Soft elastomeric capacitors with an extended polymer matrix for strain sensing on concrete

Emmanuel Ogunniyi, Han Liu, Austin R.J. Downey, Simon Laflamme, Jian Li, Caroline Bennett, William Collins, Hongki Jo, Paul Ziehl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Surface strain sensors, such as linear variable differential transformers, fiber Bragg gratings, and resistive strain gauges, have seen significant use for monitoring concrete infrastructure. However, spatial monitoring of concrete structures using these sensor systems is limited by challenges in the surface coverage provided by a specific sensor or issues related to mounting and maintaining numerous mechanical sensors on the structure. A potential solution to this challenge is the deployment of large-area electronics in the form of a sensing skin to provide complete coverage of a monitored area while being simple to apply and maintain. Along this line of effort, networks constituted of soft elastomeric capacitors have been deployed to monitor strain on steel and composite structures. However, using soft elastomeric capacitors on concrete surfaces has been challenging due to the electrical coupling between the sensors and concrete, which amplifies transduced strain signals obtained from the soft elastomeric capacitors. In this work, the authors investigate the isolation of the soft elastomeric capacitors from the concrete by extending the styrene-block-ethylene-co-butylene-block-styrene matrix of the soft elastomeric capacitors to include a decoupling layer between the electrode and the concrete. Experimental investigations are carried out on concrete specimens for which the soft elastomeric capacitor is adhered to with a thin layer of off-the-shelf epoxy and then loaded on the dynamic testing system to monitor strain provoked on the concrete samples. The results presented here demonstrate the viability of the electrically isolated soft elastomeric capacitors for monitoring strain on concrete structures. Initial comparisons between un-isolated and electrically isolated soft elastomeric capacitors showed that the nominal capacitance of the soft elastomeric capacitor is significantly lowered by adding an isolation layer of SEBS. Furthermore, strain results for the soft elastomeric capacitors are compared to ones from a resistive strain gauge and digital image correlation. The data obtained is significant for modifying soft elastomeric capacitors with the anticipation for future use on concrete structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2023
EditorsZhongqing Su, Branko Glisic, Maria Pina Limongelli
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510660793
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
EventSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2023 - Long Beach, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2023Mar 16 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume12486
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach
Period3/13/233/16/23

Keywords

  • capacitive sensors
  • concrete strain
  • sensing sheet
  • sensing skin
  • sensor isolation
  • structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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