Structural Health Monitoring of Mechanical Power Transmission with Customised 3D Printed Sensor

The Aerosol Jet technology is for additive manufacturing of electronic applications such as fully additive manufactured strain gauges, vibration sensors, temperature sensors, antennas, and moulded interconnect devices (MIDs).

This project aims to develop a system to successfully develop sensors using novel multi-material additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies for condition monitoring of mechanical components and develop proactive decision-making algorithms to recommend condition based maintenance actions.​

The objective of this project is to develop proactive condition monitored mechanical systems through:

  • Development of sensors using novel multi-material additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies
  • Development of proactive decision-making software to recommend condition based maintenance actions based on the customized sensors.





Figure. 1:​ Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Multilayer Perceptron Artificial Neural Network and the temperature sensor design were investigated to develop the customized 3D printed sensors based on failure mechanisms of components.

To date, strain gauges have been designed and printed, while the optimal design to improve the sensitivity of single-metal thermocouple (SMC) was being developed. A customizable multifunctional sensor design, which can measure both strain and temperature simultaneously, has been proposed. In addition, measurement of acceleration is possible if sensor is mounted on a cantilever beam, making it a 3-in-1 sensor. Part of the sensor is 3D printed allowing its properties to be easily modified.

The key benefits arising from this project are:​

  • Pre-emptive maintenance before the break down of a component to enable for safe and reliable travel with minimum disruptions
  • Machine Learning algorithms to minimise false alarms and and also provides sharper diagnoses.
  • Production of integrated sensors which enables organic condition monitoring capabilities.