Combining conductive fillers like carbon black with elastomers allows the development of soft elastomer strain sensors that can reach very large elongations, an important requirement for many robotic applications. However, when the conductive filler is introduced in the polymer, significant stiffening occurs, affecting the mechanical properties, e.g. Young’s Modulus, of the soft structure. In this attempt, single piezoresistive fiber composites were successfully fabricated, without drastically increasing the stiffness. Two silicone elastomers that are widely used in robotic applications were examined as matrix materials. Furthermore, modeling the stresses exerted on the fiber inside the composite was successfully used to predict the detachment of fiber inside the matrix, observed by visual inspection. For the PDMS based composite, pre-straining improved sensor properties, which could be confirmed for the monitoring of the movement of the crane robot. The results showed that the pre-strained piezoresistive sensor fiber-matrix composites positions of the robot crane can be monitored even at low strains.
|Journal||Sensors and Actuators. A, Physical|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2020|