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Open AccessArticle

Stretchable, Highly Durable Ternary Nanocomposite Strain Sensor for Structural Health Monitoring of Flexible Aircraft

by Feng Yin 1,2, Dong Ye 1,2, Chen Zhu 1,2, Lei Qiu 3 and YongAn Huang 1,2,*
1
State Key Lab of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, School of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Flexible Electronics Research Center, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
3
Research Center of Structural Health Monitoring and Prognosis, State Key Lab of Mechanics and Control of Mechanical Structures, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2677; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112677
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technologies for Health Monitoring of Composite Structures)
Harmonious developments of electrical and mechanical performances are crucial for stretchable sensors in structural health monitoring (SHM) of flexible aircraft such as aerostats and morphing aircrafts. In this study, we prepared a highly durable ternary conductive nanocomposite made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), carbon black (CB) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to fabricate stretchable strain sensors. The nanocomposite has excellent electrical and mechanical properties by intensively optimizing the weight percentage of conducting fillers as well as the ratio of PDMS pre-polymer and curing agent. It was found that the nanocomposite with homogeneous hybrid filler of 1.75 wt % CB and 3 wt % MWCNTs exhibits a highly strain sensitive characteristics of good linearity, high gauge factor (GF ~ 12.25) and excellent durability over 105 stretching-releasing cycles under a tensile strain up to 25% when the PDMS was prepared at the ratio of 12.5:1. A strain measurement of crack detection for the aerostats surface was also employed, demonstrating a great potential of such ternary nanocomposite used as stretchable strain sensor in SHM. View Full-Text
Keywords: strain sensor; conductive nanocomposite; structural health monitoring; aerostat strain sensor; conductive nanocomposite; structural health monitoring; aerostat
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Yin, F.; Ye, D.; Zhu, C.; Qiu, L.; Huang, Y. Stretchable, Highly Durable Ternary Nanocomposite Strain Sensor for Structural Health Monitoring of Flexible Aircraft. Sensors 2017, 17, 2677.

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