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Thermochromic materials change colour at certain temperatures . . .
Often, these are formulated inks, microencapsulated pigments or printed plastic films - even thermometers strips, made with Liquid Crystal instead mercury, which is the traditional alternative.

How do Thermochromic Materials work?
The aforementioned term 'micro encapsulated' comes into play here. It simply means the sensitive crystals or pigments are contained and protected inside microscopic spherical capsules, usually just 10 microns in diameter! These microcapsules are then combined with a suitable base to manufacture inks for applications like plastic injection moulding.

When subject to specific temperatures, the Liquid Crystals change position and appear to change colour. Liquid Crystal produces an amazing rainbow effect, displaying beautiful reds, blues and greens depending what temperature the surface is!
SFXC Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Screen Printing Ink
SFXC Thermochromic and Liquid Crystal products are manufactured as specific colours, which then turn translucent at their designated activation temperature. This effect is reversible, however we also stock irreversible pigment, which stays translucent once its activation temperature is reached.
Our Thermochromic products are available in a range of temperatures:
15°C/59°F | 25°C/77°C | 27°C/80.6°F | 31°C/87.8°F | 47°C/116.6°F

The 4 most common ways to activate Thermochromic materials are:
Chill and reveal (15°C)
Touch and reveal (27°C)
Rub and reveal (31°C)
Heat and reveal (47°C)

Liquid Crystal Ink changes colour within the visible spectrum when rubbed or touched. Typical temperature range from 25-30°C.

So in practice, at room temperature, Black 31°C Thermochromic Ink will appear black until its temperature has reached 31°C, after which it will turn transparent.
Black 31°C Thermochromic Screen Printing Ink
If Black Thermochromic ink is applied to a white surface, the surface will change from black to white at its chosen activation temperature. When the temperature falls, the surface will return to Black. The ink used in the animation below is our Thermochromic Ink for Paper and Board.
Touch and Reveal Thermochromic Ink Paper Application

For a brighter example, if Yellow Thermochromic ink is applied to a red surface, the surface would change from yellow to red.

We also stock Thermochromic coatings that change from one colour to another. The image below shows our fantastic Thermochromic Color Switch Ink Trial Pack.
These inks are also available to purchase individually.
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Thermochromic Colour Switch Ink Trial Pack


What Thermochromic materials do you want to try? If you've used Thermochromics before, what'
s your favourite? Ours is definitely Liquid Crystal!
Tag us on Instagram and show us your creations!

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