• The aim of the project is to industrialize a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) strain measurement sensor with ultra-high resolution, 1,000 times higher than a current commercial strain gauge.

Last year, ACCIONA participated in the MOLIERE (Multipurpose flexible high resolution strain sensor) innovation project. This is a European-funded project whose main objective is to industrialize a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) strain sensor with ultra-high resolution, 1,000 times higher than the current commercial strain gauge.

MEMS sensors are microscopic electromechanical systems, usually integrated on a chip, with variable sizes down to one millimeter. They are currently used in a wide range of applications such as accelerometers or gyroscopes for vehicles, vibration measurement, electronic entertainment systems, cell phone displays or advanced applications for biosensors.

The MOLIERE project is part of the manufacturing agenda of the EIT Manufacturing initiative, which will be launched in 2019 to help make Europe and its industrial sector more competitive and sustainable. By accelerating innovation to improve everyday life worldwide, it also aims to meet Europe’s climate goals and ensure a workforce well prepared for future challenges. This is made possible by bringing together a network of top industrial partners, leading academic and research institutions, innovative start-ups, large companies and SMEs.

The sensor developed in the MOLIERE project will be able to measure several physical dimensions related to material deformation, such as pressure, flow, load, velocity, weight or overstrain. By incorporating time, it is possible to obtain the vibration measurement. In addition, thanks to the sensitivity of this sensor, it will be possible to monitor the actual operating conditions of any machine, which in the case of construction will be a truck with different load levels, monitoring the associated vibrations, a fundamental aspect for a correct diagnosis and prognosis.

The main features of the MOLIERE sensor are its multi-dimensionality (for different types of physical quantities simultaneously), its wide measurement range (higher bandwidth) for higher dynamics -exceeding the limits of existing sensors-, its very high resolution and its small size, coupled with non-invasive installation (no need to modify the structure of the equipment) and low cost.

ACCIONA’s role in the MOLIERE project was to generate an interesting use case in the construction industry and to carry out tests for a future application of vibration measurement using the MEMS sensor in commercial construction vehicles. The aim is that in the future it may be possible to measure the load carried by a truck by interpreting its vibrations, without the need to use scales or intrusive sensor installation. The MEMS is simply glued to the outside of the vehicle body and removed when not in use.