This paper presents recent results on research of achieving multifunctional structures utilizing Carbon Nanotube (CNT) yarns. The investigation centers on creating composite structures with CNT yarns to simultaneously achieve increases in mechanical strength and the ability to sense strain. The CNT yarns used in our experiments are of the single-ply and two-ply variety with the single-ply yarns having diameters on the order of 10–20 μm. The yarns are embedded in silicon rubber and polyurethane test specimens. Mechanical tests show an increase in modulus of elasticity, with an additional weight increase of far less than one-percent. Sensing characteristics of the yarns are investigated on stainless steel test beams in an electrical bridge configuration, and are observed to have a strain sensitivity of 0.7mV/V/1000 micro-strain. Also reported are measurements of the average strain distribution along the direction of the CNT yarns on square silicon rubber membranes.

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