This is an instructable on the best conductive glue I have been able to make that uses easy to obtain materials, glues well to most materials, is quite flexible and has a low resistance. Unfortunately for me, it uses a rubber or plastic mixture that I do not know the chemical composition of, so I cannot patent it.

There are many kinds of conductive epoxies, glues, and rubbers available. Unfortunately, they are for the most part quite expensive.
So, for more than four years, I have been trying every possible combination of likely elements, compounds, and solvents that I could get my hands on, in order to make my own truly affordable conductive glue. While I have found several that have excellent low conductivity, they tend to be quite brittle and have a tendency to crack. The conductive glue presented here does not have these problems.

Because this glue is quite flexible and you can vary its resistance, it has potential for different kinds of paint on sensors for robots or other devices. It should be possible to paint on strain gauges on the outside of a regular glove and use it for virtual reality or other control possibilities. Touch sensors and membrane switches can be painted on various flexible or rigid surfaces.

It can be used to paint on wires and resistors and as a glued solder joint. It can also be used to paint on strain gauges, temperature sensors, electromagnetic shielding, antennas, and push-button switches. I suspect, that with more experimentation, it may be possible to use it to create capacitors, diodes and transistors.

Step 1: Materials for the Conductive Glue and Circuit

Carbon Graphite, fine powder-Available in larger quantities at http://www.elementalscientific.net/

Available in smaller quantities at your local hardware store. It's called lubricating graphite and comes in small tubes or bottles. The brand I used successfully is called AGS Extra Fine Graphite, but no doubt there are other brands that will also work.

Performix(tm) liquid tape, black-Available at Wal-Mart or http://www.buytape.com

Mixing cups or glass container

1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoons

Glass or plastic mixing rod

Cardboard for stencil

Toluol paint thinner (optional)-Available at most hardware stores.

Conductive thread (optional)-Available in larger spools at http://members.shaw.ca/ubik/thread/order.html It is available in smaller spools at

Circuit materials of your choice
<p>Graphite is fancy, but powdered charcoal is a cheaper conductor to mix in with whatever glue or resin of your choice. A mixture of charcoal or lamp black with graphite will also perform better than pure graphite powder in terms of electric conduction.</p><p>Reason has to do with the graphene layers that make up graphite. These graphene sheets will readily conduct electrons in their own plane, but not across/through/inter-sheet. In a powdered / fractured form the graphite will thus conduct better if it is &quot;spiked&quot; with carbon in the form of either powdered charcoal or lamp black.</p>
what can i use insteard of performix conducting tape
I am trying to connect to the + and - of a battery cell. These are calls I obtained by taking apart battery packs (14.4 V and 18 V). When done properly the tab which is welded to the battery posts is obtained and one can solder to the tab. Sometimes the tab comes off and I have nothing to solder to for connections.<br>Could i use the conductive glue you have explored to connect a copper tab to a battery post?<br>The glue needs some strength and low resistance and carry some amps of current.<br>Thanks, olrob<br>
Sorry.<br><br>This glue has too much resistance to carry large amounts of current.<br><br>With amps it will start to smoke.
Did you try grinding a silver spoon (knife, fork) and collect the silver particles? There are a number of silver epoxies around with excellent conductive properties. I was inquiring about one that I could buy for $25 for 5 grams but that weight corresponds to about 2 dabs ( two trials) with a dab of the epoxy between a cell post and a copper strip which is very expensive.<br><br>
<p>If you find a spoon that is real silver and not just plated, you will be better off selling it for the silver and buying alunimum powder or copper powder to use for your conductor.</p>
Thanks Mikey77. when I measure a 1&quot; tab that is welded to a + or - post I get 1.4 ohms from one end to the other with alligator clips on each end. Does any of your trials have a resistance near 1.4 ohms?<br><br>A 14.4 V Craftsman NICD battery pack delivers from 1.2 to 2.2 amps (quality &amp; price). It contains 12 1.2 V cells in series. NiMH cells can produce 3.2 to 4.5 amps at 1.2 V. Li-Ion cells are rated at 3.6 V and 2.6 amps each.<br>One of my applications is a Skil Twist battery powered screwdriver. It uses 2 NICD cells in series for 2.4 V and 2 amps in an intermittent operation. I would guess that each screwing operation would have 30 seconds on and 30 second off.<br>My Craftsman 14.4 v power screwdriver would work about the same (2 amps for 30 seconds).<br>Would your lowest resistance mixtures still smoke with a 2 amp 30 second cycle?<br>Thanks again.<br>
IMHO, trying to use makeshift materials as a conductor for high-current circuits is a mistake. I found that my local Batteries Plus store makes custom battery packs by spot-welding tabs to their rechargeable batteries. If your tab has fallen off, see if they'll put it back on for you. <br> <br>This instructable has tremendous value for low-current devices in creative uses. I've had great luck with Circuit Writer pens from Mouser and Radio Shack, but they're expensive ($20), have a small quantity, and dry out in about a year. <br> <br>If you want to try your luck, consider adding surface-mount LED's, capacitors and resistors directly to the pins of a mini-DIP package. I once did this with a 556 timer, using bits of adhesive tape barriers to create power rails and conductive zones.
I see that 3M&trade; 1181 EMI Copper Foil Shielding Tape has excellent conductivity (.005 ohm) and it's solderable. A small piece of the tape could be bonded to a battery post and a tab could be soldered to the tape. Their conductive acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive is the key. Have you tried anything like that?<br>Thanks<br>
Unfortunately, this method won't work. While the tape itself is capable of carrying the required current, the problem comes from the adhesive side acting as an insulator. The only way to connect to the copper tape from the adhesive side is to clean off the glue and scrape away the oxide-like material just beneath it. Even then, it's difficult to get the tape to contact the battery with enough force to make a good connection. <br> <br>Getting foil tape to make a good, strong connection to a flat surface is a challenge on its own... especially when higher currents are involved. One of the best ways to do this would be to use a small spring taped to the end of the battery, then slip the tape or wire under the spring to remain tightly fixed against it.
<p>Really interesting, thanks.</p>
<p>Cute, but fake., I just burned some wood, tested with ohm meter, there is no conductivity at all. You can't make conductive carbon by burning wood. I'm sure there's a way to make conductive glue, but probably by using metal shavings or something similar. </p>
<p>I burned a hot dog on the grill but I'm not dumb enough to think it's compact enough to conduct low voltages. Lol, you were almost there though. Try 1099 volts and your hand, plenty of conductivity there. You can also rid the world of an idiot.</p><div><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Conductive-Glue-and-Glue-a-Circuit/#" rel="nofollow">flag</a><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Conductive-Glue-and-Glue-a-Circuit/C05HR4MI9IBMEBB" rel="nofollow">[delete]</a></div>
you do know that it advertises the liquid tape as an INSOLATOR right?
<p>Once you fill an insulator with a conductor though, it conducts. Rubber insulates too, then we jam a piece of copper through it and sell it at home depot as &quot;insulated wire&quot;.</p><p>Okay, so we don't jam it through, we coat the copper, but same point.</p>
Yes, Liquid Tape is an INSULATOR. This instructable is about how you can turn an insulator into a conductor. Liquid tape is an insulating rubber which can be turned into a conducting rubber with the addition of carbon graphite.
<p>Good job, Keep it up. Very helpful :)</p>
<p>Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>very helpful. As you may know when flowing schematics the wires in real life are always so much more tangled and messy but now they don't have to be.</p>
<p>I wonder if a mixture of copper filings and graphite might give you a lower resistance while keeping the ductility you achieved with this mixture&hellip;?</p>
<p>MY DREAM COME TRUE !!!!!!!!!!!</p><p>PS:can it be used for genral soldering</p>
<p>If it really is that good, then you should be able to make the product commercially then why don't you? It could be made to dispense from a tube with a dispenser that enables a thin circuit to be laid down.</p>
Did you try using more than 1-1/2:1? Perhaps it would be even better.
It's like soldering with no heat. :P
I have two keyboards that were damaged by water spills and was looking for a (cheap) way to fix them when I came across your article. <br> <br>Being cheap, I first tried a variation of the conductive glue idea using filed aluminum from a soda can aand clear paper glue, but it yielded 0 conductivity. I was forced to spend $2 on the lubricating graphite and try again, still with the Pentel brush glue as the base. It worked, but very weakly. The resistance was so high 2 AA batteries could barely make it through to light up an LED. I then tried wood glue as the base but came up with 0 conductivity. <br> <br>Sadly, my attempts at being MacGuyver all came up very short. I went out spent $8 bought some black liquid elec tape (Blue Magic brand) and tried again. YET AGAIN the conductivity was very poor, although slightly better than with the clear paper glue. But it was still too weak for a the chip in the keyboard to detect the signal. Unless I'm doing something terribly wrong, the graphite just doesn't seem conductive enough for almost any purpose to me. <br> <br>My last attempt involved gluing a staple to the keyboard membrane over the bad trace which looks like it is allowing slightly more current through. I have to wait for it to dry and see... <br> <br>Any of you thinking you can use this in place of solder, think twice.
Umm. I want to make sum conductive adhesive, too, but i dunno where to get Performix as i'm outta USA, nor do i know what i can use instead. Second problem i got is: what is the graphite for and how do i dose it? I came along sum other howto ( http://smackaay.com/2009/01/13/making-a-conductive-adhesive/ ) and so i got sum useful glue plus the mentioned iron filings, but yet no idea for the graphite's use and its amount. <br>I would really appreciate, if you could help. Though knowing instructables, i came here via your website and i'd say that the pict of your trials with different materials are proof enough of your competence, so maybe could you even give a comment about the benefit of the alien howto? <br> <br>Greetz, <br>Luke
<br>Nice I can use this. Thanks. <br><br>The link http://www.Inklesspress.com/electronic_parts_2.htm<br>for smaller spools conductive thread doesn't work.<br><br><br>
this should work with other plastics and epoxy resein right?<br>
Yes, but you will have to try your own formulations. I have tried with pva school glue and an organic-solvent-synthetic-rubber glue, but this late one is more hard to handle because it cures to fast. I have tried epoxy resin also and it performed very badly.
Have you tried hot glue?
No, but I guess it will not work. I cannot even imagine a way to do it, maybe you will have to make your own sticks with metal powder heavily embedded on it.
You could make a mold of the glu gun sticks, melt the glue, mix in the graphite in and mould it back into shape
how well did the school glue work?
It works well to make paper circuits, check it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2l9fKVTICw
that's better:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2l9fKVTICw">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2l9fKVTICw</a>
I didnt read all the comments but has anyone tried metal shaving? I work on cars and ive grind down some pipes before. And im left with this metal dust. So couldnt i use that alone with the glue?
You probably could, i dont see why not.
Excellent Instructable and you &quot;did an Edison&quot; in your search for a solution to a common problem. Bravo!<br>
What are you using for this circuit, where is you diagram? Interesting instructable, but it could use a little more explanation. However, if you have included these things, they are so buried in words it's nearly impossible to find them. ie: clarification, please!
thetapeworks.com doesnt supply liquid tape anymore... <br>buytape.com does though, and its run by the same people <br> <br>btw, love this idea!!
Thanks.<br><br>I have made the correction.
no problem
How a bout conductive ink so you can draw and maybe even print circuits.
I am going to be using your glue for an upcoming project. Do you mind if I refer to this instructable?
Please do.<br><br>And let us know if you discover anything interesting.
Does anyone know if this could be used to create a gel battery?<br>
What about acetone as a thinner? Tourmaline can also conduct a charge but not sure if crushing it into a powder would work. Have to try myself. Thank you for this instructable so very much.
mikey77 -<br>Very well done. I'm sure you've played down a little bit, the many hours you have invested in this (it must have been a huge job doing trial &amp; error on all possible ingredients &amp; various ratios). That alone, makes you a true &quot;stand-up guy&quot; for posting this as an &quot;open source&quot; formula. Also, I imagine those Liquid Tape guys would have some issues if you tried to patten a formula made of 50% of their product :-) I just wanted to add my thanks as this is something that many of us will use often.<br><br>Are you familiar with Sugru? Lots of info on this site. I wonder what you might be able to create by incorporating it into your graphite formula? Maybe a custom sized &amp; shaped 3D switch, resistor, or volt reg / potentiometer disguised as some decorative part of a project? A more HD pressure sensor? I see a huge novelty market for fun car accessories such as the OEM-looking shift knob. You wire it so that it delivers a (safe but meaningful) &quot;zzaaapp&quot; every time your kid dives the family car like a race car? Electric side moulding for those inconsiderate people who lean against other people's cars as if they were beach chairs. Hmmm, I wonder if they'd even mix in a useful way. Hey great job and thanks for making it available to all.
would it be possible to use a paint brush to apply the glue? i need it to be applied thin, i am going to try and fix a touch screen with it.

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Bio: I believe that the purpose of life is to learn how to do our best and not give in to the weaker way.
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