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Polymers 2016, 8(4), 100; doi:10.3390/polym8040100

Synchronously Tailoring Strain Sensitivity and Electrical Stability of Silicone Elastomer Composites by the Synergistic Effect of a Dual Conductive Network

1
State Key Laboratory for Organic-Inorganic Composites, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
2
Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers, Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frank Wiesbrock
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
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Abstract

The use of conductive polymer composites (CPCs) as strain sensors has been widely investigated. A wide range of strain sensitivities and high repeatability are vital for different applications of CPCs. In this study, the relations of the conductive filler network and the strain-sensing behavior and electrical stability under fatigue cycles were studied systematically for the first time based on the conductive polymethylvinylsiloxane (PMVS) composites filled with both carbon nanotubes arrays (CNTAs) and carbon black (CB). It was proved that the composites could be fabricated with large strain-sensing capability and a wide range of strain sensitivities by controlling the volume ratio of CNTA/CB and their amounts. Additionally, the CNTA/CB/PMVS composite with 3 vol % content of fillers showed high sensitivity (GF is 10 at 60% strain), high repeatability (the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the max R/R0 value is 3.58%), and electrical stability under fatigue cycles (value range of R/R0 is 1.62 to 1.82) at the same time due to the synergistic effects of the dual conductive network of CNTAs and CB. This could not be achieved by relying on a single CNTA or CB conductive network. This study may provide guidance for the preparation of high performance CPCs for applications in strain sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: conductive polymer composites; tensile strain sensing; sensitivity; conductive filler network conductive polymer composites; tensile strain sensing; sensitivity; conductive filler network
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Ning, N.; Wang, S.; Zhang, L.; Lu, Y.; Tian, M.; Chan, T.W. Synchronously Tailoring Strain Sensitivity and Electrical Stability of Silicone Elastomer Composites by the Synergistic Effect of a Dual Conductive Network. Polymers 2016, 8, 100.

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