Graphene???Coated Spandex Sensors for Composites Health Monitoring
Internet of Things has been recently evolved by the state-of-the-art piezoresistive nanocomposite strain sensors due to their high sensitivity and flexibility. Such versatile sensors involve a nanoscale percolating conductive network elaborated into a non-conductive, flexible polymeric matrix. Electrically-conductive polymeric composites have attracted increasing attention owing to their prominent capabilities in applications such as structural health monitoring, human motion detection, and traffic monitoring . The study presented here aims at the development of low-cost, sensitive, and stretchable yarn sensors based on spandex (SpX) yarns coated with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) through a dip coating process: SpX yarns were cut into 50-mm pieces, and coated with graphene nanoplatelets through a multi-step dip coating process. In each step, the yarns were dipped into a 1 wt.% solution of graphene in deionized (DI) water agitated for 3 sec. This was followed by the dehydration process performed by leaving the yarn on a hotplate at 100 °C for 1 min before the next dipping cycle. After the coating cycles were accomplished, the conductive yarns were attached to carbon fiber tow electrodes from their two ends using silver epoxy at 25 mm distance (i.e. the sensor’s gauge length).
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