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Fatigue Performance of Type I Fibre Bragg Grating Strain Sensors

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
Defence Science and Technology Group, 506 Lorimer Street, Fishermans Bend, VIC 3207, Australia
Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser (COPL), Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(16), 3524;
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring)
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Although fibre Bragg gratings (FBGs) offer obvious potential for use in high-density, high-strain sensing applications, the adoption of this technology in the historically conservative aerospace industry has been slow. There are several contributing factors, one of which is variability in the reported performance of these sensors in harsh and fatigue prone environments. This paper reports on a comparative evaluation of the fatigue performance of FBG sensors written according to the same specifications using three different grating manufacturing processes: sensors written in stripped and re-coated fibres, sensors written during the fibre draw process and sensors written through fibre coating. Fatigue cycling of the fibres is provided by a customized electro-dynamically actuated loading assembly designed to provide high frequency and amplitude loading. Pre- and post-fatigue microscopic analysis and high-resolution transmission and reflection spectra scanning are conducted to investigate the fatigue performance of FBGs, the failure regions of fibres as well as any fatigue-related effects on the spectral profiles. It was found that because of the unique fabrication method, the sensors written through the fibre coating, also known as trans-jacket FBGs, show better fatigue performance than stripped and re-coated FBGs with greater control possible to tailor the optical reflection properties compared to gratings written in the draw tower. This emerging method for inscription of Type I gratings opens up the potential for mass production of higher reflectivity, apodised sensors with dense or complex array architectures which can be adopted as sensors for harsh environments such as in defence and aerospace industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibre Bragg gratings; grating inscription method; fibre fatigue test rig; FBGs fatigue testing; optical properties fibre Bragg gratings; grating inscription method; fibre fatigue test rig; FBGs fatigue testing; optical properties

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Zhang, N.; Davis, C.; Chiu, W.K.; Boilard, T.; Bernier, M. Fatigue Performance of Type I Fibre Bragg Grating Strain Sensors. Sensors 2019, 19, 3524.

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