Crack Detection in Fibre Reinforced Plastic Structures Using Embedded Fibre Bragg Grating Sensors: Theory, Model Development and Experimental Validation.
ABSTRACT: In a fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) structure designed using the emerging damage tolerance and structural health monitoring philosophy, sensors and models that describe crack propagation will enable a structure to operate despite the presence of damage by fully exploiting the material's mechanical properties. When applying this concept to different structures, sensor systems and damage types, a combination of damage mechanics, monitoring technology, and modelling is required. The primary objective of this article is to demonstrate such a combination. This article is divided in three main topics: the damage mechanism (delamination of FRP), the structural health monitoring technology (fibre Bragg gratings to detect delamination), and the finite element method model of the structure that incorporates these concepts into a final and integrated damage-monitoring concept. A novel method for assessing a crack growth/damage event in fibre-reinforced polymer or structural adhesive-bonded structures using embedded fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensors is presented by combining conventional measured parameters, such as wavelength shift, with parameters associated with measurement errors, typically ignored by the end-user. Conjointly, a novel model for sensor output prediction (virtual sensor) was developed using this FBG sensor crack monitoring concept and implemented in a finite element method code. The monitoring method was demonstrated and validated using glass fibre double cantilever beam specimens instrumented with an array of FBG sensors embedded in the material and tested using an experimental fracture procedure. The digital image correlation technique was used to validate the model prediction by correlating the specific sensor response caused by the crack with the developed model.
Project description:The significance of strain measurement is obvious for the analysis of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites. Conventional strain measurement methods are sufficient for static testing in general. Nevertheless, if the requirements exceed the capabilities of these conventional methods, more sophisticated techniques are necessary to obtain strain data. Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors have many advantages for strain measurement over conventional ones. Thus, the present paper suggests a novel method for biaxial strain measurement using embedded FBG sensors during the fatigue testing of FRP composites. Poisson's ratio and its reduction were monitored for each cyclic loading by using embedded FBG sensors for a given specimen and correlated with the fatigue stages determined based on the variations of the applied fatigue loading and temperature due to the autogenous heating to predict an oncoming failure of the continuous fiber-reinforced epoxy matrix composite specimens under fatigue loading. The results show that FBG sensor technology has a remarkable potential for monitoring the evolution of Poisson's ratio on a cycle-by-cycle basis, which can reliably be used towards tracking the fatigue stages of composite for structural health monitoring purposes.
Project description:Over the past few decades, there has been a considerable interest in the use of distributed optical fibre sensors (DOFS) for structural health monitoring of composite structures. In aerospace-related work, health monitoring of the adhesive joints of composites has become more significant, as they can suffer from cracking and delamination, which can have a significant impact on the integrity of the joint. In this paper, a swept-wavelength interferometry (SWI) based DOFS technique is used to monitor the fatigue in a flush step lap joint composite structure. The presented results will show the potential application of distributed optical fibre sensor for damage detection, as well as monitoring the fatigue crack growth along the bondline of a step lap joint composite structure. The results confirmed that a distributed optical fibre sensor is able to enhance the detection of localised damage in a structure.
Project description:In order to monitor the crack tip propagation of aluminum alloy, this study investigates the variation of the spectrum characteristics of a fiber Bragg grating (FBG), combined with an analysis of the spectrum simulation. The results identify the location of the subordinate peak as significantly associated with the strain distribution along the grating, corresponding to the different plastic zones ahead of the crack tip with various crack lengths. FBG sensors could observe monotonic and cyclic plastic zones ahead of the crack tip, with the quadratic strain distribution along the grating at the crack tip-FBG distance of 1.2 and 0.7 mm, respectively. FBG sensors could examine the process zones ahead of the crack tip with the cubic strain distribution along the grating at the crack tip-FBG distance of 0.5 mm. The spectrum oscillation occurs as the crack approaches the FBG where the highly heterogeneous strain is distributed. Another idea is to use a finite element method (FEM), together with a T-matrix method, to analyze the reflection intensity spectra of FBG sensors for various crack sizes. The described crack propagation detection system may apply in structural health monitoring.
Project description:A structural health monitoring (SHM) study of biaxial glass fibre-reinforced epoxy matrix composites under a constant, high strain uniaxial fatigue loading is performed using fibre Bragg grating (FBG) optical sensors embedded in composites at various locations to monitor the evolution of local strains, thereby understanding the damage mechanisms. Concurrently, the temperature changes of the samples during the fatigue test have also been monitored at the same locations. Close to fracture, significant variations in local temperatures and strains are observed, and it is shown that the variations in temperature and strain can be used to predict imminent fracture. It is noted that the latter information cannot be obtained using external strain gages, which underlines the importance of the tracking of local strains internally.
Project description:Based on the shift of the Bragg wavelength, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors have been employed to measure a variety of physical parameters such as stress, strain, displacement, temperature, vibration and pressure. In this work, a simple and easy way to be implemented FBG sensing methodology was proposed to measure the temperature and strain simultaneously. Half of the FBG was bonded on the host structure, while the other half of the FBG was left free. The host structure was an aluminum test specimen with dimensions of 20 × 3.8 × 0.5 cm3. As the host structure subjected to mechanical and thermal loadings, the Bragg wavelengths reflected from the bonded and unbonded FBGs are different. Theoretical predictions of the Bragg wavelength shifts of the bonded and unbonded FBGs were presented. Utilizing the Bragg wavelength shift of unbonded FBG, the temperature can be determined and is independent of mechanical strain. The Bragg wavelength shift of the bonded FBG allows the determination of the mechanical strain. The temperature measured by FBG sensor was compared with the result from a thermocouple, while the mechanical strain was validated with the theoretical prediction. Good agreement between the experimental measurement and theoretical prediction demonstrates that temperature-strain discrimination can be realized using the proposed method with one single FBG sensor.
Project description:The fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor, which was developed over recent decades, has been widely used to measure manifold static measurands in a variety of industrial sectors. Multiple experiments have demonstrated its ability in ultrasonic detection and its potential in ultrasonic structural health monitoring. Unlike static measurements, ultrasonic detection requires a higher sensitivity and broader bandwidth to ensure the fidelity of the ultrasonic Lamb wave that propagates in a plate-like structure for the subsequent waveform analysis. Thus, the FBG sensor head and its corresponding demodulation system need to be carefully designed, and other practical issues, such as the installation methods and data process methods, should also be properly addressed. In this review, the mature techniques of FBG-based ultrasonic sensors and their practical applications in ultrasonic structural health monitoring are discussed. In addition, state-of-the-art techniques are introduced to fully present the current developments.
Project description:Power transformer is the most important and expensive equipment used in the electric power industry. Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors has stood out as a flexible and particularly suitable tool for power transformer monitoring being a passive and dielectric sensor element. In this work we evaluated the performance of FBG pressure sensors developed to monitor the static and dynamic pressure in high voltage winding transformers during events such as short-circuit and inrush current. Two types of sensors packaging materials were evaluated in laboratory: polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and transformerboard (TB). The sensors have been tested for high intensity and short duration impacts similar to those occurring in short circuits. In addition, we evaluated the time response of sensors using an interrogation system with a 5 kHz sweep in order to analyze the short circuit response time properly. The results pointed that FBG pressure sensors using PEEK and TB are suitable for transformer winding monitoring. The static sensitivity obtained to PEEK based sensors was 0.911 pm/N, in the range of 800 N to 1500 N. This sensitivity is 4.47 higher than TB based sensors sensitivity. Dynamical tests performance showed an excellent repeatability for both sensors, in agreement with static observation.
Project description:Among many flexible mechanosensors, a crack-based sensor inspired by a spider's slit organ has received considerable attention due to its great sensitivity compared to previous strain sensors. The sensor's limitation, however, lies on its vulnerability to stress concentration and the metal layers' delamination. To address this issue of vulnerability, we used fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) as an encapsulation layer on both sides of the sensor. The excellent waterproof and chemical resistance capability of FEP may effectively protect the sensor from damage in water and chemicals while improving the durability against friction.
Project description:A novel optical sensor probe combining monitoring of blood oxygen saturation (SpO?) with contact pressure is presented. This is beneficial as contact pressure is known to affect SpO? measurement. The sensor consists of three plastic optical fibres (POF) used to deliver and collect light for pulse oximetry, and a fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensor to measure contact pressure. All optical fibres are housed in a biocompatible epoxy patch which serves two purposes: (i) to reduce motion artefacts in the photoplethysmogram (PPG), and (ii) to transduce transverse loading into an axial strain in the FBG. Test results show that using a combination of pressure measuring FBG with a reference FBG, reliable results are possible with low hysteresis which are relatively immune to the effects of temperature. The sensor is used to measure the SpO? of ten volunteers under different contact pressures with perfusion and skewness indices applied to assess the quality of the PPG. The study revealed that the contact force ranging from 5 to 15 kPa provides errors of <2%. The combined probe has the potential to improve the reliability of reflectance oximeters. In particular, in wearable technology, the probe should find use in optimising the fitting of garments incorporating this technology.
Project description:The widely applied capillary refill time (CRT) measurement is currently performed by manually applying pressure and using a stopwatch to record the time taken for the skin to recover its normal colour after a blanching pressure is applied. This method is highly subjective and observer-dependent. This paper presents a new, integrated optical sensor probe, combining monitoring of the capillary refilling process with the blanching pressure applied. The sensor consists of an optical fibre-based reflectance photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor to measure the reflected light signal, as well as a fibre Bragg grating (FBG) to measure the applied blanching pressure and to indicate the time when pressure is released. This sensor was applied to calculate the CRT (1.38 ± 0.66 s) of 10 healthy adult volunteers with (55.2 ± 21.8 kPa) blanching pressures. The form of the capillary refilling data was investigated by fitting using an exponential regression model (R2 > 0.96). The integrated probe has the potential to improve the reliability of CRT measurements by standardising the optimum duration and magnitude of the pressure.