Title : Investigation of effect of alignment of metal-encapsulated carbon nanotubes in flexible polymer nanocomposite strain sensor
In the automation world, continuous monitoring of health of the structure in a non-destructive way is a critical task to achieve. Flaws like corrosion, micro/ macro cracks, ageing and heavy loading in industrial tools may cause failure of machines and safety issues. Industrial machines are consisted of complex geometries which includes various moving mechanical modules. For operation of strain sensor in such environments, polymer nanocomposite-based strain sensor is one of the ideal solutions due to its flexibility, waterproof, robustness, facile way of manufacturing and cost effective. However in the polymer nanocomposite, achievement of uniform formation of conducting network, which transfer electron from one end to other, is a challenging task. In this regard, researchers are exploring various methods to improve the formation of conducting network in the polymer matrix. Alignment of conductive nanofillers in the polymer matrix through external force is one such method to enhances the formation of network. In the present work, we have attempted to align the highly conducting carbon nanotubes (CNT) inside the polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) polymer matrix. For that, the metal encapsulated CNT (ME-CNT) is synthesized using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique and dispersed in the polymer. The dispersion of ME-CNT in the PVDF matrix is aligned using external magnetic field and casted it simultaneously. The flexible aligned PVDF/ME-CNT based strain sensor shows a gauge factor of ~12 which is six-fold higher than the commercially available metallic strain gauge and has a potential use in wearable devices applications.
Audience take away:
- In the present work, alignment of carbon nanotube in the polymer matrix is achieved through encapsulating the metal nanoparticle inside the CNT. This technique can be used by the audience for various applications.
- In this new procedure for alignment of carbon nanofiller is unveiled for sensor application.
- Yes, faculties can use this technique to explore more on the alignment of the CNT.
- Yes, this facile way of aligning the carbon nanotubes in the polymer matrix is a practical solution for the efficient design.
- This technique gives the one more control on the preparation of polymer nanocomposite for sensor applications.