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All-Optical Photoacoustic Sensors for Steel Rebar Corrosion Monitoring

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Ave., Lowell, MA 01854, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Ave., Lowell, MA 01854, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051353
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors Using Microstructured and Photonics Crystal Fibers)
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Abstract

This article presents an application of an active all-optical photoacoustic sensing system with four elements for steel rebar corrosion monitoring. The sensor utilized a photoacoustic mechanism of gold nanocomposites to generate 8 MHz broadband ultrasound pulses in 0.4 mm compact space. A nanosecond 532 nm pulsed laser and 400 μm multimode fiber were employed to incite an ultrasound reaction. The fiber Bragg gratings were used as distributed ultrasound detectors. Accelerated corrosion testing was applied to four sections of a single steel rebar with four different corrosion degrees. Our results demonstrated that the mass loss of steel rebar displayed an exponential growth with ultrasound frequency shifts. The sensitivity of the sensing system was such that 0.175 MHz central frequency reduction corresponded to 0.02 g mass loss of steel rebar corrosion. It was proved that the all-optical photoacoustic sensing system can actively evaluate the corrosion of steel rebar via ultrasound spectrum. This multipoint all-optical photoacoustic method is promising for embedment into a concrete structure for distributed corrosion monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: photoacoustic principle; gold nanocomposites; FBG; distributed sensing; rebar corrosion monitoring photoacoustic principle; gold nanocomposites; FBG; distributed sensing; rebar corrosion monitoring
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Du, C.; Owusu Twumasi, J.; Tang, Q.; Guo, X.; Zhou, J.; Yu, T.; Wang, X. All-Optical Photoacoustic Sensors for Steel Rebar Corrosion Monitoring. Sensors 2018, 18, 1353.

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