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      Strain Measurements of Composite Laminates with Embedded Fibre Bragg Gratings: Criticism and Opportunities for Research

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          Embedded optical fibre sensors are considered for structural health monitoring purposes in numerous applications. In fibre reinforced plastics, embedded fibre Bragg gratings are found to be one of the most popular and reliable solutions for strain monitoring. Despite of their growing popularity, users should keep in mind their shortcomings, many of which are associated with the embedding process. This review paper starts with an overview of some of the technical issues to be considered when embedding fibre optics in fibrous composite materials. Next, a monitoring scheme is introduced which shows the different steps necessary to relate the output of an embedded FBG to the strain of the structure in which it is embedded. Each step of the process has already been addressed separately in literature without considering the complete cycle, from embedding of the sensor to the internal strain measurement of the structure. This review paper summarizes the work reported in literature and tries to fit it into the big picture of internal strain measurements with embedded fibre Bragg gratings. The last part of the paper focuses on temperature compensation methods which should not be ignored in terms of in-situ measurement of strains with fibre Bragg gratings. Throughout the paper criticism is given where appropriate, which should be regarded as opportunities for future research.

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            Bragg gratings have been produced in germanosilicate optical fibers by exposing the core, through the side of the cladding, to a coherent UV two-beam interference pattern with a wavelength selected to lie in the oxygen-vacancy defect band of germania, near 244 nm. Fractional index perturbations of approximately 3 x 10(-5) have been written in a 4.4-mm length of the core with a 5-min exposure. The Bragg filters formed by this new technique had reflectivities of 50-55% and spectral widths, at half-maximum, of 42 GHz.
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                Author and article information

                Sensors (Basel)
                Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                31 December 2010
                : 11
                : 1
                : 384-408
                Department of Material Science and Engineering, Ghent University, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; E-Mails: Eli.Voet@ 123456UGent.be (E.V.); Nicolas.Lammens@ 123456UGent.be (N.L.); Joris.Degrieck@ 123456UGent.be (J.D.)
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: Geert.Luyckx@ 123456UGent.be ; Tel.: +32-9-264-9515; Fax: +32-9-264-3587.
                © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).


                Biomedical engineering

                strain measurements, embedded, composite materials, fibre bragg grating


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