Authors Selvan, N. T. ; Eshwaran, S. B. ; Das, A. ; Stöckelhuber, K.W. ; Wießner, S. ; Pötschke, P. ; Nando, G. B. ; Chervanyov, A. ; Heinrich, G.
Title Piezoresistive natural rubber-multiwall carbon nanotube nanocomposite for sensor applications
Date 01.03.2016
Abstract We explore, both experimentally and theoretically, the possibility to use a composite of natural rubber (NR) and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) as a piezoresistive tensile sensor. As an essentially new feature relative to the previous work, we have performed a systematic study of the mechanism of the piezoresistance at large deformations in a wide range of MWCNT concentrations and crosslinking degrees of the host rubber material. In qualitative agreement with the previous work, the conductivity of the unstrained NR/MWCNT nanocomposite is shown to be adequately described by the percolation theory with the critical exponent evaluated to ~2.31. Varying tensile stress-induced strains in the composite has been shown to results in a non-linear electrical response that cannot be described by simple modifications of the percolation theory. In order to explain the observed non-linear dependence of the resistance R of the composite on the strain e, we have developed a scaling theory that relates this resistance to the structural changes in the conducting MWCNT network caused by deforming the host NR. Based on the obtained results, we discuss the ways of using the highly stretchable conductive elastomer composites as an efficient piezoresistive tensile sensor.
Journal Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 239 (2016) 102-113

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