3 years ago

Universal Control on Pyroresistive Behavior of Flexible Self-Regulating Heating Devices

Universal Control on Pyroresistive Behavior of Flexible Self-Regulating Heating Devices
James J. C. Busfield, Jamie Evans, Yi Liu, Mark Newton, Han Zhang, Harshit Porwal, Emiliano Bilotti, Wei Tu, Ton Peijs
Smart heating devices with reliable self-regulating performances and high efficiency, combined with additional properties like mechanical flexibility, are of particular interest in healthcare, soft robotics, and smart buildings. Unfortunately, the development of smart heaters necessitates managing normally conflicting requirements such as good self-regulating capabilities and efficient Joule heating performances. Here, a simple and universal materials design strategy based on a series connection of different conductive polymer composites (CPC) is shown to provide unique control over the pyroresistive properties. Hooke's and Kirchhoff's laws of electrical circuits can simply predict the overall pyroresistive behavior of devices connected in series and/or parallel configurations, hence providing design guidelines. An efficient and mechanically flexible Joule heating device is hence designed and created. The heater is characterized by a zero temperature coefficient of resistance below the self-regulating temperature, immediately followed by a large and sharp positive temperature coefficient (PTC) behavior with a PTC intensity of around 106. Flexibility and toughness is provided by the selected elastomeric thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) matrix as well as the device design. The universality of the approach is demonstrated by using different polymer matrices and conductive fillers for which repeatable results are consistently obtained. Flexible self-regulating heating devices, using a simple and universal materials design strategy, provide a unique control over pyroresistive behavior by connecting different conductive polymer composites in series. A tricomponent-series-assembled heating device is successfully developed and characterized. This device combines, for the first time, high positive temperature coefficient intensity with good Joule heating, as well as mechanical flexibility and robustness.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201702253

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