Fiber-optic sensor design for chemical process and environmental monitoring

RS Mahendran, Liwei Wang, VR Machavaram, Surya Pandita, Ruirun Chen, Stephen Kukureka, Gerard Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


"Curing" is a term that is used to describe the cross-linking reactions in a thermosetting resin system. Advanced fiber-reinforced composites are being used increasingly in a number of industrial sectors including aerospace, marine, sport, automotive and civil engineering. There is a general realization that the processing conditions that are used to manufacture the composite can have a major influence on its hot-wet mechanical properties. This paper is concerned with the design and demonstration of a number of sensor designs for in situ monitoring of the cross-linking reactions of a commercially available thermosetting resin system. Simple fixtures were constructed to enable a pair of cleaved optical fibers with a defined gap between the end-faces to be held in position. The resin system was introduced into this gap and the cure kinetics were followed by transmission infrared spectroscopy. A semi-empirical model was used to describe the cure process using the data obtained at different cure temperatures. The same sensor system was used to detect the ingress of moisture into the cured resin system. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1076
Number of pages8
JournalOptics and Lasers in Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Environmental monitoring
  • Moisture
  • Fiber-optic chemical sensors
  • Cure kinetics


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