Additive manufacturing technologies allow the fabrication of smart objects, which are made up of a dielectric part and an embedded sensor able to give real-time feedback to the final user. This research presents the characterization of a low-cost 3D-printed strain sensor, fabricated using material extrusion (MeX) technology by using a conductive material composed of a polylactic acid (PLA)-based matrix doped with carbon black and carbon nanotubes (CNT), thus making the plastic conductive. A suitable measurement set-up was developed to perform automatic characterization tests using a high repeatability industrial robot to define either displacement or force profiles. The correlation between the applied stimulus and the variation of the electrical resistance of the 3D-printed sensor was evaluated, and an approach was developed to compensate for the effect of temperature. Results show that temperature and hysteresis affect repeatability; nevertheless, the sensor accurately detects impulse forces ranging from 10 g to 50 g. The sensor showed high linearity and exhibited a sensitivity of 0.077 Omega g(-1) and 12.54 Omega mm(-1) in the force and displacement range of 114 g and 0.7 mm, respectively, making them promising due to their low cost, ease of fabrication, and possible integration into more complex devices in a single-step fabrication cycle.

Additive Manufacturing for Sensors: Piezoresistive Strain Gauge with Temperature Compensation

Lanzolla, AML;Attivissimo, F;Percoco, G;Ragolia, MA;Stano, G;Di Nisio, A
2022

Abstract

Additive manufacturing technologies allow the fabrication of smart objects, which are made up of a dielectric part and an embedded sensor able to give real-time feedback to the final user. This research presents the characterization of a low-cost 3D-printed strain sensor, fabricated using material extrusion (MeX) technology by using a conductive material composed of a polylactic acid (PLA)-based matrix doped with carbon black and carbon nanotubes (CNT), thus making the plastic conductive. A suitable measurement set-up was developed to perform automatic characterization tests using a high repeatability industrial robot to define either displacement or force profiles. The correlation between the applied stimulus and the variation of the electrical resistance of the 3D-printed sensor was evaluated, and an approach was developed to compensate for the effect of temperature. Results show that temperature and hysteresis affect repeatability; nevertheless, the sensor accurately detects impulse forces ranging from 10 g to 50 g. The sensor showed high linearity and exhibited a sensitivity of 0.077 Omega g(-1) and 12.54 Omega mm(-1) in the force and displacement range of 114 g and 0.7 mm, respectively, making them promising due to their low cost, ease of fabrication, and possible integration into more complex devices in a single-step fabrication cycle.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11589/243203
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