Date of Award

8-2002

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Roberto Lopez-Anido

Second Committee Member

Eric Landis

Third Committee Member

Vincent Caccese

Abstract

Extrinsic Fabry-Perot Interferometric (EFPI) fiber optic strain sensors were embedded into fiber reinforced composite panels. The panels were fabricated by the SCRIMP process. Panels were cut into test coupons that contained an embedded EFPI fiber optic sensor. Control coupons were cut from the same panel and were tested under the same conditions as the coupons with embedded sensors. Both types of specimens, with and without fiber optic instrumentation, were instrumented with resistance strain gages. Output from the EFPI sensors are compared with conventional instrumentation to determine dependability of EFPI strain measurements. Material properties from tests performed on the coupons with embedded fiber optic sensors and the control coupons served to determine the following research objectives:

  • Optimal embedment techniques that provide accurate strain values.
  • Dependability and durability of embedded sensors
  • Effects of embedded EFPI strain sensors on composite properties and structural integrity.

The experimental findings are used to support the development of a structural monitoring system for the advanced composite hulls for marine applications. Luna Innovations of Blacksburg, Virginia are the fiber optic instrumentation manufacturers selected to provide all fiber optic based instrumentation for this project. The following were conducted to attain the research objectives.

  • Develop processing techniques for embedding fiber optic sensors in SCRlMP composite panels.
  • Assess the effect of embedding fiber sensors on SCRIMP composite panels properties and structural integrity.
  • Develop methods to ensure reliable structural health monitoring data using EFPI fiber optic embedded sensors.

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