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Graphene-Coated Spandex Sensors Embedded Into Silicone Sheath For Composites Health Monitoring And Wearable Applications.

H. Montazerian, A. Rashidi, Arash Dalili, H. Najjaran, A. Milani, M. Hoorfar
Published 2019 · Materials Science, Medicine

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This study presents a low-cost, tunable, and stretchable sensor fabricated based on spandex (SpX) yarns coated with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) through a dip-coating process. The SpX/GnP is wrapped into a stretchable silicone rubber (SR) sheath to protect the conductive layer against harsh conditions, which allows for fabricating washable wearable sensors. Dip-coating parameters are optimized to obtain the maximum GnP coating rate. The covering sheath is tailored to achieve high stretchability beyond the sensing limit of 104% for SpX/GnP/SR sensors. Adjustable sensitivity is attained by manipulating SpX immersion times broadening its application for a wide range of strains: Gauge factors as high as two orders of magnitude are achieved at tensile strains greater than ≈40%. The fabricated sensors are tested for two applications: First, the SpX/GnP sensors are integrated into composite fabrics (with no negative impact on the structural integrity of the part) for screening the yarn displacements, resin flow, solidification during the hot press forming process, and structural health monitoring under mechanical loads with minimal cross-sensitivity to temperature/humidity. Second, the capability of SpX/GnP/SP sensors in detection of a wide range of bodily motions (from the joint motion to arterial blood pressure) is demonstrated.
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