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18 April 2007 Development of ionic polymer transducers as flow shear stress sensors: effects of electrode architecture
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Ionomeric polymer transducers (IPTs) have recently received a great deal of attention. As actuators, IPT have the ability to generate large bending strain and moderate stress at low applied voltages. Although the actuation capabilities of IPTs have been studied extensively, the sensing performance of these transducers has not received much attention. The work presented herein aims to develop a wall shear stress sensor for aero/hydrodynamic and biomedical applications. Ionic polymers are generally created by an impregnation-reduction process in an ion exchange membrane, typically Nafion, and then coated with a flexible electrode. The traditional impregnation-reduction fabrication technique of IPTs has little control on the electrode thickness. However, the new Direct Assembly Process (DAP) for fabrication of IPTs allows for experimentation with varying conducting materials and direct control of electrode architecture. The thickness of the electrode is controlled by altering the amount of the ionomer/metal mix sprayed on the membrane. Transducers with varied electrode and membrane thicknesses are fabricated. The sensitivity of the transducer is characterized using two basic experiments. First, the electric impedance of the transducer is measured and its capacitive properties are computed. Earlier studies have demonstrated that capacitance has been strongly correlated to actuation performance in IPTs. Subsequently, the sensing capability of the IPTs in bending is measured using a fixed-pined cantilever configuration. Finally the shear stress sensing performance in fluid flow is quantified through a detailed calibration procedure. This is accomplished using two dynamic shear stress calibration apparatuses. In this study we demonstrate a strong correlation between the electrode thickness and the sensing performance of an IPT.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David Griffiths, Justin Dominic, Barbar J. Akle, Pavlos P. Vlachos, and Donald J. Leo "Development of ionic polymer transducers as flow shear stress sensors: effects of electrode architecture", Proc. SPIE 6529, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007, 65290L (18 April 2007);

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