Ascorbic / Ascorbic+ differences

Discussion in 'Community Support' started by Dave Hylands, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. So what is the difference between Ascorbic and Asorbic+?

    When should you use one versus the other?

    When you rinse the board after printing, what are you really doing?

    The store page suggests ascorbic+ be used with FR4 and mentions "sintering". What exactly does this mean? I'm guessing it's a heating process of some kind, but it would be nice to be explicit. This probably belongs on the "Optional Post Processing" page...
  2. Ariel

    Ariel Staff Member

    Yeah, we'll need to update the wiki with this information, but quickly:

    Use ascorbic+ on FR4 and kapton (non-porous substrates) and ascorbic on everything else.

    Rinsing for both of them gets rid of the by product of the reaction (weak nitric acid) which would negatively affect the circuit's ability to solder, as it is water soluble.

    Rinsing has an added effect when using ascorbic+ as the additional chemicals in the ink prevents the silver from forming large balls, and keeps the particle size very very small. The size is so small that were it to be left on its own at room temperature, it would begin to sinter together spontaneously. The reason it doesn't do this is because the additive is still present after being printed. This additive is also water soluble, and when washed out under a tap the silver can begin to sinter itself, dramatically increasing its conductivity (we see 100x increases regularly). The room temperature sintering should be visible as a change in colour of the traces from dark grey to lighter grey.

    The optional post processing of this type of print (any print onto a substrate that can withstand prolonged high temperate) is to blast it with a hot air gun (~300 degrees C works for me) to get it to further sinter, again lowering the resistance. The nice thing about this process is it's exceptionally easy to tell when it's happening as the traces will change from light grey to near white.
  3. Ive noticed that both my ascorbic+ cartridges cause puddles in my printer. Even when I'm not firing the nozzles and move the carriage around it seems like whenever I hit an end stop or make a sudden movement with the printer, liquid leaks out of the ascorbic side. I had to clean my carriage out with q-tips after this. Putting back in the regular ascorbic cartridge stops this leaking. Am I missing something with the Ascorbic+ cartridges?
  4. Johns

    Johns Staff Member

    I think I know the reason for the puddles. We fill the ascorbic and ascorbic+ completely full. Some of our ink cartridges have plastic sides and I've noticed that if you squeeze the cartridge too hard liquid can come out the nozzles. I would try the following:

    With a paper towel under the nozzles try squeezing the size of the cartridge. Some liquid will probably come out, dry it with the paper towel. Wait a few seconds and try again. This will get the extra liquid out of the cartridge and mean that when the carrier squeezes on the cartridge no liquid comes out.

    Let me know how this goes!

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