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Printable Low-Cost and Flexible Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper Strain Sensors

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Printable Low-Cost and Flexible Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper Strain Sensors


There is a need for cheap, flexible, and highly sensitive strain sensors that can detect micro strains prevalent in structural health monitoring, wearable technology, and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).  We also need scalable and low-cost methods to sense deformations in wind turbine blades, artillery, composite structures, other large structures. Wearable technology will reshape the way we approach rehabilitation, physical training, and many high-dexterity tasks by harvesting data about body motions.  We have developed low-profile and low-cost strain sensors from multi-walled carbon nanotube buckypaper (MWCNT-BP), which is a network of carbon nanotubes.  Carbon nanotubes are mostly known for their unmatched strength and excellent conductivity; however, their ability to provide sensory information is also attractive.  The CNT buckypaper sensors in this report are manufactured using simple desktop-inkjet-printing technology.  The resultant sensors are 77% more sensitive than similar designs and nearly 700% more sensitive than commercial products.  We display the sensors performance by integrating the sensors into a fabric glove for finger motion detection and gluing the sensors onto a carbon fiber composite structure for stress detection.


Author: Joshua DeGraff


Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017


SKU/Code: SE17--0734

Pages: 13

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