A traditional way of monitoring structural health is through the use of piezoelectric transducers; these devices convert pressure to electric voltage. Transducers are reliable and accurate in most working conditions except in cases of corrosive environments or under high temperatures, above 300° Celsius. Harsh conditions influence the reliability. accuracy, and usefulness of transducers in a negative way.
A new solution for structural health monitoring has been developed to accommodate the needs of the industry. Fiber-optic based technology, like fiber Bragg grating sensors, are more reliable under harsh conditions such as high temperatures and corrosive environments; they are immune to electromagnetic interference that is detrimental to piezoelectric transducers’ operation. FBG sensors are designed to operate under harsh conditions and provide reliable data. Fiber Bragg grating sensors are able to measure a variety of factors, such as temperature, strain, pressure, an appearance of cracks, etc.
The reliability of FBG sensors for structural health monitoring is ensured by the simplicity of the optical fiber material—fused silica—that forms the fiber. FBG strain sensors and FBG pressure sensors are especially useful in monitoring the condition of critical infrastructures operating under harsh environments, such as modern superheaters or nuclear power plants, thus ensuring the continuous operation of power plants, preventing catastrophic consequences of structural failures.
One of the applications of FBG sensors is monitoring of the P91 pipes widely used in the industry. These pipes transmit high-pressure steam, that is both high-temperature and corrosive. Fiber Bragg grating temperature sensors indicate overheated pipes that may be under too much stress. FBG pressure sensors are used to detect critical increases in pressure within pipes to prevent premature breakdown of the systems.
One of the advantages of fiber Bragg grating sensing systems is their cost effectiveness. FBG sensors’ price is low compared to other methods of temperature, strain and pressure measurements.
Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products line: fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators, and multiplexers, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. We create and supply a broad variety of top-notch fiber optic solutions for monitoring of various facilities all over the world.