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A method for monitoring bolt torque in a composite connection using an embedded fiber Bragg grating sensor


This work presents a new method for monitoring the preload torque in a composite bolted connection using an embedded fiber Bragg grating sensor. A unique washer was designed to impose a specified nonuniform strain field across the grating, causing distortion in the reflected optical spectrum. Using the full-width at half maximum bandwidth of the Bragg reflection spectrum as the preload-sensitive feature, it is shown that this feature increases monotonically—and quite linearly—with increasing applied bolt torque. It is also demonstrated that, although distorted, the spectral structure of the sensor is maintained such that it is simultaneously able to function in its typical use as a uniaxial strain sensor, thus essentially creating a dual-purpose sensor. The computational design approach is validated with a prototype experiment.

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