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10 March 2014 Evaluation of embedded FBGs in composite overwrapped pressure vessels for strain based structural health monitoring
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The increased use of composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) in space and commercial applications, and the explosive nature of pressure vessel ruptures, make it crucial to develop techniques for early condition based damage detection. The need for a robust health monitoring system for COPVs is a high priority since the mechanisms of stress rupture are not fully understood. Embedded Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors have been proposed as a potential solution that may be utilized to anticipate and potentially avoid catastrophic failures. The small size and light weight of optical fibers enable manufactures to integrate FBGs directly into composite structures for the purpose of structural health monitoring. A challenging aspect of embedding FBGs within composite structures is the risk of potentially impinging the optical fiber while the structure is under load, thus distorting the optical information to be transferred. As the COPV is pressurized, an embedded optical sensor is compressed between the expansion of the inner bottle, and the outer overwrap layer of composite. In this study, FBGs are installed on the outer surface of a COPV bottle as well as embedded underneath a composite overwrap layer for comparison of strain measurements. Experimental data is collected from optical fibers containing multiple FBGs during incremental pressurization cycles, ranging from 0 to 10,000 psi. The graphical representations of high density strain maps provide a more efficient process of monitoring structural integrity. Preliminary results capture the complex distribution of strain, while furthering the understanding of the failure mechanisms of COPVs.
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Francisco Pena, Scott M. Strutner, W. Lance Richards, Anthony Piazza, and Allen R. Parker "Evaluation of embedded FBGs in composite overwrapped pressure vessels for strain based structural health monitoring", Proc. SPIE 9059, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2014, 90590G (10 March 2014);

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