Three-Axis Distributed Fiber Optic Strain Measurement in 3D Woven Composite Structures
In the present application optical fiber for distributed sensing was embedded on a commercial weaving loom and used for three-axis strain measurement and subsequent spatial frequency analysis.
Recent advancements in composite materials technologies have broken further from traditional designs and require advanced instrumentation and analysis capabilities. Success or failure is highly dependent on design analysis and manufacturing processes. By monitoring smart structures throughout manufacturing and service life, residual and operational stresses can be assessed and structural integrity maintained. Composite smart structures can be manufactured by integrating fiber optic sensors into existing composite materials processes such as ply layup, filament winding and three-dimensional weaving. In this work optical fiber was integrated into 3D woven composite parts at a commercial woven products manufacturing facility. The fiber was then used to monitor the structures during a VARTM manufacturing process, and subsequent static and dynamic testing. Low cost telecommunications-grade optical fiber acts as the sensor using a high resolution commercial Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometer (OFDR) system providing distributed strain measurement at spatial resolutions as low as 2mm. Strain measurements using the optical fiber sensors are correlated to resistive strain gage measurements during static structural loading.
M.A. Castellucci, S. Klute, E.M. Lally, M.E. Froggatt, D. Lowry. Three-Axis Distributed Fiber Optic Strain Measurement in 3D Woven Composite Structures, SPIE Smart Structures 2013