Development of Nanoparticle Membrane Enhanced Nanocomposites with Sensing Function
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Damage and load sensing is rapidly advancing as driven by vast applications in aerospace and mechanical structures. However, most previous research focused on the improvement of material properties for sensing applications. Limited work balanced the sensor design and material innovation for real-time strain sensing. In this paper nanocomposite membranes are proposed for the strain sensing. The micro-scale morphology and structures are first experimentally characterized. Both the fabrication process for BuckyPapers and nanocomposites are investigated to obtain the optimal sensing capabilities. The sensing function is achieved by correlating the piezo-resistance variations to the strain applied on the sensing area. Due to the conductive network formed and the tunneling resistance change in neighboring nanoparticles, the electrical resistance changes will show a clear correlation with the load conditions. The sensitivity of the composite sensor can reach around 0.9, while the optimal strain range for practical applications is between 0.1 - 0.31%. In this range, composites show elastic deformation while the electrical resistance possess closely linear response to the strain applied. The characterized membrane structures have the potential to be further applied to continuously monitor impact loads, especially focusing on low velocity barely visible damage in composites.
- OU - Theses