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Open AccessArticle

Self-Sensing of Position-Related Loads in Continuous Carbon Fibers-Embedded 3D-Printed Polymer Structures Using Electrical Resistance Measurement

by Congcong Luan 1,2, Xinhua Yao 1,2,*, Hongyao Shen 1,2 and Jianzhong Fu 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, School of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
2
Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process and Equipment of Zhejiang Province, School of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040994
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Printed Sensors 2018)
Condition monitoring in polymer composites and structures based on continuous carbon fibers show overwhelming advantages over other potentially competitive sensing technologies in long-gauge measurements due to their great electromechanical behavior and excellent reinforcement property. Although carbon fibers have been developed as strain- or stress-sensing agents in composite structures through electrical resistance measurements, the electromechanical behavior under flexural loads in terms of different loading positions still lacks adequate research, which is the most common situation in practical applications. This study establishes the relationship between the fractional change in electrical resistance of carbon fibers and the external loads at different loading positions along the fibers’ longitudinal direction. An approach for real-time monitoring of flexural loads at different loading positions was presented simultaneously based on this relationship. The effectiveness and feasibility of the approach were verified by experiments on carbon fiber-embedded three-dimensional (3D) printed thermoplastic polymer beam. The error in using the provided approach to monitor the external loads at different loading positions was less than 1.28%. The study fully taps the potential of continuous carbon fibers as long-gauge sensory agents and reinforcement in the 3D-printed polymer structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fibers; self-sensing; electrical resistance; load; polymers; 3D printing carbon fibers; self-sensing; electrical resistance; load; polymers; 3D printing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Luan, C.; Yao, X.; Shen, H.; Fu, J. Self-Sensing of Position-Related Loads in Continuous Carbon Fibers-Embedded 3D-Printed Polymer Structures Using Electrical Resistance Measurement. Sensors 2018, 18, 994.

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