BS in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
During the 2016-2017 school year, the Cal Poly NextFlex Group, in conjuncture with the Cal Poly Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, was comprised of professors, undergraduate students, and graduate students all working towards the manufacturing of flexible hybrid electronics (FHEs). FHEs, which are comprised of a flexible plastic substrate (thermoplastic polyurethane), screen-printed silver ink, and a thin silicon wafer, have a wide range of potential applications. At the time of this project, FHEs and other flexible electronics did not have a set of test standards to characterize their mechanical and electrical properties. The Cal Poly NextFlex Group recruited three Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering students (known as the BendatroniX Team) from the Fall 2016 Senior Project class to create a Reliability Test Fixture to test the FHEs that they were manufacturing. Over the course of three quarters, the team designed, built, and validated a reliability test fixture that characterized the electrical integrity of the FHEs as a function of mechanical strain. The fixture was comprised of four clamps that mated with an Instron tensile testing machine. One of the clamps had a unique pogo pin housing that monitored the electrical resistance across the FHEs while it was stretched. Upon the conclusion of the project, the BendatroniX Team trained Cal Poly NextFlex students on how to use the fixture so that they could continue to test and characterize the tensile properties of different FHE configurations. The following report details the design, build, and test process that the BendatroniX Team performed to create the Reliability Test Fixture for FHEs.