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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 464; doi:10.3390/s18020464

Foil Strain Gauges Using Piezoresistive Carbon Nanotube Yarn: Fabrication and Calibration

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20064, USA
Institute of Technological Research, Bionanomanufacturing Group, Av. Prof. Almeida Prado, 532, São Paulo SP-05508-901, Brazil
Department of Mechatronics Engineering and Mechanical Systems, School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Mello Moraes, 2231, São Paulo SP-05508-900, Brazil
Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 158, São Paulo SP-05508-010, Brazil
Department of Physics, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 2077 East Paul Dirac Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring Using Carbon Nanotube Yarn-Based Sensors)
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Carbon nanotube yarns are micron-scale fibers comprised by tens of thousands of carbon nanotubes in their cross section and exhibiting piezoresistive characteristics that can be tapped to sense strain. This paper presents the details of novel foil strain gauge sensor configurations comprising carbon nanotube yarn as the piezoresistive sensing element. The foil strain gauge sensors are designed using the results of parametric studies that maximize the sensitivity of the sensors to mechanical loading. The fabrication details of the strain gauge sensors that exhibit the highest sensitivity, based on the modeling results, are described including the materials and procedures used in the first prototypes. Details of the calibration of the foil strain gauge sensors are also provided and discussed in the context of their electromechanical characterization when bonded to metallic specimens. This characterization included studying their response under monotonic and cyclic mechanical loading. It was shown that these foil strain gauge sensors comprising carbon nanotube yarn are sensitive enough to capture strain and can replicate the loading and unloading cycles. It was also observed that the loading rate affects their piezoresistive response and that the gauge factors were all above one order of magnitude higher than those of typical metallic foil strain gauges. Based on these calibration results on the initial sensor configurations, new foil strain gauge configurations will be designed and fabricated, to increase the strain gauge factors even more. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotube yarn; strain gauge; piezoresistive sensor; micro-fabrication; experimental characterization carbon nanotube yarn; strain gauge; piezoresistive sensor; micro-fabrication; experimental characterization

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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

Abot, J.L.; Góngora-Rubio, M.R.; Anike, J.C.; Kiyono, C.Y.; Mello, L.A.M.; Cardoso, V.F.; Rosa, R.L.S.; Kuebler, D.A.; Brodeur, G.E.; Alotaibi, A.H.; Coene, M.P.; Coene, L.M.; Jean, E.; Santiago, R.C.; Oliveira, F.H.A.; Rangel, R.; Thomas, G.P.; Belay, K.; da Silva, L.W.; Moura, R.T.; Seabra, A.C.; Silva, E.C.N. Foil Strain Gauges Using Piezoresistive Carbon Nanotube Yarn: Fabrication and Calibration. Sensors 2018, 18, 464.

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