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Strain self-sensing tailoring in functionalised carbon nanotubes/epoxy nanocomposites in response to electrical resistance change measurement

An, D., Nourry, J., Gharavian, S. , Thakur, V. K., Aria, I., Cardenas, I., Khaleque, T. & Yazdani Nezhad, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-0832-3579 (2020). Strain self-sensing tailoring in functionalised carbon nanotubes/epoxy nanocomposites in response to electrical resistance change measurement. In: TESConf 2020 - 9th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Services. 9th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Service, 3-4 Nov 2020, Cranfield, UK. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3718026


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are inherently multifunctional, conductive and possess piezo-resistive characteristics. Aiming at the multi-functionality of materials, nanocomposites made of epoxy resin with embedded CNTs are a promising solution for strain self-sensing applications. A critical parameter to achieve repeatable and reliable measure is the CNTs dispersion state in the resin. This study investigated the effect of CNTs concentration (0.01 wt% and 0.1 wt%), with different loading of surfactant Triton X-100, (0.0%, 0.2%, 0.5% and 1.0%) on strain sensing in terms of sensitivity and linearity based on electrical resistance data. The CNTs were synthesised directly using an injection floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition (ICCVD) process and their quality was characterised by Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Only the epoxy modfied with 0.1 wt% CNTs exhibited sufficient piezo-resistivity for the resistance measurements, and those with 0.01 wt% CNTs did not show sufficiently measurable conductivity so were excluded in our study, since their CNTs were highly entangled, and conductive network failed to be established. It was observed that, with 0.1 wt% CNTs, adding 0.5% content of the surfactant improved gauge factor. With more content of the surfactant (1.0 %), surprisingly, we observed a drop of gauge factor by the order of two. Therefore, by comparing the conductivity change between 1.0% and 0.5% surfactant, we postulated that the relatively high content surfactant has reached critical micelle concentration, and negatively affects CNTs dispersion state. The research presented in this article shows that moderate content of surfactant could improve piezoresistivity gauge factor while excessive surfactant could cause adverse effect.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Publisher Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, nanocomposites, piezo-resistivity, self-sensing, in-situ strain measurement, surfactant
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
[thumbnail of (Paper ID 40) Strain self sensing tailoring in functionalised carbon  nanotubes epoxy nanocompoites in response to electrical resistance change measurement.pdf]
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