A distributed fiber optic monitoring methodology based on optic time domain reflectometry technology is developed for seismic damage identification of steel structures. Epoxy with a strength closely associated to a specified structure damage state is used for bonding zigzagged configured optic fibers on the surfaces of the structure. Sensing the local deformation of the structure, the epoxy modulates the signal change within the optic fiber in response to the damage state of the structure. A monotonic loading test is conducted on a steel specimen installed with the proposed sensing system using selected epoxy that will crack at the designated strain level, which indicates the damage of the steel structure. Then, using the selected epoxy, a varying degree of cyclic loading amplitudes, which is associated with different damage states, is applied on a second specimen. The test results show that the specimen’s damage can be identified by the optic sensors, and its maximum local deformation can be recorded by the sensing system; moreover, the damage evolution can also be identified.
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