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Proceedings Paper

Challenges and the state of the technology for printed sensor arrays for structural monitoring
Author(s): Shiv Joshi; Scott Bland; Robert DeMott; Nickolas Anderson; Gregory Jursich
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Paper Abstract

Printed sensor arrays are attractive for reliable, low-cost, and large-area mapping of structural systems. These sensor arrays can be printed on flexible substrates or directly on monitored structural parts. This technology is sought for continuous or on-demand real-time diagnosis and prognosis of complex structural components. In the past decade, many innovative technologies and functional materials have been explored to develop printed electronics and sensors. For example, an all-printed strain sensor array is a recent example of a low-cost, flexible and light-weight system that provides a reliable method for monitoring the state of aircraft structural parts. Among all-printing techniques, screen and inkjet printing methods are well suited for smaller-scale prototyping and have drawn much interest due to maturity of printing procedures and availability of compatible inks and substrates. Screen printing relies on a mask (screen) to transfer a pattern onto a substrate. Screen printing is widely used because of the high printing speed, large selection of ink/substrate materials, and capability of making complex multilayer devices. The complexity of collecting signals from a large number of sensors over a large area necessitates signal multiplexing electronics that need to be printed on flexible substrate or structure. As a result, these components are subjected to same deformation, temperature and other parameters for which sensor arrays are designed. The characteristics of these electronic components, such as transistors, are affected by deformation and other environmental parameters which can lead to erroneous sensed parameters. The manufacturing and functional challenges of the technology of printed sensor array systems for structural state monitoring are the focus of this presentation. Specific examples of strain sensor arrays will be presented to highlight the technical challenges.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10166, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2017, 101660H (4 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2263922
Show Author Affiliations
Shiv Joshi, NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. (United States)
Scott Bland, NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. (United States)
Robert DeMott, NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. (United States)
Nickolas Anderson, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago (United States)
Gregory Jursich, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10166:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2017
Dan J. Clingman, Editor(s)

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