A systematic study of annealing behavior of drawn PMMA fibers was performed. Annealing dynamics were investigated under different environmental conditions by fiber longitudinal shrinkage monitoring. The shrinkage process was found to follow a stretched exponential decay function revealing the heterogeneous nature of the underlying molecular dynamics. The complex dependence of the fiber shrinkage on initial degree of molecular alignment in the fiber, annealing time and temperature was investigated and interpreted. Moreover, humidity was shown to have a profound effect on the annealing process, which was not recognized previously. Annealing was also shown to have considerable effect on the fiber mechanical properties associated with the relaxation of molecular alignment in the fiber. The consequences of fiber annealing for the climatic stability of certain polymer optical fiber-based sensors are discussed, emphasizing the importance of fiber controlled pre-annealing with respect to the foreseeable operating conditions.
Bibliographical note© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
- humidity induced annealing
- molecular alignment relaxation
- optical fiber sensor climatic stability
- polymer optical fibers
- thermal annealing