Optical Strain Sensor Fundamentals

Optical strain sensors, namely those based on Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) technology, have been gaining increased attention particularly in the field of infrastructure monitoring over the past decades. But how does an optical sensor work? How do we compensate for optical losses? How many sensors can be integrated into one single fiber? Our experts dug deep to provide their best answers for you about all the important questions regarding strain measurement using fiber optical sensors. Click an option below to direct you to the content on the page.

  1. An Introduction to Optical Strain Measurements
  2. Basics of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Technology
  3. Selecting the Right Strain Sensor, Adhesive and Accessories
  4. Installation of Optical Sensors: All there is to Know
  5. Applications of Optical Strain Sensors: Looking Beyond
  6. Acquiring Data with the Right Hardware and Software 
  7. Free Training on Optical Strain Measurements

1. An Introduction to Optical Strain Measurements

Optical Strain Measurement Glossary

A useful guide of technical terms to help you understand the precise concepts related to the fundamentals of strain measurement using optical strain sensors.

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Strain Measurement with Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors

This paper gives a short introduction to FBG sensors, pointing out their special strengths and weaknesses. It also describes a measuring system which enables strain gauges and FBGs to be measured simultaneously, providing all data processing functions originally developed for the strain gauges also for the FBG signals.

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Experimental Stress Analysis

Experimental Stress Analysis (ESA) is the analysis of the mechanical stress state in materials, which is performed though experiments using strain gauge measurements. Learn the existing types of stress, their origin and states, or how to determine stress from measured strains by reading about it below.

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2. Basics of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Technology

What is a Fiber Bragg Grating?

A Fiber Bragg Grating is just a few millimeters long, highly sensitive and very reliable. Learn more about its properties!

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Article: How does an optical strain gauge actually work?

For this article, Cristina Barbosa, Product Manager for HBM optical business, explains how optical strain gauges work.

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Fiber Bragg Grating Technology FAQs

Optical sensors based on Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG) are becoming increasingly popular. They are easy to install, immune to electromagnetic interferences and can also be used in highly explosive atmospheres. But just how does a fiber Bragg grating work?

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3. Selecting the Right Strain Sensor, Adhesives and Accessories

Optical Fiber Sensors

The HBM FiberSensing range of optical (FBG) strain gauges and sensors is the perfect choice for demanding testing and monitoring applications.

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X120 FBG Sensor Adhesive

The X120 is intended for installing optical fibers, primarily OptiMet PKF. This adhesive is easy and fast to use.

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Optical Sensor Accessories

Accessories such as patch cables, pigtails, optical adapters, and more, are available from HBM FiberSensing to enable you to build up a complete optical measuring system in a quick and reliable manner.

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4. Installation of Optical Strain Sensors: All There is to Know

Correct Welding of Strain Gauges

Some environments are not suitable for bonding strain gauges, e.g. because of very low temperatures or excessive dust formation, e.g. on construction sites. Weldable strain gauges are the best choice for being used in this type of environments.

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Configuring optical strain sensors

One of the advantages of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) technology is its intrinsic multiplexing capability. The sensors can have both specific and different Bragg wavelengths and can be connected in series without compromising the correct reading of the measurements as long as the sensor signals do not overlap.

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5. Applications of Optical Strain Sensors: Looking Beyond

Monitoring Solutions for Civil Engineering

Civil engineering structures are withstanding an exponential increase of applied loads, impacts and environmental burdens. The assessment of the resulting structural behavior is becoming mandatory so that faults can be detected in the early stages and safety is guaranteed.

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Wind Turbine Monitoring

The requirements for both on- and offshore wind power turbine designs are constantly increasing.The efficiency of wind power depends on valid tests and measurement results which can minimize downtime and maximize service life.

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Condition monitoring of wind turbines

Wind turbines are often subject to extreme mechanical stress. Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) help ensure the stability, long service life, and optimal design of your wind turbine components (rotor blades, drivetrains, inverters…).

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Optical Fiber Sensors vs. Electrical Strain Gauges

Optical fiber strain gauges that are based on fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) operate on very different principles than those that govern traditional electrical strain gauges.

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6. Acquiring Data with the Right Hardware and Software

Optical Interrogators: for Fiber Optic Sensing

FBG sensors are easy to install, electromagnetically safe and can also be used in highly explosive atmospheres, but having the right interrogator in place is important to retrieve the most accurate measurements.

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FS22: Industrial BraggMETER

FS22 Industrial BraggMETER are static and dynamic optical measurement units specifically designed to interrogate Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) based sensors in industrial environments.

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7. Free Training on Optical Strain Measurements

Recorded International Webinars

Missed one of our live webinars? Looking for news, useful information or tips & tricks? Watch our most-clicked webinars whenever you want!

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Customer Stories

HBM sensors, measuring amplifiers and software products are used worldwide in thousands of development projects and a wide range of industries. Our case studies gathered on this page show the diversity in which HBM products are used.

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