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FBGS have launched an “All Grating Fiber” which it says now makes it possible to position sensors adjacent to one another in large composite components, resulting in the monitoring of changes throughout the complete structure.
The company say that DTG-LBL-1550-AGF is a low bend loss fibre with densely spaced Draw Tower Gratings (DTGs) over the full length of the fibre. It is designed to be used with an OFDR (optical frequency domain reflectometry) system that FBGS claim allows fast and precise measurements over a wide strain or temperature range with spatial resolution down to a few mm over the entire fibre length.
According to FBGS the chain can be configured such that more than 95% of the fibre contains gratings and the wavelength can be adjusted between 1510nm and 1590nm – and can vary within the array. The fibre is produced using a process that combines the drawing of the optical fibre with the writing of a Bragg grating. This process of simultaneously drawing the fibre and writing the grating results in spliceless, high strength FBG chains. The fibre coating is applied directly after the grating inscription and as such the commonly used stripping and recoating process of standard FBG’s is not necessary and the pristine fibre strength is maintained throughout the DTG manufacturing process.
It states the ability to build a high density of FBG’s into a single fibre with extremely high mechanical strength compared to conventional gratings, means sensing in harsh environments over large areas with a high resolution of measurement is now possible. With a breaking strength of >5% strain and a temperature operating range from -180°C to +200°C and although originally developed for use in the aerospace industry, the capabilities of the DTG fibre are also suited for structural testing within composites, automotive and the wind industry.
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