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FBG-Embedded 3D Printed ABS Sensing Pads: The Impact of Infill Density on Sensitivity and Dynamic Range in Force Sensors

LEAL-JUNIOR, A. ; Marques, C. ; R. N. Ribeiro, M. R. N. Ribeiro ; Pontes, M. J. Pontes ; Frizera-Neto, A. Frizera-Neto

IEEE Sensors Journal Vol. 18, Nº 19, pp. - , October, 2018.

ISSN (print): 1530-437X
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 1,762 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/JSEN.2018.2866689

The 3D printing process is a flexible, automated, customizable and low cost fabrication process. Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) sensors can be embedded into 3D printed elements to obtain customized and low cost sensing elements. However, the material infill is an important printing parameter that may affect the FBG response on both temperature and strain. This paper investigates the material infill influence on FBG-embedded 3D printed sensing pads by both numerical and experimental approaches. The obtained sensing pads are able to withstand a force of 1 kN with sensitivities of about 0.7 pm/N and linearity higher than 98%. Numerical results show that the fiber has influence on the strain distribution of the 3D printed structure. Experimental results show that the infill’s thermal expansion-induced temperature sensitivity of the embedded FBG reported in the literature can be reduced by simply setting the correct infill density. The results obtained enable the application of 3D printed sensing pads for structural health monitoring, soft robotics application and force detectors for teleoperation in harsh environments.