• Eli Voet
  • Geert Luyckx
  • Nicolas Lammens
  • Joris Degrieck

Department of Material Science and Engineering, Ghent University

Research Paper

Strain Measurements of Composite Laminates with Embedded Fibre Bragg Gratings

Embedded optical fibre sensors are considered for structural health monitoring purposes in numerous applications.

In fibre reinforced plastics, embedded fibre Bragg gratings are found to be one of the most popular and reliable solutions for strain monitoring. Despite of their growing popularity, users should keep in mind their shortcomings, many of which are associated with the embedding process.

This review paper starts with an overview of some of the technical issues to be considered when embedding fibre optics in fibrous composite materials. Next, a monitoring scheme is introduced which shows the different steps necessary to relate the output of an embedded FBG to the strain of the structure in which it is embedded. Each step of the process has already been addressed separately in literature without considering the complete cycle, from the embedding of the sensor to the internal strain measurement of the structure.

This review paper summarizes the work reported in the literature and tries to fit it into the big picture of internal strain measurements with embedded fibre Bragg gratings. The last part of the paper focuses on temperature compensation methods which should not be ignored in terms of in-situ measurement of strains with fibre Bragg gratings. Throughout the paper, criticism is given where appropriate, which should be regarded as opportunities for future research.

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