Periodic Reporting for period 1 - In-K Strain System (In-K Strain System: Carbon Nanotube ink based realization of ultraflexible composite strain sensors)
Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-11-30
The aim behind the In-K Strain System is to bring to the market a cost effective, scalable, reliable solution for extended automated remote real-time Structural Health Monitoring of infrastructures, through a completely innovative approach to sensor design and material, data/information management and transmission. At the heart of the In-K Strain System is an innovative, patented Smart Skin Sensor, based on the use of carbon nanotube ink applied through a commercial inkjet printer on advanced composite material.
Thanks to the reduced costs of our In-K Sensor System, SHM will become affordable for application on a large number of targets, up to date without continuous structural control. The innovative design and material of the sensors make them perfectly suited not only for installation on new constructions but especially for SHM retrofit operations on existing infrastructure.
-Sensor design: We did develop important new working design for our smart skin sensor, able to further cut down on cost while bettering performance. Also one-meter-sensors development for penstock/pipeline application has been concluded.
Dedicated laboratory installation: We did carry out further laboratory installations of our In-K Strain System and deepened our thermostatic chamber tests for sensor characterization.
IP Management: The PCT process for two patents had been advanced and strategic aspects had been clarified with our patent advisor. We are preparing for patent integration with a further application.
-Risk management plan: We did conduct a deep the risk assessment for our project, results are part of the Business Plan.
-Financial need analysis: We did carry out a detailed financial need analysis which is part of the business plan.
-Business Plan: A detailed business plan had been elaborated.
-Partner search: Our search for new partners and stakeholders has lead to important new collaborations in different fields, so as electronics development, commercialization and installation.
Carbon nanotubes, with only 10,000th the diameter of a human hair, are an allotrope of carbon like graphite and diamond, and they have unique physical and electronic properties: In our In-K Strain System we make use of these exceptional properties for strain sensing. We were able to replace the strain sensing element of our current sensor system, today realized through composite material pattern, by cnt ink printed elements. The advantages of using printed cnt elements are multiple: lower production and raw material cost, sensible shortening of sensor production time, perfect repeatability, extreme flexibility in sensor size, easy printing of bi- and tri-axial sensor elements. The In-K Strain System is able to cut down on the costs of SHM installation and maintenance sensibly, making automated remote real-time structural integrity surveillance accessible to a large number of entities and end users.