PurposeThe synergistic effect of functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) using KMnO4 oxidation and initial tensile deformation on the electrical resistance of nanotube network/polyurethane composite subjected to elongation was studied.Design/methodology/approachThough the initial deformation irreversibly changed the arrangement of carbon nanotube network, subsequent cyclic elongation confirmed stable resistance values. The increased strain-dependent resistance of stimulated nanotube network/polyurethane composite was demonstrated by monitoring vibration of tambour leather after a bead impact and finger flexion.FindingsThe results showed a tenfold composite resistance increase for the composite prepared from KMnO4 oxidized nanotubes, quantified by a so-called gauge factor, from a value of about 20 in comparison to the network prepared from pristine nanotubes. This is a substantial increase, which ranks the stimulated composite among materials with the highest electromechanical response.Originality/valueThe results in this paper are new and have not been published yet. The paper combines different ideas which are developed together. It presents a new concept of synergistic effect of CNT oxidation and application of pre-strain simulation. Oxidation and pre-strain increases by several times the sensitivity of the tested composites which are predetermined for use as strain sensors of various sizes and shapes.
Sensor Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 19, 2018
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