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Keywords:

  • conductive polymer composite;
  • fiber;
  • strain sensing;
  • carbon nanotubes;
  • eutectic metal

Abstract

Eutectic metal particles and carbon nanotubes are incorporated into a thermoplastic polyurethane matrix through a simple but efficient method, melt compounding, to tune the resistivity–strain behavior of conductive polymer composite (CPC) fibers. Such a combination of conductive fillers is rarely used for CPCs in the literature. To characterize the strain-sensing properties of these fibers, both linear and dynamic strain loadings are carried out. It is noted that a higher metal content in the fibers results in higher strain sensitivity. These strain-sensing results are discussed through a morphological study combined with a model based on the classic tunneling model of Simmons. It is suggested that a high tunneling barrier height is preferred in order to achieve higher strain sensitivity. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry