Australian engineers have found a way to make circuits out of plastic. The Circuits in Plastic (CIP) technology is made from recycled plastic, does not contain hazardous substances, and the packaging is part of the base circuit board, which means there is no need for additional packaging material.
"The circuit board is a plastic sheet in which all components are placed in divots," says Griffith University professor David Thiel. "The conductor is screen-printed into a thin cover sheet which is then thermally bonded to the circuit board."
CIP can be mechanically disassembled and recycled at the end of the circuit's life, which will help lower the carbon footprint. CIPs are waterproof, which means they could make mobile phones resistant to the weather and spills. Also, the researchers say that CIPs are cheaper to produce than their printed-circuit board counterparts.
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