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Sensors 2018, 18(4), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040980

Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors in Reinforced Concrete Structures—A Case Study

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), c/Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
2
Department of Engineering and Construction Projects, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), c/Colom 11, Ed. TR5, 08022 Terrassa, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2017)

Abstract

When using distributed optical fiber sensors (DOFS) on reinforced concrete structures, a compromise must be achieved between the protection requirements and robustness of the sensor deployment and the accuracy of the measurements both in the uncracked and cracked stages and under loading, unloading and reloading processes. With this in mind the authors have carried out an experiment where polyimide-coated DOFS were installed on two concrete beams, both embedded in the rebar elements and also bonded to the concrete surface. The specimens were subjected to a three-point load test where after cracking, they are unloaded and reloaded again to assess the capability of the sensor when applied to a real loading scenarios in concrete structures. Rayleigh Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR) was used as the most suitable technique for crack detection in reinforced concrete elements. To verify the reliability and accuracy of the DOFS measurements, additional strain gauges were also installed at three locations along the rebar. The results show the feasibility of using a thin coated polyimide DOFS directly bonded on the reinforcing bar without the need of indention or mechanization. A proposal for a Spectral Shift Quality (SSQ) threshold is also obtained and proposed for future works when using polyimide-coated DOFS bonded to rebars with cyanoacrylate adhesive. View Full-Text
Keywords: fiber optics; structural health monitoring; distributed fiber sensing; civil engineering; load testing; reinforced concrete; cracking fiber optics; structural health monitoring; distributed fiber sensing; civil engineering; load testing; reinforced concrete; cracking
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Barrias, A.; Casas, J.R.; Villalba, S. Embedded Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors in Reinforced Concrete Structures—A Case Study. Sensors 2018, 18, 980.

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