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New 3D printing method for more sensitive strain gauges

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed a technique for strain gauges with improved sensitivity, and capability for use in high-

Strain gauges are simple devices used to measure strain, or pull, on an object. They are used in weighing stations, airplane wings, and bridges.

Stretching a changes its resistance which tells us how much deformation the object is undergoing.

"Anywhere there is deflection of a mechanical system, you will see strain gauges; which is a lot of places!" said Rahul Panat, an at in the US.

Panat has developed a new technique for strain gauges, along with collaborators from State University and the University of at El Paso.

The new method significantly improves the sensitivity of strain gauges and increases their capabilities for use in high-temperature applications, researchers said.

They fabricated this using aerosol jet printing, a method that creates a porous film by controlled sintering of nanoparticles that partially coalesce them using heat.

When stretched, this porous film - which contains many tiny holes that result from the method, also known as additive - is able to contract more than a solid film, the typical form of strain gauges fabricated using traditional methods.

This new method breaks what is known as the Poisson Ratio, the limit to how sensitive a solid can be, the researchers said.

The Poisson Ratio of a material describes how much a material will contract in one direction when it is stretched in another direction.

The maximum Poisson Ratio a solid material can have is about 0.5, according to Panat.

"Because of the porosity of the film, we are seeing an effective Poisson Ratio of approximately 0.7 - which means we have about a 40 per cent increase in the lateral contraction for a given deformation of the film," said Panat.

"That makes the much more sensitive to measurement," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 13:20 IST