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A structural integrity monitoring system based on optical fiber sensors is an important development at the smart structures level. However, direct sensors incorporation, without a substrate structure, creates some difficulties in eventual sensor maintenance or replacement. This paper presents an approach to overcome this issue. The fabrication, using industrial processes, and characterization of a polymeric foil able to sense, gather and send sensitive information for remote analysis is explored. The described example uses fiber Bragg grating sensors embedded in laminated polymeric sheets commonly used in different industries, as automotive, aeronautic, civil, among others. The fabricated foil is capable of transferring the full deformation to the optical sensor. The presented optical sensor incorporated in the polymeric foil is fully functional with high sensitivity, 0.6 picometer by microstrain, measuring deformation up to 1.2 millimeter. The sensors distribution over the structure is only restricted by the 10 mm sensor length, the desired dynamic range window and interrogation system used.
Date of Conference: 18-23 June 2009