Dual-axis thermal convective inclinometer based on CNT/PDMS composite
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This paper presents the design, fabrication, and characterization of a novel inclination-angle sensor (inclinometer) using heating and sensing elements based on conductive polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composited with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The inclinometer consists of a PDMS cube-shaped chamber, a CNTs/PDMS composite-based heater, and four CNTs/PDMS composite-based temperature sensors. The working mechanism of this sensor is based on thermal convective sensing theory on the basis of the detection of thermal disturbance caused by inclination-induced convection in a sealed chamber. In order to prepare the conductive CNTs/PDMS composite, toluene was applied as a solvent to facilitate CNT dispersion in PDMS matrix and then was removed by evaporation. The resistive heating and thermal sensing properties of CNT/PDMS composite-based elements were tested and analyzed first. Then, the responses to inclination-angle were monitored and reported. Experimental results demonstrate that the inclinometer can measure dual-axis angular position in the range of 360° with high stability and repeatability.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 61574117 and 61274120) and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (Grant no. 2018B030311002).
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