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Comprehensive Characterization of Large Piezoresistive Variation of Ni-PDMS Composites

This work presents a comprehensive investigation of the piezoresistive response of a metal-polymer composite for robotic tactile sensor application. Composite samples, based on nickel nanostructured conductive filler in a polydimetihylsiloxane (PDMS) insulating elastomeric matrix, were prepared changing several process parameters like thickness, composition of the polymer and nickel filler content. A variation of electric resistance up to nine orders of magnitude under applied uniaxial load was measured in the fabricated samples. Cost efficient materials, simplicity of the process, large sensibility, and harsh environment compatibility make this quantum tunnelling composite adapted to be integrated as sensing coating in space robotic applications.
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