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Amplified OTDR Systems for Multipoint Corrosion Monitoring
Sensors 2012, 12(3), 3656-3668; doi:10.3390/s120303656

Durability Tests of a Fiber Optic Corrosion Sensor

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, Riviera Garden, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, China 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2012 / Revised: 24 February 2012 / Accepted: 14 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2012)
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Steel corrosion is a major cause of degradation in reinforced concrete structures, and there is a need to develop cost-effective methods to detect the initiation of corrosion in such structures. This paper presents a low cost, easy to use fiber optic corrosion sensor for practical application. Thin iron film is deposited on the end surface of a cleaved optical fiber by sputtering. When light is sent into the fiber, most of it is reflected by the coating. If the surrounding environment is corrosive, the film is corroded and the intensity of the reflected signal drops significantly. In previous work, the sensing principle was verified by various experiments in laboratory and a packaging method was introduced. In this paper, the method of multiplexing several sensors by optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) and optical splitter is introduced, together with the interpretation of OTDR results. The practical applicability of the proposed sensors is demonstrated in a three-year field trial with the sensors installed in an aggressive marine environment. The durability of the sensor against chemical degradation and physical degradation is also verified by accelerated life test and freeze-thaw cycling test, respectively.
Keywords: fiber optic; corrosion sensor; sputtering; OTDR; optical time domain reflectometer; chemical degradation; freeze-thaw cycling fiber optic; corrosion sensor; sputtering; OTDR; optical time domain reflectometer; chemical degradation; freeze-thaw cycling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wan, K.T.; Leung, C.K. Durability Tests of a Fiber Optic Corrosion Sensor. Sensors 2012, 12, 3656-3668.

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