Munasinghe, MINP, Miles, L & Paul, G 2019, 'Direct-Write Fabrication of Wear Profiling IoT Sensor for 3D Printed Industrial Equipment', Proceedings of the 36th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2019), International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, IAARC, Banff, Canada, pp. 862-869.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is an emerging technology, not only as a prototyping technology, but also to manufacture complete products. Gravity Separation Spirals (GSS) are used in the mining industry to separate slurry into different density components. Currently, spirals are manufactured using moulded polyurethane on fibreglass substructure, or injection moulding. These methods incur significant tooling cost and lead times making them difficult to customise, and they are labour-intensive and can expose workers to hazardous materials. Thus, a 3D printer is under development that can print spirals directly, enabling mass customisation. Furthermore, sensors can be embedded into spirals to measure the operational conditions for predictive maintenance, and to collect data that can improve future manufacturing processes. The localisation of abrasive wear in the GSS is an essential factor in optimising parameters such as suitable material, print thickness, and infill density and thus extend the lifetime and performance of future manufactured spirals. This paper presents the details of a wear sensor, which can be 3D printed directly into the spiral using conductive material. Experimental results show that the sensor can both measure the amount of wear and identify the location of the wear in both the horizontal and vertical axes. Additionally, it is shown that the accuracy can be adjusted according to the requirements by changing the number and spacing of wear lines.
Munasinghe, N, Woods, M, Miles, L & Paul, G 2019, '3-D Printed Strain Sensor for Structural Health Monitoring', IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics and Intelligent Systems (CIS) and the IEEE International Conference on Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics (RAM), IEEE, Bangkok.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is evolving from a technology that can only aid rapid prototyping, to one that can be used to directly manufacture large-scale, real-world equipment. Gravity Separation Spirals (GSS) are vital to the mining industry for separating mineral-rich slurry into its different density components. In order to overcome inherent drawbacks of the traditional mould base manufacturing methods, including significant tooling costs, limited customisation and worker exposure to hazardous materials, a 3D printer is under development to directly print spirals. By embedding small Internet of Things (IoT) sensors inside the GSS, it is possible to remotely determine the operation conditions, predict faults, and use collected data to optimise production output. This work presents a 3D printed strain sensor, which can be directly printed into the GSS. This approach uses a carbon-based conductive filament to print a strain gauge on top of a Polylactic Acid (PLA) base material. Printed sensors have been tested using an Instron E10000 testing machine with an optical extensometer to improve accuracy. Testing was conducted by both loading and unloading conditions to understand the effect of hysteresis. Test results show a near-linear relationship between strain and measured resistance, and show a 6.05% increase in resistance after the test, which indicates minor hysteresis. Moreover, the impact of viscoelastic behaviour is identified, where the resistance response lags the strain. Results from both conductive and non-conductive material show the impact of the conductive carbon upon the tensile strength, which will help to inform future decisions about sensor placement.