A coatable, lightweight nanocomposite sensor for in-situ acquisition of ultrasonic waves and its application to embeddable structural health monitoring

Menglong Liu, Zhihui Zeng, Hao Xu, Zhongqing Su, Li Min Zhou, Zhong Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Lightweight and resilient, a nano-engineered sensor was developed, coatable to engineering structures via a screen printing approach, for in-situ acquisition of ultrasonic waves for implementing guided ultrasonic wave (GUW)-based structural health monitoring (SHM). Carbon black (CB)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)-based hybrid with various degrees of percolation were prepared, to fabricate the sensor. In an ultrasonic regime, GUW modulates the infrastructure of formed conductivity network of CB nanofillers with introduction of tunneling effect, and consequently changes the piezoresistivity manifested by the sensor. Morphological characterization, and static/dynamic electro-mechanical response tests were conducted to ascertain an optimal percolation threshold of the conductivity network. At the optimal threshold (∼ 6.5 wt%), the sensor exhibits high-fidelity, fast-response, and highsensitivity to GUWs up to 400 kHz. Addressing an innovative sensing philosophy of "quasidispersed sensing", the sensor presents a potential to strike a compromise between "sensing cost" and "sensing effectiveness", well accommodating the needs from GUW-based SHM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2016
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781510827936
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Event8th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2016 - Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 5 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


Conference8th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2016


  • Coating
  • Guided ultrasonic wave (GUW)
  • Nanocomposite sensor
  • Sensor network
  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Computer Science Applications

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