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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12387-12398; doi:10.3390/s140712387

Embedded Strain Gauges for Condition Monitoring of Silicone Gaskets

Institute for Microsensors, Actuators and Systems (IMSAS), University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee NW1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 June 2014 / Published: 10 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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A miniaturized strain gauge with a thickness of 5 µm is molded into a silicone O-ring. This is a first step toward embedding sensors in gaskets for structural health monitoring. The signal of the integrated sensor exhibits a linear correlation with the contact pressure of the O-ring. This affords the opportunity to monitor the gasket condition during installation. Thus, damages caused by faulty assembly can be detected instantly, and early failures, with their associated consequences, can be prevented. Through the embedded strain gauge, the contact pressure applied to the gasket can be directly measured. Excessive pressure and incorrect positioning of the gasket can cause structural damage to the material of the gasket, which can lead to an early outage. A platinum strain gauge is fabricated on a thin polyimide layer and is contacted through gold connections. The measured resistance pressure response exhibits hysteresis for the first few strain cycles, followed by a linear behavior. The short-term impact of the embedded sensor on the stability of the gasket is investigated. Pull-tests with O-rings and test specimens have indicated that the integration of the miniaturized sensors has no negative impact on the stability in the short term. View Full-Text
Keywords: strain gauge foil; smart gasket; embedded sensor; structural health monitoring; silicone O-rings; miniaturized sensor strain gauge foil; smart gasket; embedded sensor; structural health monitoring; silicone O-rings; miniaturized sensor

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Schotzko, T.; Lang, W. Embedded Strain Gauges for Condition Monitoring of Silicone Gaskets. Sensors 2014, 14, 12387-12398.

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