This thesis concerns various aspects of the durability offibre optic sensors embedded in composite. Since repair orreplacement of embedded sensors is not generally possible, thefunctional reliability of embedded sensors is one of the mostimportant prerequisites for successful use. The main researchobjective was to investigate the interaction between the sensorand the composite, and how this is affecting the mechanical andoptical sensor response. Fibre optic sensors embedded incomposite structures induce local stress concentrations whenthe composite is subjected to mechanical loads andenvironmental changes such as temperature and moisture. Acomplex transfer of stresses through the interfaces between theembedded sensor and the composite occurs and can result inlarge local stresses in the composite and a significant changein the response of the embedded sensor. These stressconcentrations make the interfaces susceptible todebonding.
The sensor performance was studied experimentally andnumerically. Some basic results were generated for the EFPI andBragg grating sensors. The phase-strain response was determinedduring static and fatigue loading. The results showed that thesensors were more reliable in compression than in tensilestatic and fatigue loading. Generally, the sensor reliabilityduring loading was significantly improved for the Bragg gratingsensors over that of the EFPI sensor, as an effect of thesensor geometry. This was also demonstrated in theinvestigations on impacts. Impacts do not necessarily result indamage in the composite, but might cause debonding or otherfailure modes in the sensor area. Large, local stressconcentrations occur at several positions in the EFPI sensor,which pointed out that this sensor type was not suitable forembedded applications.
The shift in focus from the sensor concept based on the EFPIsensor to that based on the Bragg grating sensor manifesteditself in several studies. The calculated deformation fieldaround an embedded optical fibre was verified in experimentsusing a high-resolution moiré interferometric technique.Furthermore, the improvement in the coating technology wasverified. A significant higher interfacial strength wasobtained with the silane-treated glass surface. The resultsindicated that at least a twofold improvement of the shearstrength was obtained.
To simultaneously measure the in-plane strain components andthe temperature change, embedded Bragg grating sensors werearranged in a rosette configuration. The relationship betweenthe optical response from each sensor and the strains in thelaminate was numerically and analytically established.
Damage lead to stress redistribution in the sensor region,which may influence the output from the embedded Bragg gratingsensor. The effect was numerically evaluated for interfacialdamage, and was compared to that of a sensor with undamagedinterface. The results showed that debonding might have asignificant influence, in particular for combined thermal andmechanical loading.
Keywords: composites, fibre optic sensor, embedded, EFPIsensor, Bragg grating sensor, durability, fatigue, impact,strain measurement, interface, stress analysis
Institutionen för flygteknik , 2001. , ix, 20 p.
composites, fibre optic sensor, embedded EFPI sensor, bragg grating sensor, durability. Fatique, impact strain measurement