Novel Sensor Design Using Photonic Crystal Fibres for Monitoring the Onset of Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete Structures

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McCague, C. ; Fabian, M. ; Karimi, M. ; Bravo, M. ; Jaroszewicz, L. R. ; Mergo, P. ; Sun, T. ; Grattan, K. T. V. (2014)

In this paper, a novel sensing technique has been designed and investigated for the direct, in-situ detection of steel corrosion distributed in reinforced concrete structures. At present, structural health monitoring (SHM) in reinforced concrete structures is generally focused on monitoring the corrosion risk of the reinforcing steel. It is of significant importance, however, to inform industry of both the onset of corrosion and the corrosion rate as these are key contributors to structural degradation and thus evaluating the service life of the structures. This paper aims to address the above challenges by describing a novel corrosion sensor design using birefringent photonic crystal fibres (PCFs). The technique exploits fully both the birefringence of the fibres for force/pressure measurement and their very low temperature sensitivity to detect the onset of corrosion. This new type of sensor not only determines the onset of corrosion but also allows for better monitoring along the length of a reinforcement bar.
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