Abstract

Printed electronics has found new applications in wearable electronics owing to the opportunities for integration, and the ability of sustaining folding, flexing and twisting. Continuous monitoring necessitates the production of sensors, which include temperature, humidity, sweat, and strain sensors. In this paper, a process study was performed on the FR4 board while taking into account multiple printing parameters for the direct-write system. The process parameters include ink pressure, print speed, and stand-off height, as well as their effect on the trace profile and print consistency using white light interferometry analysis. The printed traces have also been studied for different sintering conditions while keeping the FR4 board’s temperature limit in mind. The paper also discusses the effect of sintering conditions on mechanical and electrical properties, specifically shear load to failure and resistivity. The data from this was then used to print strain gauges and compared them to commercially available strain gauges. By reporting the gauge factor, the printed strain gauge has been standardized. The conductive ink’s strain sensing capabilities will be studied under tensile cyclic loading (3-point bending) at various strain rates and maximum strains. Long-term performance testing will be carried out using cyclic tensile loads.

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