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Incoming innovation: Sense structural cracks with 0.02 mm resolution at 90% accuracy

Here at ipXchange, you’ll often hear us saying we don’t usually talk to industry giants, but based on what we saw at Sensor+Test, walking past Analog Devices’ stand without an interview simply wasn’t an option. 

In the first of a few chats, we talk with Ben, who explains Analog Devices’ new solution for structural health monitoring. The carbon nanotubes in these polymer-substrate-based sensors form a resistive network that breaks when a crack appears within a structure. This break in the carbon nanotube network permanently changes the impedance of the sensor so that the engineers can monitor damage regardless of whether the crack closes back up. 

Since the change in the sensor is permanent, and power is only required during measurement – it’s effectively a fancy resistor – this solution has a marked advantage over traditional strain sensors, which will only deviate from a central value while a crack is present. For the traditional strain sensor, vital structural integrity data can be missed if the sample rate is too slow and there is a sudden momentary deformation. 

This innovation by Analog Devices has great potential use in railways, bridges, buildings, mining, and many other applications. As implied by the display, the sensor can also be connected to a data acquisition module that features wireless connectivity so that many sensors can be tracked across a whole structure/network. 

As always, we’d be honoured to put you in touch with Analog Devices to discuss your project, and keep your eyes open for some more interviews with them to come; one left us nearly speechless…

Analog Devices Carbon Nanotube Sensor For Structural Health Monitoring

This technology is still waiting on an official release, but Analog Devices are open to conversations if engineers are interested in finding out more. To support such enquiries, we have created a bare-bones application form below, where you can register your interest and see a summary of all the information we can find on these carbon nanotube sensors

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