The choice of paper for building Cirquids
Working with the material paper offers the great possibility to take advantage of considering various kind of papers, that differ in their properties like thickness, fiber length or grammage. Also, the choice of paper will have an impact on how fast the conductive liquid (in my case salt water) will be spreading through the paper-trace.
While hygienic or toilet paper for example are designed to easily resolve when exposed to water, glossy paper for printing a photo for an Ink Jet printer requires another absorbency towards the applied color. As demonstrated in this gif, dropping water onto a coated paper and a blotting paper, the differing capability of absorbing the liquid is demonstrated.
By taking advantage of paper’s microstructure of pressed cellulose fibers it can be used to contain a conductive liquids as well as it can absorb hydrophobic materials to turn the paper’s fibers partially into hydrophobic barriers for the conductive liquid. In this SEM-Images of a recycled paper you can clearly see the paper’s microstructures and single peaces of wax melting together with the fibers.
Because I wanted a paper that absorbs a liquid rather fast, I focused on working with filtration paper in most of my projects. This kind of paper provides a high filtration speed per second and is specifically made out of cellulose fiber without adding any additives to it. It serves the purpose of efficiency absorbing liquids, without loosen up it’s fiber’s structure, like a hygienic paper would do.
Still ii is important to choose the suitable filtration paper type to produce the desired Cirquid. Aspects like the papers grammages, color or filtration speed will define and influence the outcome. Fortunately companies offer a data-sheet, where you can check the papers qualities. As this kind of paper classically comes in a round shape for laboratory purposes, I had to contact the producer and asked for paper samples with an A4 format. This way it was easier to feed the wax printer with the special paper.