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Controlling Thermoplastic Elastomer Optical Properties by Mechanical Processing

  • Margaret Campbell (a1), Paramjot Singh (a2), Kunal Kate (a2) and Cindy K. Harnett (a2)

Abstract

We demonstrate that the extrusion speed of thermoplastic urethane elastomer can modify its optical transmission by a factor of more than 100. Varying extrusion speed at constant temperature may tune optical properties along the axis of a filament, for example creating absorbent regions that are sensitive to length and diameter changes, surrounded by more transmissive segments that carry the sensor signal over long distances. Such waveguiding in a stretchable optical fiber requires a stretchable cladding with lower refractive index than the core. In experiments toward a rugged, stretchable fiber cladding, we investigated whether solvents could modify the outer structure of the filaments. Soaking the filaments in NMP (n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone), then stretching the filaments while the solvent dried, turned out to modify the filaments in a way that solvents alone did not, creating porosity and reducing the appearance of optical clarity.

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References

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Keywords

Controlling Thermoplastic Elastomer Optical Properties by Mechanical Processing

  • Margaret Campbell (a1), Paramjot Singh (a2), Kunal Kate (a2) and Cindy K. Harnett (a2)

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