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Soft Elastomeric Capacitor Network for Strain Sensing Over Large Surfaces
IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
  • Simon Laflamme, Iowa State University
  • Husaam S. Saleem, Iowa State University
  • Bharath K. Vasan, Iowa State University
  • Randall L. Geiger, Iowa State University
  • Degang J. Chen, Iowa State University
  • Michael R. Kessler, Iowa State University
  • Krishna Rajan, Iowa State University
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Field applications of existing sensing solutions to structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil structures are limited. This is due to economical and/or technical challenges in deploying existing sensing solutions to monitor geometrically large systems. To realize the full potential of SHM solutions, it is imperative to develop scalable cost-effective sensing strategies. We present a novel sensor network specifically designed for strain sensing over large surfaces. The network consists of soft elastomeric capacitors (SECs) deployed in an array form. Each SEC acts as a surface strain gage transducing local strain into changes in capacitance. Results show that the sensor network can track strain history above levels of 25 με using an inexpensive off-the-shelf data acquisition system. Tests at large strains show that the sensor's sensitivity is almost linear over strain levels of 0-20%. We demonstrate that it is possible to reconstruct deflection shapes for a simply supported beam subjected to quasi-static loads, with accuracy comparable to resistive strain gages.

This is an author's manuscript of an article from IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics 18 (2013): 1647–1654, doi.10.1109/TMECH.2013.2283365. Posted with permission.

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Simon Laflamme, Husaam S. Saleem, Bharath K. Vasan, Randall L. Geiger, et al.. "Soft Elastomeric Capacitor Network for Strain Sensing Over Large Surfaces" IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics Vol. 18 Iss. 6 (2013) p. 1647 - 1654
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