This paper reports on the design, fabrication, characterisation and deployment of a multi-measurand optical fibre sensor (MMS) that is capable of simultaneously monitoring strain, temperature, refractive index and cross-linking chemistry. The sensor design is based on the extrinsic fibre Fabry–Perot interferometer. A feature of this sensor system is that a conventional multi-channel fibre-coupled near-infrared spectrometer is used to monitor the four independent parameters. The issues relating to the measurement resolution of the individual sensors and the associated interrogation equipment are discussed. The MMS was embedded in between the fourth and fifth plies of an eight-ply E-glass plain-weave fabric. A commercially available thermosetting epoxy/amine resin system was used to impregnate the fabric layers manually. The laminated preform was vacuum-bagged and cured in an autoclave. The following parameters were monitored: the depletion rates of the epoxy and amine functional groups in the resin system; the temperature in close proximity to the “chemical sensor”; the evolution of strain; and the refractive index of the resin system. The effect of post-processing on the output from the embedded optical fibre sensors is also considered.
- Bragg grating
- Extrinsic fibre Fabry–Perot interferometric sensor
- Cure monitoring