Qualification of a truly distributed fiber optic technique for strain and temperature measurements in concrete structures
1 EDF R&D, 78400 Chatou, France
2 ANDRA, 92298 Chatenay-Malabry, France
3 Université Paris-Est, IFSTTAR, 75015 Paris, France
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Structural health monitoring is a key factor in life cycle management of infrastructures. Truly distributed fiber optic sensors are able to provide relevant information on large structures, such as nuclear power plants or nuclear waste disposal facilities. The sensing chain includes an optoelectronic unit and a sensing cable made of one or more optical fibers. A new instrument based on Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR), enables to perform temperature and strain measurements with a centimeter scale spatial resolution over hundred of meters and with a level of precision equal to 1 μ strain and 0.1 °C. Several sensing cables are designed with different materials targeting to last for decades, either embedded in the concrete or attached to the surface of the structure. They must ensure an optimal transfer of temperature and strain from the concrete matrix to the optical fiber. Based on the European guide FD CEN/TR 14748 “Non-destructive testing – Methodology for qualification of non-destructive tests”, a qualification method was developed. Tests were carried out using various sensing cables embedded in the volume or fixed to the surface of plain concrete specimens and representative-scale reinforced concrete structural elements. Measurements were performed with an OFDR instrument, while mechanical solicitations were imposed to the concrete element. Preliminary experiments seem very promising since measurements performed with distributed sensing systems are found comparable to values obtained with conventional sensors used in civil engineering and with the Strength of Materials Modelling. Moreover, the distributed sensing system makes it possible to detect and localize cracks appearing in concrete during the mechanical loading.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011