The world’s biggest trade fair for the printing industry, DRUPA; International Trade Fair for prepress, premedia, printing, book binding, print finishing and paper converting, is being held May 3 – 16th, 2012 in Düsseldorf, Germany. This year’s presentations include one about paper loudspeakers (from the May 2, 2012 news item on Nanowerk),
At drupa print media fair, … , the Institute for Print and Media Technology of Chemnitz University of Technology (pmTUC) presents new research results, which truly make you prick up your ears: Loudspeakers that have been printed with flexography on standard paper. The R&D group of Prof. Dr. Arved Hübler, head of pmTUC, is co-exhibitor of press manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher KG (Lengerich) …
I’m always curious as to just how practical these things might be and, oddly, they don’t offer an audio file or video file demonstrating the loudspeaker’s effectiveness although there is this video about pmTUC’s participation in DRUPA 2012,
Here’s what they have to say about the paper loudspeakers (from the news item),
The printed paper loudspeaker is connected to an audio amplifier like a conventional loudspeaker. “Frequency response and hence sound quality are very good and the paper is surprisingly loud. Just the bass of the paper-based loudspeaker is a bit weak”, explains Dr. Georg Schmidt, senior researcher at pmTUC. The thin loudspeakers, which are printed in the laboratories of pmTUC, contain several layers of a conductive organic polymer and a piezoactive layer. According to project assistant Maxi Bellmann the loudspeakers are astonishingly robust and can be produced in a very cheap way as mass printing methods are used. The bottom side of the paper loudspeaker provides unused space on which coloured messages can be printed.
Prof. Hübler expects a broad range of new applications: The paper loudspeakers could, for instance, be integrated into common print products. As such, they offer an enormous potential for the advertising segment. “In addition, sound wallpapers and purely technical applications, e.g., distance sensors, are possible, because the papers are also active in the ultrasound range”, says Hübler and adds: “As printing allows for different formats and forms, there is the possibility to influence the generated sound waves.”
As I understand it, Hübler is predicting that the graphic arts/printing industry is going to change from adding ink to paper to something entirely different, printed electronics. There’s more about that in the May 2, 2012 news item.
This reminded me that in 2008, Xerox announced a major investment in Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT). Details were pretty fuzzy (from the Xerox June [?] 2008 press release),
In Canada’s first major public-private nanotechnology research partnership, the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC), NRC National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and Government of Alberta will provide approximately $4.5 million for research and development of materials-based nanotechnology over the next three years.
The three partners will invest funds, human resources, and available infrastructures to create a research program and teams focused on developing commercially successful nanotechnology-based discoveries. Personnel from NINT and XRCC will collaborate on research projects at NINT in Edmonton, Alberta, and at XRCC in Mississauga, Ontario.
The funds will contribute to the hiring of eight to 10 scientists who will investigate materials-based nanotechnologies, including document- and display-related technologies. The research program, co-managed by XRCC and NINT, will allow access to Xerox’s experience in successfully commercializing technology to facilitate the market application of resulting inventions.
“This level of public and private sector partnership helps fuel the type of innovation that will keep Alberta, and Canada as a whole, strong and competitive in an increasingly global, knowledge-based economy,” said Doug Horner, minister for Advanced Education and Technology, Government of Alberta. “The investments from the Government of Alberta, Xerox and NINT will build a world-class nanotechnology research program that embraces the spirit of innovation, but also that of commercialization.”
XRCC was established in 1974 to develop the materials used by Xerox Corp. globally, and began nanotechnology-enabled research efforts several years ago. It has already developed successfully commercial materials, including ‘EA Toner’, a unique technology for making more cost-effective and environmentally efficient toner for printers. XRCC will now be able to expand its nanotechnology efforts.
While a toner is mentioned, it’s not clear what inventions and materials they are trying to create either in the Xerox press release or Canada’s National Research Council (NINT is an NRC institute) June 8, 2018 news release. In any event, I cannot find any other announcements about this Xexox/NINT research project, which has now ended.