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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1521; doi:10.3390/s16091521

Mechanical Enhancement of Sensitivity in Natural Rubber Using Electrolytic Polymerization Aided by a Magnetic Field and MCF for Application in Haptic Sensors

1
Faculty of Symbiotic Systems Sciences, Fukushima University, 1 Kanayagawa, Fukushima 960-1296, Japan
2
Department of Human System Interaction, Kansai Gakuin University, 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1337, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dan Zhang
Received: 2 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 18 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Sensors are essential to the fulfillment of every condition of haptic technology, and they need simultaneously to sense shear stress as well as normal force, and temperature. They also must have a strong and simple structure, softness, and large extension. To achieve these conditions simultaneously, we enhanced the sensitivity of sensors utilizing natural rubber (NR)-latex through the application of electrolytic polymerization focused on the isoprene C=C bonds in natural rubbers such as NR-latex, and then applied a magnetic field and magnetic compound fluid (MCF) as magnetically responsive fluid. When an electric field alone was used in the rubber, the effect of electrolytic polymerization was very small compared to the effect in well-known conductive polymer solution such as plastic. The MCF developed by Shimada in 2001 involved magnetite and metal particles, and acts as a filler in NR-latex. By utilizing the magnetic, electric fields and the MCF, we aligned the electrolytically polymerized C=C along the magnetic field line with the magnetic clusters formed by the aggregation of magnetite and metal particles so as to enhance the effect of electrolytic polymerization. We then demonstrated the effectiveness of the new method of rubber vulcanization on the sensitivity of the rubber by experimentally investigating its electric and dynamic characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensor; electrolytic polymerization; magnetic field; magnetic cluster; natural rubber; magnetic compound fluid (MCF); magnetic fluid; isoprene; filler; electrical resistivity sensor; electrolytic polymerization; magnetic field; magnetic cluster; natural rubber; magnetic compound fluid (MCF); magnetic fluid; isoprene; filler; electrical resistivity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shimada, K.; Saga, N. Mechanical Enhancement of Sensitivity in Natural Rubber Using Electrolytic Polymerization Aided by a Magnetic Field and MCF for Application in Haptic Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 1521.

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