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Structural self-sensing refers to a structural material sensing itself without sensor incorporation. Compared to sensor incorporation, advantages include low cost, high durability, large sensing volume and the mechanical properties being not degraded. The self-sensing ability makes the structural material multifunctional. Structural self-sensing involving resistance measurement has been studied for decades, but recent work has extended it from resistance measurement to capacitance or inductance measurement. Resistance or inductance measurement is applicable only to conductive materials (e.g., carbon fiber composites), but capacitance measurement is broadly applicable to conductive and nonconductive materials. The effect of strain or damage on the resistivity is the basis of strong resistance-based sensing ability. The effect of strain or damage on the permittivity is the main basis of strong capacitance-based sensing. The effect of shape-changing deformation (e.g., bending) on the inductance is the main basis of inductance-based sensing.
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