Abstract

Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are typically spot-bonded onto the surface of a structure to detect ultrasonic waves in laboratory demonstrations. However, to protect the rest of the optical fiber from any environmental damage during real applications, bonding the entire length of fiber, called continuous bonding, is commonly done. In this paper, we investigate the impact of continuously bonding FBGs on the measured Lamb wave signal. In theory, the ultrasonic wave signal can bi-directionally transfer between the optical fiber and the plate at any adhered location, which could potentially produce output signal distortion for the continuous bonding case. Therefore, an experiment is performed to investigate the plate-to-fiber and fiber-to-plate signal transfer, from which the signal coupling coefficient of each case is theoretically estimated based on the experimental data. We demonstrate that the two coupling coefficients are comparable, with the plate-to-fiber case approximately 19% larger than the fiber-to-plate case. Finally, the signal waveform and arrival time of the output FBG responses are compared between the continuous and spot bonding cases. The results indicate that the resulting Lamb wave signal output is only that directly detected at the FBG location; however, a slight difference in signal waveform is observed between the two bonding configurations. This paper demonstrates the practicality of using continuously bonded FBGs for ultrasonic wave detection in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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