A combination of evanescent wave optical sensors (EWOSs) and fibre Bragg gratings (FBGs) was embedded in an epoxy vinyl ester and an epoxy vinyl ester based glass reinforced polymer (GRP) composite to measure fluid ingress that would result in degradation under hostile conditions. Samples were subjected to accelerated aging in the form of single sided exposure to simulated sea water at 1208C in a pressurised stainless steel vessel. Low cost EWOSs were prepared from a standard multimode glass optical fibre and compared to commercially available FBGs. Both sensors were able to detect the early stage of moisture diffusion into the GRP matrix. The evanescent sensors showed a reduction in the transmitted signal intensity between 1500 and 1650 nm with an increasing exposure time due to a change in the optical properties of the polymer, whereas a peak shift was observed for the FBGs due to the swelling of the resin with the absorption of water. Additionally, the glass optical fibre sensors were embedded in a configuration that allowed the extent of diffusion through the thickness of the GRPs to be monitored, with the fibres in the closest position to the exposure face showing a greater signal change than those positioned further away.
Glass optical fibre sensors for detection of through thickness moisture diffusion in glass reinforced composites under hostile environments / Milsom, Ben; Olivero, Massimo; Milanese, Daniel; Giannis, Stefanos; Martin, Roderick; Terenzi, Andrea; Kenny, Josè; Ferraris, Monica; Perrone, Guido; Salvo, Milena. - In: ADVANCES IN APPLIED CERAMICS. - ISSN 1743-6753. - 114:S1(2015), pp. 76-83. [10.1179/1743676115Y.0000000034]
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