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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Flexible Dielectric Sensor for Flow Monitoring of the Liquid Resin Infusion Process

1
Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
2
National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), Cambridge CB21 6AL, UK
3
TWI Ltd., Cambridge, CB21 6AL, UK
4
Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5292; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235292
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Materials)
The analysis and design of a novel flexible dielectric sensor, which can be integrated into a composite materials manufacturing process to measure the resin frontal flow, is presented in this paper. The proposed sensor consists of two parallel line electrodes and a ground plane covered by a dielectric material. The analytical description and the electrostatic modelling were considered for the design of the sensor and to enhance the understanding of the response of the sensor to the resin impregnation of a carbon fabric during the infusion phase. The optimization of the sensor’s response and the increase of its sensitivity with regards to the geometric characteristics and the materials used were the main objectives of this study. An experimental set-up for the vacuum infusion process which includes the proposed sensor was used to measure the capacitance and validate the derived resin flow against visual measurements. The results indicate that the sensor can provide information on the resin frontal flow within 2% accuracy against visual measurements, which make this technology promising for monitoring the liquid resin infusion processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric sensors; flexible materials; composite materials; resin flow; partial differential equations; electrostatics dielectric sensors; flexible materials; composite materials; resin flow; partial differential equations; electrostatics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pouchias, A.; Cunningham, P.R.; Stein, J.; Kazilas, M. Development of a Flexible Dielectric Sensor for Flow Monitoring of the Liquid Resin Infusion Process. Sensors 2019, 19, 5292.

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