Abstract

Networks of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors can serve as structural health monitoring systems for large-scale structures based on the collection of ultrasonic waves. The demodulation of structural Lamb waves using FBG sensors requires a high signal-to-noise ratio because the Lamb waves are of low amplitudes. This paper compares the signal transfer amplitudes between two adhesive mounting configurations for an FBG to detect Lamb waves propagating in an aluminum plate: a directly bonded FBG and a remotely bonded FBG. In the directly bonded FBG case, the Lamb waves create in-plane and out-of-plane displacements, which are transferred through the adhesive bond and detected by the FBG sensor. In the remotely bonded FBG case, the Lamb waves are converted into longitudinal and flexural traveling waves in the optical fiber at the adhesive bond, which propagate through the optical fiber and are detected by the FBG sensor. A theoretical prediction of overall signal attenuation also is performed, which is the combination of material attenuation in the plate and optical fiber and attenuation due to wave spreading in the plate. The experimental results demonstrate that remote bonding of the FBG significantly increases the signal amplitude measured by the FBG.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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