Crack generation starts at the crack tip, which bears the highest stress concentration. Under further stress, the crack propagates and leads to severe structural damage. To avoid such damage, the identification of the crack tips, and monitoring of the surrounding stress and strain fields, are very important. In this work, the location of, and strain distribution monitoring around, the crack tip are achieved using a dense ultra-short (DUS) fiber Bragg grating (FBG) array together with an improved optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) interrogator. The adjacent grating interference correlation algorithm helps overcome the limitation on the demodulation precision, which is imposed by the inherently broad reflection spectra of individual ultra-short gratings. High spatial resolution measurement of the strain profile around the crack tip is performed at different levels of induced strain. Furthermore, the vertical-crossed layout is adopted to avoid the omission of cracks, which usually occurs in the case of the one direction layout. We achieve 1 mm spatial resolution and 7.5 m detection distance. Location of a single crack, multiple cracks, and an oblique crack was realized experimentally by locating the crack tips. The experimental results are consistent with the theoretical analysis, verifying the feasibility of the DUS-FBG system for high-density distributed crack tip sensing.
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