Optical Fiber Methods in Nondestructive Evaluation

  • Wolfgang R. HabelEmail author
Reference work entry


Optical fiber sensors are becoming increasingly significant as a smart sensing technology for NDE purposes and for monitoring of structures because of their extremely small dimensions of the sensing element and the leading optical fibers, their excellent static and dynamic measuring resolution, their resistance to many chemicals, and their immunity against high electromagnetic fields. This chapter introduces the basic features and physical principles of different types of optical fiber sensors used to evaluate the structure’s behavior. The description covers all relevant sensor types mainly for measurement of mechanical quantities, but also for evaluation of functionality, based on the appropriate chemical and physical properties. The sections focus on optical fiber sensors applied to surfaces and embedded into materials to measure local strain changes and to evaluate acoustic emissions. Other types focus on the measurement of strain profiles over extended areas of structures or in hidden loaded structural components like anchors. Finally, distributed optical fiber sensors for the measurement of strain, temperature, and acoustic emissions at any (unknown) location along the length of long-gage optical fiber sensors are described. Typical examples from different fields of NDE and materials characterization including the capability in these fields to reveal severe damaging processes underline the usefulness of optical fiber sensors and illustrate the unique possibilities to achieve information about the behavior of structures and materials. The chapter is completed with a report on current international activities in standardization of optical fiber sensors and, finally, with a summary and some thoughts about future trends.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Non-Destructive Testing, Division of Fibre Optic SensorsBAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (formerly)BerlinGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ida Nathan
    • 1
  • Norbert Meyendorf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  2. 2.Center for Nondestructive EvaluationIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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