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Proceedings Paper

Multifunctional fiber optic sensor for manufacturing of thermoset matrix composite materials
Author(s): Russell G. May; Kevin A. Shinpaugh; Paul Grems Duncan; Alfred C. Loos; Richard O. Claus
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Paper Abstract

Despite the attractive mechanical properties of polymer matrix composites, which include high specific stiffness and strength, their use has been limited in many cost-sensitive applications due to high manufacturing costs. Since the processing of these materials is a major component of the cost of the finished product, the development of adaptive systems using feedback sensors for control of the composite cure process will accelerate the adoption of composites technology for diverse commercial and industrial applications. We present an embeddable fiber optic sensor for monitoring of the cure of thermoset resins by measuring the rheology of the polymer. By coupling a fiber optic strain sensor to an actuator, it is possible to realize a miniature dynamic mechanical analysis system. If the sensor is immersed in a curing thermoset resin, and a time-varying excitation is applied to the actuator, the sensor can be made to vibrate harmonically. By comparing the phase of the excitation to the phase of the resulting strain as detected by the strain sensor, it is possible to derive the loss tangent of the resin, which can be related to the degree of cure of the resin. After the resin hardens, the embedded sensor may be used as a conventional fiber optic strain gage to measure in-service strains.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3044, Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (23 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274669
Show Author Affiliations
Russell G. May, Fiber and Sensor Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Kevin A. Shinpaugh, Fiber and Sensor Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Paul Grems Duncan, Fiber and Sensor Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Alfred C. Loos, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Richard O. Claus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3044:
Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Janet M. Sater, Editor(s)

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