'd have to find graphite fine enough and mix it at about 70% with epoxy resin,which is some of the strongest resin you can find. \$\endgroup\$ – com.prehensible Jan 31 '18 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Indium tin oxide is transparent and colorless in thin layers and is commercially available at reasonable cost on various substrates (plastic, glass). Search for ITO glass. \$\endgroup\$ – D Duck Feb 1 '18 at 0:08

There's some videos here of people making conductive surfaces in easy lab processes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVCpOIdTT9g

Here is a kind of paint that is transparent,the same that touchscreens are made of, that you can perhaps paint on a statue to render it resistive: Chinese version: https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/50ml-high-conductivity-PEDOT-PSS-up-to-500S-cm-as-same-as-clevios-PH500-made-in/32258862429.html RnD lab version: https://www.ossila.com/products/pedot-pss

You can mistakenly buy an industrial product and find that it's an antistatic coating rather than for touchscreens. You can mess around with an antistatic bag and see if it works, they come in A4 sizes.

It will be difficult to source from an units reseller. Intrinsically conductive polymers like polyanilines, polypyrrols and polythiophenes become conductive by removing an electron from their conjugated π-orbitals via doping. Here's one. It's got 5 wires and it's transparent.

Carnegie Melon made a conductive spray paint to do touchscreen guitars and anything, it's not transparent... it's this kind of thing.

this is a demonstration of a product simply called electric paint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkeWxrw6lW0

  • \$\begingroup\$ I men raw materials \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Jan 31 '18 at 23:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, ok, I edited for the same material in liquid form it's called PEDOT, it's listed on "transparent conductive materials" wiki page and the industry leader is perhaps Hareus.com... \$\endgroup\$ – com.prehensible Feb 1 '18 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Raw" material makes little sense. The raw material for transparent touch screen is sand and gold. Congrats! \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Feb 1 '18 at 7:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ they can also be solvent-setting plastics, synthesis: The electrons in these delocalized orbitals have high mobility when the material is "doped" by oxidation .... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conductive_polymer#Synthesis \$\endgroup\$ – com.prehensible Feb 1 '18 at 9:42

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