Real-time damage detection in thermoplastic-based composite materials with embedded multi-mode optical fiber sensors

K. S.C. Kuang, W. J. Cantwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we describe the use of an inexpensive standard communication-grade optical fiber for the purpose of detecting damage in glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite materials and hybrid fiber metal laminates based on the same composite constituent. These multi-mode, step-index optical fibers were embedded at different locations within the composite structure to assess their ability for structural health monitoring. In this study, the specimens were loaded under a three-point bend test configuration. Results from the investigation have shown that these optical fibers are capable of detecting the peak failure load in the host material when embedded at locations where structural failure initiates at peak load. The output from the optical fibers was shown to be sensitive to the applied loading conditions suggesting that they can also be used to monitor structural loading. Optical micrographs of selected specimens were obtained by sectioning the specimens at the fracture location to provide confirmation of the optical fiber results.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)603-618
Number of pages16
JournalPolymer Composites
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002

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