New optical sensor for structural health monitoring

Technica, an Atlanta-based company with support locations in Zurich (Switzerland) and Beijing (China), has released the latest family of small, thin and least intrusive Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor arrays.

The company is a leading manufacturer providing high quality FBG sensors in acrylate, polyimide and gold-coated fibers. It also licenses and produces individual OEM custom-packaged sensors.

Small dimensions, lightweight and low bend-sensitivity are critical features in numerous embedded-FBG sensing applications as this allows for minimal compromise on the materials’ strength due to local stress concentrations.

Technica has therefore developed the latest single-mode fiber-based FBG sensors (T60) to meet the increased demand for thin FBG sensors for applications such as advancing SHM in composite materials for a wide range of optical specifications and coating requirements.

These latest sensors will be placed in ultra-thin fibers (typically thinner than 125 microns) to be embedded in composite materials used in performance vehicles, marine vessels, aerospace, energy applications and others to monitor the structural integrity of the materials during the design, optimization, and operation phases.

The sensors are both durable and ultra-small for use in tight spaces, and ensure minimal intrusion. They are embedded directly in the bare fiber, and then coated with acrylate, polyimide, or metal. If the coating is of metal (most commonly gold), these FBGs can also be encapsulated into hermetically sealed devices.

The fiber containing the FBGs has smaller core and higher cutoff wavelengths that help reduce the macro-bending sensitivity significantly without affecting their seamless work with most optical sensing instruments worldwide.

The sensors yield excellent wavelength-to-temperature and wavelength-to-strain linearity. Their ultra-thin size and quick response time ensure that the sensors uniquely fit for in-process control of advanced composites manufacturing and real-time monitoring of high performance vehicles for space, air, water and land. The sensors also have applications in the emerging energy, medical, and robotic sectors.

More information can be found at: Technica.

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