Sensors 2008, 8(7), 4318-4329; doi:10.3390/s8074318
Article

Textile Pressure Sensor Made of Flexible Plastic Optical Fibers

1 Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Laboratory for Protection and Physiology, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland 2 Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2008; in revised form: 23 July 2008 / Accepted: 23 July 2008 / Published: 25 July 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Switzerland)
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Abstract: In this paper we report the successful development of pressure sensitive textile prototypes based on flexible optical fibers technology. Our approach is based on thermoplastic silicone fibers, which can be integrated into woven textiles. As soon as pressure at a certain area of the textile is applied to these fibers they change their cross section reversibly, due to their elastomeric character, and a simultaneous change in transmitted light intensity can be detected. We have successfully manufactured two different woven samples with fibers of 0.51 and 0.98 mm diameter in warp and weft direction, forming a pressure sensitive matrix. Determining their physical behavior when a force is applied shows that pressure measurements are feasible. Their usable working range is between 0 and 30 N. Small drifts in the range of 0.2 to 4.6%, over 25 load cycles, could be measured. Finally, a sensor array of 2 x 2 optical fibers was tested for sensitivity, spatial resolution and light coupling between fibers at intersections.
Keywords: thermoplastic silicone; weaving; sensor array; light coupling between fibers

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rothmaier, M.; Luong, M.P.; Clemens, F. Textile Pressure Sensor Made of Flexible Plastic Optical Fibers. Sensors 2008, 8, 4318-4329.

AMA Style

Rothmaier M, Luong MP, Clemens F. Textile Pressure Sensor Made of Flexible Plastic Optical Fibers. Sensors. 2008; 8(7):4318-4329.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rothmaier, Markus; Luong, Minh P.; Clemens, Frank. 2008. "Textile Pressure Sensor Made of Flexible Plastic Optical Fibers." Sensors 8, no. 7: 4318-4329.

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