GB2505736A - Method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure - Google Patents

Method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2505736A
GB2505736A GB201304736A GB201304736A GB2505736A GB 2505736 A GB2505736 A GB 2505736A GB 201304736 A GB201304736 A GB 201304736A GB 201304736 A GB201304736 A GB 201304736A GB 2505736 A GB2505736 A GB 2505736A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
optical fibre
section
method according
composite
composite structure
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB201304736A
Other versions
GB2505736B (en
GB201304736D0 (en
Inventor
Robert Simon Knapp
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
EPSILON OPTICS AEROSPACE Ltd
Original Assignee
EPSILON OPTICS AEROSPACE Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by EPSILON OPTICS AEROSPACE Ltd filed Critical EPSILON OPTICS AEROSPACE Ltd
Priority to GB1304736.0A priority Critical patent/GB2505736B/en
Publication of GB201304736D0 publication Critical patent/GB201304736D0/en
Publication of GB2505736A publication Critical patent/GB2505736A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2505736B publication Critical patent/GB2505736B/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C70/00Shaping composites, i.e. plastics material comprising reinforcements, fillers or preformed parts, e.g. inserts
    • B29C70/68Shaping composites, i.e. plastics material comprising reinforcements, fillers or preformed parts, e.g. inserts by incorporating or moulding on preformed parts, e.g. inserts or layers, e.g. foam blocks
    • B29C70/86Incorporated in coherent impregnated reinforcing layers, e.g. by winding
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C70/00Shaping composites, i.e. plastics material comprising reinforcements, fillers or preformed parts, e.g. inserts
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C70/00Shaping composites, i.e. plastics material comprising reinforcements, fillers or preformed parts, e.g. inserts
    • B29C70/68Shaping composites, i.e. plastics material comprising reinforcements, fillers or preformed parts, e.g. inserts by incorporating or moulding on preformed parts, e.g. inserts or layers, e.g. foam blocks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29LINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASS B29C, RELATING TO PARTICULAR ARTICLES
    • B29L2011/00Optical elements, e.g. lenses, prisms
    • B29L2011/0075Light guides, optical cables

Abstract

A method of making a composite structure incorporating an optical fibre, comprises the steps of: a) Positioning an optical fibre within a layer of a composite materials such that at least one section of the optical fibre passes over another section of optic fibre within the lay-up; b) Wetting out and curing the composite lay-up to incorporate the optical fibre therein. Wherein the method further comprises the step of: c) Providing pressure reduction means to reduce the force induced on the at least one section of the optical fibre in the region where it crosses the other of optical fibre during the fabrication of the composite lay-up.

Description

s.iteStruetires

Introduction

Increasingly there is a need. to embed optical fibres into composite structures or components. This is often required in order to attach or deploying fibre optic sensors and sensing systems for strain, temperature and structural health monitoring. This document describes a method of embedding coils of optical fibre within the composite laminate whilst avoiding the optical losses in the fIbre that can arise as a result of microbending arid crimping. The method also allows one or more optical fibres to cross one another within the laminate without risk of optical loss or breakage due to bending of the fibres at the crossover point.

Desciption When embedding optical fibre in a composite structure there is usually some risk of high optical loss occurring and, in extreme eases, even breakage due to mierobending and eninping of the fibre. This most commonly occurs when the optical fibre is laidup between layers of woven cloth and then consolidated by vacuum bagging or external pressure. The problem is particularly acute if two optical fibres cross over one another and in normal circumstances this would result in breakage of one or both fibres.

When desiguing and building composite structures with. embedded fihreoptic sensors there is often. a need to accommodate additional. length. of fibre within the laminate in a compact fashion. For example, when using sensor interrogation equipment which relies on Time Domain Multiplexing it requires a minimum length (typically 2m) of optical fibre between neighbouring sensors in order to distinguish one from another, Similady the ability to accommodate excess fibre length ix the laminate may allow a stock sensor array with a standard sensor spacing to he used rather than having to manufacture an array with custom sensor spacing.

The invention described below enables the optical fibre to crossover within the laminate to and. so be formed into coils, whilst providing it with sufficient protection from the effect of compressive forces used to consolidate the laminate heibre and. during the cure process.

This i.s can be achieved in any following ways, either singly or in combination.

1. The coil is locally protected. from the consolidation forces by means of a suitable spacer. This can. thr example, be a Nomex sheet t)pically between 03 and. 1mm thick winch is laid into the composite and forms the core of a bobbin around which the optical fibre is wound. Additional sheets of thin Nomex (typically 0.13mm) can he bonded to either side of the space to thrm.

cheeks or flanges to help keep coiled optical fibre in place. When the completed laminate is consolidated and cured, the spaccrcbobbin maintains a small nw-stressed space around the coiled optical fibre wi ich fills with free resin and so is effectively potted.

2. The optical fibre hi coiled into a mould or former which can then be potted 23 using a suitable resin or eiastomer. Once cared it can then be laid-up in the composite structure, When the composite structure is subsequently consolidated and cured the polled optical fibre coil has sufficient resilience to prevent excessive bending of the optical fibre,

I

3. if the composite component is being manufactured in a closed in mild, then sufficient clearance is designed into the mould shape or flbre iayup at the specific location of the fibre coil to avoid undue compitssion at this point.

Provision would still need to he made to hold the optical fibre coil accurately in place daring the Iayup process. This can be achieved by using adhesive binders or alternatively some physical structure to form a spool.

Claims (10)

  1. Claims 1. A method of making a composite structure incorporating an optical fibre, comprising the steps of; a) positioning an optical fibre within a layup of a composite materials such that at least one sectior. of th.e optical, fibre passes over another section of optical fibre within the layup; h) wetting out and curing the composite iayup to incorporate the optical fibre therein; wherein the method timber comprises the step of: w c) providing pressure reduction means to reduce the force induced on the at least one section of the optical fibre in the region where it crosses the other section of optical fibre during the fabrication of the composite hyup.
  2. 2. A method according to claim 1, wherein at least part of the optical fibre is fanned into a coil and at least part of that coil passes over the other section of optical fibre.
  3. 3. A method according to according to claim I or claim 2, wherein the pressure reduction means comprises a polymer material positioned over the section where the optical fibre crosses the other section of optical fibre,
  4. 4. A method according to claim 3, wherein the polymer material is an aromatic polyamide.
  5. 5. A method according to claim 3 or claim 4, wherein the polymer material comprises flange sections,
  6. 6. A method according to claim 1 or claim 2. wherein the optical fibre is positioned in a receptacle and potted using a resin or elastomer to provide reinforcement to the optical fibre before it is positioned wIthin the law-up, thereby constituting pressure reduction means.
  7. 7. A method according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the composite structure is made in a closed mould and the mould is provided with a recess at the position where the at least one section of the optical fibre passes over the other section of optical fibre, thcithy reducing the pressure experi.ereed by the cross-over section. during the fabrication io of the composite structure,
  8. 8. A method according to claim 7, wherein the optical fibre is held in position using an adhesive binder.
  9. 9. A method according to any one of claims 1, 2, 7 or 8, wherein a substantially rigid mould or sheath is positioned o'& the cross-over section of optical fibre to shield the optical fibre from at least some pressure experienced during fabrication of the composite structure.
  10. 10. A method substantially as described herein with reference to andior as illustrated in any appropriate combination of the accompanying text and/or images.
GB1304736.0A 2013-03-15 2013-03-15 A method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure Active GB2505736B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1304736.0A GB2505736B (en) 2013-03-15 2013-03-15 A method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1304736.0A GB2505736B (en) 2013-03-15 2013-03-15 A method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201304736D0 GB201304736D0 (en) 2013-05-01
GB2505736A true GB2505736A (en) 2014-03-12
GB2505736B GB2505736B (en) 2015-06-10

Family

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB1304736.0A Active GB2505736B (en) 2013-03-15 2013-03-15 A method of incorporating a coil of optical fibre into a composite structure

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2505736B (en)

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5394504A (en) * 1994-02-24 1995-02-28 At&T Corp. Optical fiber encapsulation techniques
US20020089403A1 (en) * 1999-07-26 2002-07-11 Cheol-Jin Kim Method for forming a resin molding for a coil of a transformer
GB2469516A (en) * 2009-04-17 2010-10-20 Insensys Ltd Rotor blade with optical strain sensors covered by erosion shield
US20120217382A1 (en) * 2010-08-31 2012-08-30 Airbus Operations Gmbh Apparatus and method for producing a component and aircraft structure component

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5394504A (en) * 1994-02-24 1995-02-28 At&T Corp. Optical fiber encapsulation techniques
US20020089403A1 (en) * 1999-07-26 2002-07-11 Cheol-Jin Kim Method for forming a resin molding for a coil of a transformer
GB2469516A (en) * 2009-04-17 2010-10-20 Insensys Ltd Rotor blade with optical strain sensors covered by erosion shield
US20120217382A1 (en) * 2010-08-31 2012-08-30 Airbus Operations Gmbh Apparatus and method for producing a component and aircraft structure component

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2505736B (en) 2015-06-10
GB201304736D0 (en) 2013-05-01

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