An Evaluation of Optical Fiber Strain Sensing for Engineering Applications
Harold, Douglas A.
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A fatigue test has been performed on 7075-T651 aluminum specimens which were bonded with polyimide coated optical fibers with discrete Bragg gratings. These fibers were bonded with AE-10 strain gage adhesive. The results indicate that lower strain amplitudes do not produce cause for concern, but that larger strain amplitudes (on the order of 3500 Î¼) may cause some sensors to become unreliable. The strain response of acrylate coated optical fiber strain sensors bonded to aluminum specimens with AE-10 and M-Bond 200 strain gage adhesives was investigated with both axial and cantilever beam tests. These results were compared to both the strain response of conventional strain gages and to model predictions. The results indicate that only about 82.6% of the strain in the specimen was transferred through the glue line and fiber coating into the fiber. Thus, multiplying by a strain transfer factor of approximately 1.21 was sufficient to correct the optical fiber strain output. This effect was found to be independent of the adhesive used and independent of the three-dimensional profile of the glue line used to attach the fiber. Finally, this effect did not depend on whether the fiber had a polyimide or an acrylate coating. Further investigation was conducted on the feasibility of using optical fiber strain sensors for monitoring subcritical damage (such as matrix cracks) in fiber reinforced composite materials. These results indicate that an array of optical fibers which monitor the strain profile on both sides of a composite panel may be sufficient for these purposes
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