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Title: A spray-on, nanocomposite-based sensor network for in-situ active structural health monitoring
Authors: Cao, W 
Zhou, P 
Liao, Y 
Yang, X 
Pan, D 
Li, Y 
Pang, B
Zhou, LM 
Su, Z 
Keywords: Guided ultrasonic waves
Nanocomposite ultrasonic sensor
Structural health monitoring
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Source: Sensors (Switzerland), 2019, v. 19, no. 9, 2077 How to cite?
Journal: Sensors (Switzerland) 
Abstract: A new breed of nanocomposite-based spray-on sensor is developed for in-situ active structural health monitoring (SHM). The novel nanocomposite sensor is rigorously designed with graphene as the nanofiller and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as the matrix, fabricated using a simple spray deposition process. Electrical analysis, as well as morphological characterization of the sprayon sensor, was conducted to investigate percolation characteristic, in which the optimal threshold (~0.91%) of the graphene/PVP sensor was determined. Owing to the uniform and stable conductive network formed by well-dispersed graphene nanosheets in the PVP matrix, the tailor-made sprayon sensor exhibited excellent piezoresistive performance. By virtue of the tunneling effect of the conductive network, the sensor was proven to be capable of perceiving signals of guided ultrasonic waves (GUWs) with ultrahigh frequency up to 500 kHz. Lightweight and flexible, the spray-on nanocomposite sensor demonstrated superior sensitivity, high fidelity, and high signal-to-noise ratio under dynamic strain with ultralow magnitude (of the order of micro-strain) that is comparable with commercial lead zirconate titanate (PZT) wafers. The sensors were further networked to perform damage characterization, and the results indicate significant application potential of the spray-on nanocomposite-based sensor for in-situ active GUW-based SHM.
ISSN: 1424-8220
DOI: 10.3390/s19092077
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Cao, W., Zhou, P., Liao, Y., Yang, X., Pan, D., Li, Y., Pang, B., Zhou, L.-M., & Su, Z. (2019). A Spray-on, Nanocomposite-Based Sensor Network for in-Situ Active Structural Health Monitoring. Sensors 2019, 19 (9), 2077 is available at
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