Crack Detection in Fibre Reinforced Plastic Structures Using Embedded Fibre Bragg Grating Sensors: Theory, Model Development and Experimental Validation

Gilmar Ferreira Pereira, Lars Pilgaard Mikkelsen, Malcolm McGugan

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In a fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) structure designed using the emerging damage tolerance and structural health monitoring philosophy, sensors and models that describe crack propagation will enable a structure to operate despite the presence of damage by fully exploiting the material’s mechanical properties. When applying this concept to different structures, sensor systems and damage types, a combination of damage mechanics, monitoring technology, and modelling is required. The primary objective of this article is to demonstrate such a combination. This article is divided in three main topics: the damage mechanism (delamination of FRP), the structural health monitoring technology (fibre Bragg gratings to detect delamination), and the finite element method model of the structure that incorporates these concepts into a final and integrated damage-monitoring concept. A novel method for assessing a crack growth/damage event in fibre-reinforced polymer or structural adhesive-bonded structures using embedded fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensors is presented by combining conventional measured parameters, such as wavelength shift, with parameters associated with measurement errors, typically ignored by the end-user. Conjointly, a novel model for sensor output prediction (virtual sensor) was developed using this FBG sensor crack monitoring concept and implemented in a finite element method code. The monitoring method was demonstrated and validated using glass fibre double cantilever beam specimens instrumented with an array of FBG sensors embedded in the material and tested using an experimental fracture procedure. The digital image correlation technique was used to validate the model prediction by correlating the specific sensor response caused by the crack with the developed model.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0141495
JournalP L o S One
Issue number10
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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