Low-cost inkjet-printed temperature sensors on paper substrate for the integration into natural fiber-reinforced lightweight components

Johanna Zikulnig*, Mohammed Khalifa, Lukas Rauter, Herfried Lammer, Jürgen Kosel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In a unique approach to develop a “green” solution for in-situ monitoring, low-cost inkjet-printed temperature sensors on paper substrate were fully integrated into natural fiber-reinforced lightweight components for which structural health monitoring is becoming increasingly impor-tant. The results showed that the sensors remained functional after the vacuum infusion process; furthermore, the integration of the sensors improved the mechanical integrity and stability of the lightweight parts, as demonstrated by tensile testing. To verify the qualification of the printed sensors for the target application, the samples were exposed to varying temperature and humidity conditions inside of a climate chamber. The sensors showed linear temperature dependence in the temperature range of interest (−20 to 60 C) with a TCR ranging from 1.576 × 10−3 K−1 to 1.713 × 10−3 K−1 . Furthermore, the results from the tests in humid environments indicated that the used paper-based sensors could be made almost insensitive to changes in ambient humidity by embedding them into fiber-reinforced lightweight materials. This study demonstrates the feasibility of fully integrating paper-based printed sensors into lightweight components, which paves the way towards integration of other highly relevant sensing devices, such as strain and humidity sensors, for structural health monitoring of smart, sustainable, and environmentally compatible lightweight composite materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Inkjet printing
  • Paper electronics
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Sustainable sensors
  • Temperature sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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