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Sensors 2013, 13(1), 39-57; doi:10.3390/s130100039

Fiber Loop Ringdown Sensor for Potential Real-Time Monitoring of Cracks in Concrete Structures: An Exploratory Study

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 October 2012 / Revised: 21 November 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 20 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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A fiber loop ringdown (FLRD) concrete crack sensor is described for the first time. A bare single mode fiber (SMF), without using other optical components or chemical coatings, etc., was utilized to construct the sensor head, which was driven by a FLRD sensor system. The performance of the sensor was evaluated on concrete bars with dimensions 20 cm × 5 cm × 5 cm, made in our laboratory. Cracks were produced manually and the responses of the sensor were recorded in terms of ringdown times. The sensor demonstrated detection of the surface crack width (SCW) of 0.5 mm, which leads to a theoretical SCW detection limit of 31 μm. The sensor’s response to a cracking event is near real-time (1.5 s). A large dynamic range of crack detection ranging from a few microns (μm) to a few millimeters is expected from this sensor. With the distinct features, such as simplicity, temperature independence, near real-time response, high SCW detection sensitivity, and a large dynamic range, this FLRD crack sensor appears promising for detections of cracks when embedded in concrete.
Keywords: fiber loop ringdown; crack sensors; concrete fiber loop ringdown; crack sensors; concrete
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sahay, P.; Kaya, M.; Wang, C. Fiber Loop Ringdown Sensor for Potential Real-Time Monitoring of Cracks in Concrete Structures: An Exploratory Study. Sensors 2013, 13, 39-57.

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