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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 615;

Self-Sensing Composites: In-Situ Detection of Fibre Fracture

School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Physical Sciences Department, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wilts SP4 0JQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jandro L. Abot
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Structural Health Monitoring in Polymeric Composites)
Full-Text   |   PDF [12063 KB, uploaded 28 April 2016]   |  


The primary load-bearing component in a composite material is the reinforcing fibres. This paper reports on a technique to study the fracture of individual reinforcing fibres or filaments in real-time. Custom-made small-diameter optical fibres with a diameter of 12 (±2) micrometres were used to detect the fracture of individual filaments during tensile loading of unreinforced bundles and composites. The unimpregnated bundles were end-tabbed and tensile tested to failure. A simple technique based on resin-infusion was developed to manufacture composites with a negligible void content. In both cases, optical fibre connectors were attached to the ends of the small-diameter optical fibre bundles to enable light to be coupled into the bundle via one end whilst the opposite end was photographed using a high-speed camera. The feasibility of detecting the fracture of each of the filaments in the bundle and composite was demonstrated. The in-situ damage detection technique was also applied to E-glass bundles and composites; this will be reported in a subsequent publication. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-sensing; optical fibre sensors; fibre fracture; damage detection; structural health monitoring self-sensing; optical fibre sensors; fibre fracture; damage detection; structural health monitoring

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Malik, S.A.; Wang, L.; Curtis, P.T.; Fernando, G.F. Self-Sensing Composites: In-Situ Detection of Fibre Fracture. Sensors 2016, 16, 615.

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