Yin Cheung Lau (John) received the MEng degree in Chemical Engineering from Swansea University in 2013. He as previously interned with Bayer MaterialScience and Haemair Ltd. He is currently pursuing the EngD degree in Materials Engineering at Swansea University and his current research interest is the fabrication of conductive patterns on flexible substrates
The current generation of heated windshields on the market, consist of thin filaments of tungsten wire used to provide resistive heating to provide a defrost functionality. However it is limited by the wiring technique which involves laying down crimped tungsten wires onto PVB, this limits the ability to modify the choice of pattern that one could use. The goal of this project is to improve the optics of heated windshields by utilizing printing technologies that enable the use of new materials and optimised patterns for the heating elements. Advantages include the flexibility to produce virtually any 2D patterns and the possibility of lower material cost. The technical challenge is to produce a product that meets all the legal requirements applicable to the automotive industry whilst meeting the performance requirement that is required by the sponsoring company.
In May 2014, I went up to Lathom to receive training from NSG for a week. Additionally I have attended the summer school and learnt more about printing, which was held by WCPC in Swansea University ; In terms of equipment training, I have been trained on the FIBRO DAT, K-Bar Coater, TGA, WLI, 4 point probe and thermal imaging camera, additionally I have been inducted to use the clean room in SPECIFIC. Finally I have completed 15 modules in SPECIFIC which is worth 95 credits in total.
I have produced some samples based on the new heated windshield pattern on the aerosol jet that NSG and I have evaluated and some prototypes from the same batch has been forwarded for testing on the nightingale system. This work has already been presented in APN as well as the EngD seminar. Currently the aerosol prototypes have proved to be satisfactory for us to move onto flexography. A set of prints have been done on flexography in January 2015 and the results were presented to NSG April 2015. An initial literature survey and it is handed in as my first year report and I have been doing some more reading more since then.
The current plan for the next steps is to investigate on accessing the integrity of prints, pressure sintering of inks, use of electrochemical techniques to improve conductivity of the printed tracks. Furthermore, printing techniques such as Lithography and Gravure Printing will also be looked into. Training on TGA-GCMS has now been scheduled to be done in July 2015.