Characterisation of Transverse Matrix Cracks in Composite Materials Using Fibre Bragg Grating Sensors

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Abstract

In this paper, we propose a novel approach to characterise barely visible transverse matrix cracks in composite structures using fibre Bragg grating (FBG) optical sensors. Matrix cracks are one of the most prevalent types of damage in composite structures, and detecting them in the internal layers of composites has remained a challenge. In this paper, we will show that the formation of cracks in the internal layers of composite structures alters the side-lobes of the reflection spectra of FBG sensors by adding new harmonics to them. We argue that the spread and the location of these harmonics depends on both the mechanical properties of the composite material and the location of the crack along the length of the FBG sensor. Via computer simulations and experimental measurements, we validate our hypotheses, and the results are in agreement with our model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8723555
Pages (from-to)4720-4727
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Volume37
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Barely visible damage
  • Composites
  • FBG
  • Fiber Bragg gratings
  • Matrix cracks
  • Reflection spectrum
  • Smart structures
  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)

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