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3D-Printed Stretchable Strain Sensor With Application to Wind Sensing

[+] Author Affiliations
Mohammed Al-Rubaiai, Chuan Wang, Xiaobo Tan

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Ryohei Tsuruta, Umesh Gandhi

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. SMASIS2018-7945, pp. V001T01A003; 6 pages
  • ASME 2018 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Modeling, Simulation, and Control of Adaptive Systems; Integrated System Design and Implementation
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, September 10–12, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5194-4
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Stretchable strain sensors with large strain range, high sensitivity, and excellent reliability are of great interest for applications in soft robotics, wearable devices, and structure-monitoring systems. Unlike conventional template lithography-based approaches, 3D-printing can be used to fabricate complex devices in a simple and cost-effective manner. In this paper, we report 3D-printed stretchable strain sensors that embeds a flexible conductive composite material in a hyper-plastic substrate. Three commercially available conductive filaments are explored, among which the conductive thermoplastic polyurethane (ETPU) shows the highest sensitivity (gauge factor of 5), with a working strain range of 0%–20%. The ETPU strain sensor exhibits an interesting behavior where the conductivity increases with the strain. In addition, an experiment for measuring the wind speed is conducted inside a wind tunnel, where the ETPU sensor shows sensitivity to the wind speed beyond 5.6 m/s.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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