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Proceedings Paper

Polypyrrole coated rubber as flexible strain sensor for large strain measurement
Author(s): Arief P. Tjahyono; Kean C. Aw; Jadranka Travas-Sejdic
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Paper Abstract

A novel flexible strain sensor was developed using a conducting polymer coated on rubber for large strain measurements. A coating of the conducting polymer, polypyrrole, was deposited on a strip of natural rubber through the process of vapour phase polymerisation while the rubber is in a stretched state. This process involves depositing a layer of oxidant on the rubber surface, followed by exposure to pyrrole monomer vapours that polymerize on the oxidantcoated rubber to produce polypyrrole. The change in electrical resistance of the strain sensor was recorded while cyclic strain from 0% to 20% was exerted on it. The gauge factor of the strain sensor was calculated to be 1.86. From repeated electrical resistance-strain measurements, the repeatability of the strain sensor was studied. A hysteresis was observed in a single extensionretraction strain cycle. Further study showed that the observed hysteresis is dependent on the strain rate where lower strain rate resulted in higher hysteresis and vice versa for a higher strain rate. There is also an electrical resistance drift between consecutive extension-retraction cycles. Owing to the flexibility of the rubber, the strain sensor can be used in complex configurations. The strain sensor can also be mounted or attached directly on surfaces to provide low-profile installation where space constraint is an issue. These characteristics offer advantages over traditional strain sensors to be used in applications that were not previously possible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 April 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8409, Third International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 84090K (2 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.921433
Show Author Affiliations
Arief P. Tjahyono, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Kean C. Aw, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (New Zealand)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8409:
Third International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering
Jinsong Leng; Yoseph Bar-Cohen; In Lee; Jian Lu, Editor(s)

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