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Embedded fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors are attractive for in-situ structural monitoring, especially in fiber reinforced composites. Their implementation in metallic structures is hindered by the thermal limit of the protective coating, typically a polymer material. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the embedding of FBG sensors into metals with the ultimate objective of using FBG sensors for structural health monitoring of metallic structures. To that end, ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) is utilized. UAM is a solid-state manufacturing process based on ultrasonic metal welding that allows for layered addition of metallic foils without melting. Embedding FBGs through UAM is shown to result in total cross-sectional encapsulation of the sensors within the metal matrix, which encourages uniform strain transfer. Since the UAM process takes place at essentially room temperature, the industry standard acrylate protective coating can be used rather than requiring a new coating applied to the FBGs prior to embedment. Measurements presented in this paper show that UAM-embedded FBG sensors accurately track strain at temperatures higher than 400 C. The data reveals the conditions under which detrimental wavelength hopping takes place due to non-uniformity of the load transferred to the FBG. Further, optical cross-sectioning of the test specimens shows inhibition of the thermal degradation of the protective coating. It is hypothesized that the lack of an atmosphere around the fully-encapsulated FBGs makes it possible to operate the sensors at temperatures well above what has been possible until now. Embedded FBGs were shown to retain their coatings when subjected to a thermal loading that would result in over 50 percent degradation (by volume and mass) in atmospherically exposed fiber.  more » « less
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Proceedings of the ASME 2017 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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