28 April 2017 Optimization of multi-scale modelling of CNT/polymer composite strain sensors
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Abstract
Carbon nanotube-based composites have been deeply investigated in recent years. CNTs due to their unique physical properties have been employed for various applications in different disciplines of science and engineering. Due to the remarkable electrical conductivity of CNTs, one of practical applications is related to the development of strain sensing smart coatings. Up to now, high sensitivity strain sensors for micro- and macro-scale applications were proposed. However, controlling electro-mechanical properties of those devices is still a challenging issue.

In order to facilitate the design process and to investigate multi-domain relationships between sensor's parameters and its properties, numerical models and simulations of CNT-based structures have been carried out with the primary focus on investigation of electrical conductivity for various concentrations of CNTs within the composite material. More accurate and detailed studies include analysis of the influence of deformation on changes in conductivity. However, due to significant microstructural complexity of the system (i.e. large number of CNTs within the structure) multiscale modeling and analysis approach must be employed.

The main objective of this paper is to outline an relationships between micro- and macro-structural properties of CNT-based strain sensors and to discuss guidelines for a multiscale electro-mechanical model based on the Representative Volume Element (RVE) concept. The device employs the change in electrical conductivity of a CNT-based nanocomposite under applied deformation. The study investigates the impact of various micro-scale model parameters (e.g. size of an RVE, CNTs parameters etc.), on the macro scale model. Model parameters convergence studies are performed for different geometrical properties of CNTs and for various sizes of RVEs - revealing their critical mutual relationships. Also, the impact of boundary conditions at the micro-scale RVE structure is discussed.
Conference Presentation
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Krzysztof Grabowski, Izabela Blacha, Wieslaw J. Staszewski, Tadeusz Uhl, Pawel Packo, "Optimization of multi-scale modelling of CNT/polymer composite strain sensors", Proc. SPIE 10170, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2017, 101700R (28 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260305; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260305
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