Embedded Optical Fiber Sensors for In-situ and Continuous Health Monitoring of Smart Composite Civil Engineering Structure

The major benefits of using composite materials as civil engineering structures are high strength, lightweight, high corrosion resistance, high formability and tailoring. Adding functionalities into composite materials, resulting in so-called smart structures, is a promising alternative to conventional methods for structural health monitoring. In this work, as a first part, a brief review of the advantages and issues of using optical fiber sensors will be addressed. Thenafter, Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG), the most used fiber-optics-based sensors will be presented and discussed. This technique that allows localized and multiplexed measurements to be carried out, is very efficient. Therefore, FBG are increaseingly used in composites as well as in many applications, particularly, in civil engineering structures of small and medium spans. In the second part, the operating principles and performances of distributed measurements techniques, will be presented. It is a challenging structural health monitoring technique for composites structures of large dimensions. In the last part, practical issues related to sensor placements, optical fiber coatings and connectors, used in smart composite materials, will be addressed.

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