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Characterization of Distributed Microfabricated Strain Gauges on Stretchable Sensor Networks for Structural Applications

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Building 530, 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Durand Building, 496 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3260; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103260
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 22 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

Smart structures mimic biological systems by using thousands of sensors serving as a nervous system analog. One approach to give structures this sensing ability is to develop a multifunctional sensor network. Previous work has demonstrated stretchable sensor networks consisting of temperature sensors and impact detectors for monitoring external environments and interacting with other objects. The objective of this work is to develop distributed, robust and reliable strain gauges for obtaining the strain distribution of a designated region on the target structure. Here, we report a stretchable network that has 27 rosette strain gauges, 6 resistive temperature devices and 8 piezoelectric transducers symmetrically distributed over an area of 150 × 150 mm to map and quantify multiple physical stimuli with a spatial resolution of 2.5 × 2.5 mm. We performed computational modeling of the network stretching process to improve measurement accuracy and conducted experimental characterizations of the microfabricated strain gauges to verify their gauge factor and temperature coefficient. Collectively, the results represent a robust and reliable sensing system that is able to generate a distributed strain profile of a common structure. The reported strain gauge network may find a wide range of applications in morphing wings, smart buildings, autonomous cars and intelligent robots. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural health monitoring; strain gauge; sensor network; distributed strain measurement; smart structure structural health monitoring; strain gauge; sensor network; distributed strain measurement; smart structure
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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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Chen, X.; Topac, T.; Smith, W.; Ladpli, P.; Liu, C.; Chang, F.-K. Characterization of Distributed Microfabricated Strain Gauges on Stretchable Sensor Networks for Structural Applications. Sensors 2018, 18, 3260.

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