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Proceedings Paper

Carbon nanotube yarn sensors for structural health monitoring of composites
Author(s): Haibo Zhao; Fuh-Gwo Yuan
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Paper Abstract

With increasing application of composite materials, real time monitoring of composite structures becomes vital for maintenance purpose as well as prevention of catastrophic failure. It has been reported that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have excellent piezoresistive properties, which may enable a new generation of sensors in nano or micro scales. We report here a novel prototype of carbon nanotube yarn sensors with excellent repeatability and stability for in-situ structural health monitoring. The CNT yarn is spun directly from CNT arrays, and its electrical resistance increases linearly with tensile strain, which makes it an ideal strain sensor. Importantly, it shows repeatable piezoresistive behavior under repetitive straining and unloading. Yarn sensors show stable resistances at temperatures ranging from -196° to 110°. Neat yarn sensors are also embedded into resin to monitor the loading conditions of the composites. With multiple yarn sensor elements aligned in the composite, the crack initiation and propagation could be monitored. Yarn sensors could be easily incorporated into composite structures with minimal invasiveness and weight penalty to enable the structure has self-sensing capabilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7983, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2011, 79830P (18 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880938
Show Author Affiliations
Haibo Zhao, North Carolina State Univ. (United States)
Fuh-Gwo Yuan, North Carolina State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7983:
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2011
H. Felix Wu, Editor(s)

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