Crack monitoring in reinforced concrete beams by distributed optical fiber sensors
Journal article, 2020
This paper investigates the use of distributed optical fiber sensors (DOFS) based on Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry of Rayleigh backscattering for Structural Health Monitoring purposes in civil engineering structures. More specifically, the results of a series of laboratory experiments aimed at assessing the suitability and accuracy of DOFS for crack monitoring in reinforced concrete members subjected to external loading are reported. The experiments consisted on three-point bending tests of concrete beams, where a polyamide-coated optical fiber sensor was bonded directly onto the surface of an unaltered reinforcement bar and protected by a layer of silicone. The strain measurements obtained by the DOFS system exhibited an accuracy equivalent to that provided by traditional electrical foil gauges. Moreover, the analysis of the high spatial resolution strain profiles provided by the DOFS enabled the effective detection of crack formation. Furthermore, the comparison of the reinforcement strain profiles with measurements from a digital image correlation system revealed that determining the location of cracks and tracking the evolution of the crack width over time were both feasible, with most errors being below +/- 3 cm and +/- 20 mu m, for the crack location and crack width, respectively.
distributed optical fiber sensors
structural health monitoring