Development of a PVDF Pressure Gauge for Blast Loading Measurement

  • M. ArrigoniEmail author
  • F. Bauer
  • S. Kerampran
  • J. Le Clanche
  • M. Monloubou
Original Paper


We investigate the development of a sensor for dynamic pressure measurement. The sensor relies on a Bauer shock gauge of 25-μm thin Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film [AIP Conf. Proc 706:1121–1124, [21]. These gauges unfortunately require some skills to be integrated in an acquisition chain and the obtained results are strongly “experiment dependent.” In the presented work, the classical Bauer gauge has been adapted: the reproducible PVDF film is poled at high voltage, in electrical symmetrical response and reproducibility. The sensitive area is a 3 × 3 mm square. The gauge has been electrically shielded and overlaid with a heat conductive material. A 5-m long coaxial wire connects the gauge to a charge amplifier, allowing its connection to a deported oscilloscope. The output electrical charge of the PVDF gauge has been correlated with the pressure measured by calibrated PCB® sensors. Measured pressures are validated by an analytical approach and numerical simulations of the flow in the shock tube. A calibration curve can be deduced for pressures below 10 bar, values which are often met in blast loading situations. This customizable sensor is hence suitable and easy to use to measure the blast-reflected pressure on a flat material.


Shock tube Blast PVDF Pressure Sensor Measurement 



The authors want to thank the technical staff of ENSTA Bretagne, especially Frédéric Montel. They are also grateful to the European commission who granted the ERASMUS+ program “Greener and Safer Energetic and Balistic Systems.” They are also grateful to Yulric PHILIPPE, Quentin Weisse, Jérémie Tartière, Chanlika Tes, and Manon Es Soussi and MSc students at ENSTA Bretagne who mounted the PVDF gauge under our supervision.


  1. 1.
    Balssa G, Panofre G, Hurstel JF, Bez J, Capdevielle C, Sciortino V (2004) Explosion de l’usine AZF de Toulouse: description des lésions prises en charge au titre d’accident du travail par la Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie de la Haute-Garonne. Archives des Maladies Professionnelles et de l’Environnement 65(6):463–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norville HS, Harvill N, Conrath EJ, Shariat S, Mallonee S (1999) Glass-related injuries in Oklahoma City bombing. J Perform Constr Facil 13(2):50–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Unified Facilities Criteria UFC 3-240-02 (2014) Structures to resist the effects of accidental explosions, US Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, Naval facilities Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency – 5 December 2008 (replaces ARMY TM5–1300 of November 1990)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shelley P (2013) Blast measurement guide, edited by the UK’s Health and Safety Laboratory and the MOD’s DOSG. (
  5. 5.
    Dewey JM (2009) Measurement of the physical properties of blast waves. In: Igra O and Seiler F (eds) Experimental Methods of Shock Wave Research, Shock Wave Science and Technology Reference Library 9Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blanc L, Hanus JL, William-Louis M, Le-Roux B (2016) Experimental and numerical investigations of the characterisation of reflected overpressures around a complex structure. J Appl Fluid Mech 9:121–129Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lovinger AJ, Furukawa T, Davis GT, Broadhurst MG (1983) Curie transitions in copolymers of vinylidene fluoride: curie transitions in PVF2 copolymers. Ferroelectrics 50(1):227–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lovinger AJ (1985) Recent developments in the structure, properties, and applications of ferroelectric polymers, Jpn. J Appl Phys 24(Suppl. 2):18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Scheinbeim JI, Newman BA, Mei BZ, & Lee JW (1992) New ferroelectric and piezoelectric polymers. In Applications of Ferroelectrics, 1992. ISAF'92., Proceedings of the Eighth IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 248–249). IEEEGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bauer F French patent 822102S, U.S. patents 4611260 and 4684337Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bauer F (1983) PVF2 polymers: ferroelectric polarization and piezoelectric properties under dynamic pressure and shock wave action. Ferroelectrics 49(1):231–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bauer F (1991) Ferroelectric properties of PVDF polymer and VF2/C2F3H copolymers: high pressure and shock response of PVDF gauges. Ferroelectrics 115(4):247–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Alquié C, Lewiner J (1985) A new method for studying piezoelectric materials. Revue de physique appliquée 20(6):395–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    AIFP, (13th of April, 2017)
  15. 15.
    Vieille P (1899) Sur les discontinuités produites par la détente brusque de gaz comprimés. Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris 129:1228–1230Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Payman W, Shepherd WCF (1946) Explosion waves and shock waves. Part VI: the disturbance produced by bursting diaphragms with compressed air. Proc Roy Soc A186:243–321Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Courant R, Friedrichs KO (1948) Supersonic flow and shock waves. John Wiley & Sons, USAzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Holder DW and Schultz DL (1962) On the flow in a reflected-shock tunnel, R & M 3265Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Délery J (2010) Compressible aerodynamics. John Wiley & Sons, USAzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    WiSTL applet, 2004, last update aug. 7th 2008,
  21. 21.
    Bauer F (2004) PVDF shock compression sensors in shock wave physics. In: Furnish MD, Gupta YM, and Forbes JW (eds) AIP Conference Proceedings, vol 706. AIP, No. 1, pp 1121–1124Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ENSTA Bretagne, IRDL FRE CNRS N°3744Brest Cedex 09France
  2. 2.AIFPSaint-LouisFrance

Personalised recommendations