Monitoring of deployment process of shape memory polymers for morphing structures with embedded fibre Bragg grating sensors

Peng Li, Zhijun Yan, Lin Zhang*, Yanju Liu, Jinsong Leng, K.T. Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article demonstrates the use of embedded fibre Bragg gratings as vector bending sensor to monitor two-dimensional shape deformation of a shape memory polymer plate. The shape memory polymer plate was made by using thermal-responsive epoxy-based shape memory polymer materials, and the two fibre Bragg grating sensors were orthogonally embedded, one on the top and the other on the bottom layer of the plate, in order to measure the strain distribution in both longitudinal and transverse directions separately and also with temperature reference. When the shape memory polymer plate was bent at different angles, the Bragg wavelengths of the embedded fibre Bragg gratings showed a red-shift of 50 pm/°caused by the bent-induced tensile strain on the plate surface. The finite element method was used to analyse the stress distribution for the whole shape recovery process. The strain transfer rate between the shape memory polymer and optical fibre was also calculated from the finite element method and determined by experimental results, which was around 0.25. During the experiment, the embedded fibre Bragg gratings showed very high temperature sensitivity due to the high thermal expansion coefficient of the shape memory polymer, which was around 108.24 pm/°C below the glass transition temperature (Tg) and 47.29 pm/°C above Tg. Therefore, the orthogonal arrangement of the two fibre Bragg grating sensors could provide a temperature compensation function, as one of the fibre Bragg gratings only measures the temperature while the other is subjected to the directional deformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1232
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Volume25
Issue number10
Early online date8 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • deployment process
  • fibre Bragg grating
  • Shape memory polymers
  • shape sensing
  • vector sensors

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