Prof. Zhongqing SU of the Department of Mechanical Engineering won a Gold Medal in the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland in April 2018.

Sprayable Smart Sensing Network Coating for Structural Health Monitoring

Principal Investigators: 
Prof. Zhongqing SU (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Prof. Zhong ZHANG (CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing)
Prof. Limin ZHOU (Interdisciplinary Division of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

This innovative, first-ever, nanocomposites-inspired smart sensor is made of carbon black (CB), 2D graphene and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). The sensors made of this new breed of nanocomposites can be directly sprayed on any engineering structure to form a highly dense smart sensing network, which can acquire in-situ broadband ultrasounds of up to 1 MHz for damage detection. Lightweight, flexible and highly responsive, the sensing network can quantitatively evaluate invisible, undersized defect and damage in the structure, such as cracks caused by metal fatigue. This new sensing technology retrofits conventional ultrasonic sensing philosophy, and blazes a new trail for next generation of in-situ structural health monitoring.

The 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, held from 11-15 April 2018, has attracted 822 exhibitors from 40 countries/regions, showcasing around 1,000 or so innovations. Under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government, the State and the City of Geneva as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization, it is the biggest event of its kind globally.