Smart Technical Textiles for Structural Health Monitoring


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Title: Smart Technical Textiles for Structural Health Monitoring

Author(s): Daniele Inaudi and Riccardo Belli

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 292


Appears on pages(s): 1-12

Keywords: Distributed Fiber Optic Sensors, Structural Health Monitoring, Integrity Monitoring, Smart Textiles.

Date: 10/2/2013

Distributed fiber optic technology offers the capability to measure strain and deformation at thousands of points along a single fiber up to tens of kilometers. This is of particular interest for the monitoring in geotechnical structures where it allows the detection and localization of ground movements. Fiber optic sensing system offers the ability to detect and localize deformation induced by geological assessments, allowing the monitoring of kilometers with a single instrument and localization of the event with a precision better than 1 meter. To improve and optimize the thermal, mechanical and water transport properties of the sensing cable, the optical fiber sensor can be integrated in different types of geotextiles. Geotextile may, for example, be used to increase the strain-transfer surface, to route leaking water to the sensing cable or to protect the cable from damage. Another civil engineering application of textiles is in the reinforcement of structures with composites. In this case the textile is used to reinforce ageing structures, such as masonry walls in seismic regions, corroded concrete columns and beams or other structural elements that require an increase in load-bearing capacity. However, the retrofitting by means of composites covers the original structure and therefore restricts the possibility to visually inspect it. Furthermore, the bonding between the composites and the original structure plays a major role in the effectiveness of such repairs and it must be guaranteed over time. To address such uncertainties, optical fiber sensors are embedded in the textile and become integral part of the composite material when the resin cures. Once in place, those sensors provide information about the strain and deformation of the composite and of the underlying structure. This paper presents several designs of smart textiles and their field applications.