An investigative study on application of carbon nanotubes for strain sensing

M. R. Khodke – Mechanical Engineering Department, Vishwakarma Institute of Technology Pune–411037, Maharashtra, India; moreshwar.khodke@vit.edu
Satishchandra V. Joshi – Principal, Padmabhushan Vasantraodada Patil Institute of Technology, Budhgaon–416304, Sangli, Maharashtra, India; joshisv17@gmail.com

Traditional strain sensors, such as metal foil gauges, can measure the strains only on the structural surface in designated directions and locations. Hence, there is a need to develop new types of strain sensors which can function on both the micro- and macro-scale, either on the surface or embedded in the structure, and able to behave as multifunctional materials. Owing to its outstanding electrical and mechanical properties carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be used as strain sensing material. A film (Bucky paper/CNT network) made from multiwalled carbon nanotubes by use of solvent/surfactant and vacuum filtration method is used as strain sensor. The paper discusses the experimental work involving preparation of CNT film sensor specimen, its application on aluminum and brass strips along with conventional foil gauge and subjecting the metal strips to axial loading to measure gauge factor. It was found that CNT film strain sensor shows linear relationship between change in resistance and strain. Furthermore, the gauge factor increases as the film aspect ratio increases, and for the same aspect ratio, a higher gauge factor was observed for brass than aluminum.

Keywords: carbon nanotube, strain sensor, bucky paper, sensitivity, gauge factor.

PACS 61.48.De; 07.10.Pz; 73.50.Dn

DOI 10.17586/2220-8054-2016-7-4-755-758


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