Special Issue "Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. María Sánchez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Materials Science and Engineering Area, C/Tulipan s/n Mostoles 28933, Madrid, Spain
Interests: multifunctional composites; structural health monitoring; strain sensor; damage monitoring; graphene nanoplatelets; carbon nanotubes
Prof. Alejandro Ureña
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Materials Science and Engineering Area, C/Tulipan s/n Mostoles 28933, Madrid, Spain
Interests: Manufacturing and behavior characterization (mechanical, electric and thermal) of multifunctional composite materials (carbon fiber, thermosetting resins) by the incorporation of nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoparticles)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, the development of structural health monitoring systems has attracted the interest of industry. Strain sensors based on carbon nanoparticles, such as carbon nanotubes, are increasingly being thought of as a realistic alternative to conventional sensors based on metallic and semiconducting materials, largely due to their superior electrical properties. The addition of carbon fillers to polymer matrices allows the formation of an electrical network that gives the material a high piezoresistivity.

These doped polymer matrices can be manufactured in different forms, such as flexible sensors that can be attached on a substrate, conductive adhesives that can detect crack propagation along bonded joints, etc. Another possibility is to use these matrices in fiber-reinforced polymers for the detection of failure. In this case, the incorporation of carbon nanofiller could also be used in the creation of a coating on traditional fiber fabrics for strain/damage monitoring of the composite material.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will attempt to cover the recent advances in carbon nanoparticles for strain and damage sensor applications, including the analysis of electrical conductivity and piezoresistivity of carbon nanoparticles/polymer nanocomposites, the relationship between them, the tunneling effect, sensitivity to different load modes, theoretical and numerical studies, etc.

Dr. María Sánchez
Prof. Alejandro Ureña
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • carbon nanoparticles
  • functional composites
  • strain sensor
  • damage detection
  • structural health monitoring
  • electrical properties

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Development of Highly Sensitive Strain Sensor Using Area-Arrayed Graphene Nanoribbons
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(7), 1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11071701 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
In this study, a basic design of area-arrayed graphene nanoribbon (GNR) strain sensors was proposed to realize the next generation of strain sensors. To fabricate the area-arrayed GNRs, a top-down approach was employed, in which GNRs were cut out from a large graphene [...] Read more.
In this study, a basic design of area-arrayed graphene nanoribbon (GNR) strain sensors was proposed to realize the next generation of strain sensors. To fabricate the area-arrayed GNRs, a top-down approach was employed, in which GNRs were cut out from a large graphene sheet using an electron beam lithography technique. GNRs with widths of 400 nm, 300 nm, 200 nm, and 50 nm were fabricated, and their current-voltage characteristics were evaluated. The current values of GNRs with widths of 200 nm and above increased linearly with increasing applied voltage, indicating that these GNRs were metallic conductors and a good ohmic junction was formed between graphene and the electrode. There were two types of GNRs with a width of 50 nm, one with a linear current–voltage relationship and the other with a nonlinear one. We evaluated the strain sensitivity of the 50 nm GNR exhibiting metallic conduction by applying a four-point bending test, and found that the gauge factor of this GNR was about 50. Thus, GNRs with a width of about 50 nm can be used to realize a highly sensitive strain sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Mechanical and Crack-Sensing Capabilities of Mode-I Joints with Carbon-Nanotube-Reinforced Adhesive Films under Hydrothermal Aging Conditions
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2290; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112290 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
The fracture behavior and crack sensing of mode-I joints with carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced adhesive films were explored in this paper under hydrothermal aging conditions. The measured fracture energy of CNT-reinforced joints in grit blasting conditions is higher for non-aged samples than for neat [...] Read more.
The fracture behavior and crack sensing of mode-I joints with carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced adhesive films were explored in this paper under hydrothermal aging conditions. The measured fracture energy of CNT-reinforced joints in grit blasting conditions is higher for non-aged samples than for neat adhesive joints (around 20%) due to the nanofiller toughening and crack bridging effects. However, in the case of brushed surface-treated adherents, a drastic decrease is observed with the addition of CNTs (around 70%) due to the enhanced tribological properties of the nanofillers. Hydrothermal aging has a greater effect in the CNT-reinforced samples, showing a more prevalent plasticization effect, which is confirmed by the R-curves of the specimens. The effects of surface treatment on the crack propagation properties was observed by electrical resistance monitoring, where brushed samples showed a more unstable electrical response, explained by more unstable crack propagation and reflected by sharp increases of the electrical resistance. Aged specimens showed a very uniform increase of electrical resistance due to slower crack propagation, as induced by the plasticization effect of water. Therefore, the proposed adhesive shows a high applicability for crack detection and propagation without decreasing the mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Sensing Performance and Mechanical Properties of Buckypaper Impregnated with Epoxy Resin
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112258 - 14 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
Buckypaper consisting of a carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet has a great potential for sensing and structural applications due to the exceptional piezoresistive and mechanical properties of CNTs. In this work, buckypaper was impregnated with the epoxy resin to improve the fragility and handling [...] Read more.
Buckypaper consisting of a carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet has a great potential for sensing and structural applications due to the exceptional piezoresistive and mechanical properties of CNTs. In this work, buckypaper was impregnated with the epoxy resin to improve the fragility and handling capability. The mechanical properties of the buckypaper/epoxy composite were determined by the tensile and nanoindentation tests. A thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) was used to evaluate the thermal stability. Strain and temperature sensing performances of the buckypaper/epoxy composite based on the piezoresistive effect were investigated using a meter source. Experimental results indicated that the elastic modulus and ultimate strength of the buckypaper/epoxy composite were increased by 82% and 194%, respectively, in comparison with the pristine buckypaper, while the strain and temperature sensitivities were decreased by 33% and 0.2%, respectively. A significant increase of the tensile strength accompanied with a moderate decrease of the strain sensitivity demonstrates that the overall performance of buckypaper/epoxy composite is better than that of pristine buckypaper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Hierarchical Composites with Electrophoretically Deposited Carbon Nanotubes for In Situ Sensing of Deformation and Damage
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071262 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
As composites are used increasingly in structural components, novel techniques for detecting micro-scale damage are required. Their nanoscale size and high aspect ratio allow carbon nanotubes to create electrically conductive pathways that enable sensing. In this work, carbon nanotubes are deposited onto glass [...] Read more.
As composites are used increasingly in structural components, novel techniques for detecting micro-scale damage are required. Their nanoscale size and high aspect ratio allow carbon nanotubes to create electrically conductive pathways that enable sensing. In this work, carbon nanotubes are deposited onto glass fabric using electrophoretic deposition to create hierarchical composites. Polyethylenimine functionalized carbon nanotubes are deposited from an aqueous dispersion using an electric field. Symmetric cross-ply composites are investigated as a model system to demonstrate the ability to detect incipient damage and transverse microcracks. The specimens are subjected to tensile loading, and a resistance increase is observed because of two key mechanisms—A reversible change in nanotube-nanotube tunneling gaps due to elastic straining of the network and a permanent severing of paths in the conducting network due to formation of transverse cracks in the 90° plies. By analyzing the electrical response, the damage state can be identified. Acoustic emission sensors are used to validate the results. The strength and Young’s modulus of the composites with integrated carbon nanotubes are similar to the control specimens. Crack density measurements using edge replication reveal that transverse cracking can be suppressed, demonstrating multi-functionality with improved damage tolerance and integrated sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Polypropylene/Carbon Nanotubes (PP/CNTs) Nanocomposites as Potential Strain Gauges for Structural Health Monitoring
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040814 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Polypropylene/carbon nanotubes (PP/CNTs) nanocomposites with different CNTs concentrations (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 wt%) were prepared and tested as strain gauges for structures monitoring. Such sensors were embedded in cementitious mortar prisms and tested in 3-point bending mode recording impedance variation [...] Read more.
Polypropylene/carbon nanotubes (PP/CNTs) nanocomposites with different CNTs concentrations (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 wt%) were prepared and tested as strain gauges for structures monitoring. Such sensors were embedded in cementitious mortar prisms and tested in 3-point bending mode recording impedance variation at increasing load. First, thermal (differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA)), mechanical (tensile tests) and morphological (FE-SEM) properties of nanocomposites blends were assessed. Then, strain-sensing tests were carried out on PP/CNTs strips embedded in cementitious mortars. PP/CNTs nanocomposites blends with CNTs content of 1, 2 and 3 wt% did not show significant results because these concentrations are below the electrical percolation threshold (EPT). On the contrary, PP/CNTs nanocomposites with 5 and 7 wt% of CNTs showed interesting sensing properties. In particular, the best result was highlighted for the PP/CNT nanocomposite with 5 wt% CNTs for which an average gauge factor (GF) of approx. 1400 was measured. Moreover, load-unload cycles reported a good recovery of the initial impedance. Finally, a comparison with some literature results, in terms of GF, was done demonstrating the benefits deriving from the use of PP/CNTs strips as strain-gauges instead of using conductive fillers in the bulk matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Damage Monitoring of Structural Resins Loaded with Carbon Fillers: Experimental and Theoretical Study
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030434 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
In the present study, nanocomposite materials for structural applications with self-sensing properties are proposed. In particular, suitable processing of epoxy resins filled with carbon nanotubes and expanded graphite characterized by very different aspect ratio leads to nanocomposite systems with high glass transition temperatures [...] Read more.
In the present study, nanocomposite materials for structural applications with self-sensing properties are proposed. In particular, suitable processing of epoxy resins filled with carbon nanotubes and expanded graphite characterized by very different aspect ratio leads to nanocomposite systems with high glass transition temperatures and remarkable values of the gauge factor. In particular, this notable property ranges between four, for composites filled with one-dimensional nanofiller, and 39 for composites with two-dimensional (2D) graphite derivatives. The greater sensitivity of the 2D system against permanent deformations is interpreted on the basis of an empirical mathematical model and morphological descriptions. The larger inter-contact area among the graphite layers determines a larger contact resistance change than that occurring among carbon nanotubes. The proposed systems turn out to be very advantageous in strain-sensor applications where damage detection is a key requirement to guarantee the reliability of the structures and the safety of the end-users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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Article
Rapid Microwave Polymerization of Porous Nanocomposites with Piezoresistive Sensing Function
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020233 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
In this paper, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) nanocomposites with piezoresistive sensing function were fabricated using microwave irradiation. The effects of precuring time on the mechanical and electrical properties of nanocomposites were investigated. The increased viscosity and possible nanofiller re-agglomeration during [...] Read more.
In this paper, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) nanocomposites with piezoresistive sensing function were fabricated using microwave irradiation. The effects of precuring time on the mechanical and electrical properties of nanocomposites were investigated. The increased viscosity and possible nanofiller re-agglomeration during the precuring process caused decreased microwave absorption, resulting in extended curing times, and decreased porosity and electrical conductivity in the cured nanocomposites. The porosity generated during the microwave-curing process was investigated with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and density measurements. Increased loadings of MWCNTs resulted in shortened curing times and an increased number of small well-dispersed closed-cell pores. The mechanical properties of the synthesized nanocomposites including stress–strain behaviors and Young’s Modulus were examined. Experimental results demonstrated that the synthesized nanocomposites with 2.5 wt. % MWCNTs achieved the highest piezoresistive sensitivity with an average gauge factor of 7.9 at 10% applied strain. The piezoresistive responses of these nanocomposites were characterized under compressive loads at various maximum strains, loading rates, and under viscoelastic stress relaxation conditions. The 2.5 wt. % nanocomposite was successfully used in an application as a skin-attachable compression sensor for human motion detection including squeezing a golf ball. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanoparticles for Strain Sensing and Damage Monitoring)
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