Micromachines, Vol. 12, Pages 1185: Integrated Fabrication of Novel Inkjet-Printed Silver Nanoparticle Sensors on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon Composites
Micromachines doi: 10.3390/mi12101185
Nicola A. Morley
Patrick J. Smith
Inkjet-printing technology enables the contactless deposition of functional materials such as conductive inks on surfaces, hence reducing contamination and the risk of substrate damage. In printed electronics, inkjet technology offers the significant advantage of controlling the volume of material deposited, and therefore the fine-tuning of the printed geometry, which is crucial for the performance of the final printed electronics. Inkjet printing of functional inks can be used to produce sensors to detect failure of mechanical structures such as carbon fiber reinforced composite (CFRC) components, instead of using attached sensors, which are subject to delamination. Here, silver nanoparticle-based strain sensors were embedded directly in an insulated carbon-fiber laminate by using inkjet printing to achieve an optimized conductive and adhesive geometry, forming a piezoresistive strain sensor. Following the inkjet-printing optimization process, the sensor conductivity and adhesion performance were evaluated. Finally, the sensor was quantified by using a bending rig which applied a pre-determined strain, with the response indicating an accurate sensitivity as the resistance increased with an increased strain. The ability to embed the sensor directly on the CFRC prevents the use of interfacial adhesives which is the main source of failure due to delamination.
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