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Development of a film sensor for static and dynamic force measurement

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3 Author(s)
Castellini, P. ; Dipartimento di Meccanica, Università di Ancona, Via Brecce Bianche 1, I-60131, Ancona, Italy ; Montanini, R. ; Revel, G.M.

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In this work an innovative double-layer film sensor for the measurement of forces is presented. The sensor is a thin film (thickness below 1 mm) based on a “sandwich” structure composed of two sensing elements glued together: one layer is a capacitive film and the other is a piezoelectric film. Both the layers are sensitive to compression loads, but they are suitable for working in different frequency ranges. In fact, while the capacitive element is capable of measuring from dc up to about 400 Hz, on the contrary the piezoelectric film works in the high frequency range. The output signals of both the sensors are acquired and then filtered and processed in order to achieve a single output signal. The piezocapacitive sensor has been developed in order to synthesize, in a small and cheap device, the capability to measure compression forces in a wide range of frequencies. The sensor is very small and has many potential applications, such as in the field of modal analysis. In particular, the very small thickness allows to insert it into a composite material to measure actual loads and excitations, as well as on the surface or between different components of a more complex system in order to obtain a smart structure. This article describes the realization of the sensor and the adopted signal processing strategies. The metrological characterization procedure is discussed and results are shown for both static and dynamic calibration of the film sensor. Finally, a simple application, that highlights the benefits of the sensor, is presented. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:73 ,  Issue: 9 )