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Inventions 2018, 3(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions3020020

An Embeddable Strain Sensor with 30 Nano-Strain Resolution Based on Optical Interferometry

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409, USA
2
State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 31 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring and Their Applications Across Industry)
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Abstract

A cost-effective, robust and embeddable optical interferometric strain sensor with nanoscale strain resolution is presented in this paper. The sensor consists of an optical fiber, a quartz rod with one end coated with a thin gold layer, and two metal shells employed to transfer the strain and orient and protect the optical fiber and the quartz rod. The optical fiber endface, combining with the gold-coated surface, forms an extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer. The sensor was firstly calibrated, and the result showed that our prototype sensor could provide a measurement resolution of 30 nano-strain (nε) and a sensitivity of 10.01 µε/µm over a range of 1000 µε. After calibration of the sensor, the shrinkage strain of a cubic brick of mortar in real time during the drying process was monitored. The strain sensor was compared with a commercial linear variable displacement transducer, and the comparison results in four weeks demonstrated that our sensor had much higher measurement resolution and gained more detailed and useful information. Due to the advantages of the extremely simple, robust and cost-effective configuration, it is believed that the sensor is significantly beneficial to practical applications, especially for structural health monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: nano-strain; optical fiber sensor; extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer; high resolution; structural health monitoring nano-strain; optical fiber sensor; extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer; high resolution; structural health monitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhu, C.; Chen, Y.; Zhuang, Y.; Tang, F.; Huang, J. An Embeddable Strain Sensor with 30 Nano-Strain Resolution Based on Optical Interferometry. Inventions 2018, 3, 20.

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