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    SDC Advances Fiber Optic Sensing Technology in Composite Structures

    SDC Advances Fiber Optic Sensing Technology in Composite Structures

     

    SAN DIEGO, CA, January 2018 – San Diego Composites, Inc. (SDC) continues to mature the use of fiber optic sensing technology in composite structures. SDC’s recent enhancements have centered on two key areas: integration into the part manufacturing process and development of strain prediction techniques along a fiber optic sensor path. Fiber optic sensors are small, translucent strands – on the order of five-thousands of an inch in diameter – that transmit and measure light in order to sense structural changes. Taking advantage of the small sensor size, SDC has successfully integrated fiber optic sensors into many in-house manufacturing processes, such as filament winding. Using these advanced techniques, SDC has proven that embedded fiber optic sensors can be cured in a composite structure with minimal weight and performance impact.

    Fiber Optic Sensing Technology in Composite Structures

     

    Fiber Optic Sensors Measure Part Performance Throughout the Structure’s Life

    SDC has implemented fiber optic sensor integration and testing on many applications, from rocket motor cases to truss structures to primary missile structures. This technology now allows SDC and its customer to measure thousands of individual strain or temperature data points along the length of the sensor. In comparison, traditional foil strain gages each provide only a single point of measurement and can only be applied onto the surface of a part. The strain data obtained from fiber optic sensors allows for an unparalleled degree of comparison between measured part performance and analytical models.   SDC uses proprietary computational tools and methods for visualizing the collected data and for improving correlation to FEM predictions.

    FSDC’s Analytical Tools Predict Failure Mode and Location Using Fiber Optic Data

     

    SDC’s Analytical Tools Predict Failure Mode and Location Using Fiber Optic Data

    SDC’s developments mean that fiber optic sensing technology can now be used as a cradle-to-grave composite structure health monitoring system, thereby improving quality control measures as well as providing snapshots of structural performance at different moments in time. The data gathered from the embedded fiber optic sensors improves performance predictions of aged and damaged structures.


    For more information about SDC’s research and development of fiber optic technology, please contact Quinn McAllister at (858) 751-0450.



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