Optical strain gauges test composites over millions of cycles

Paul Boughton
HBM has enhanced its K-OP optical strain gauges (SGs), which are now suitable for more applications when compared to electrical SGs. They are, for example, suitable for material tests of new fibre composites with tests of up to 10million load cycles now possible with an alternating strain of +/-5.000um/m.
K-OP optical SGs are based on fibre Bragg gratings, which measure strain using pure optical techniques without the need for any electrical signals. This makes optical SGs suitable for use in explosive atmospheres, environments where electromagnetic interference is present, and in high-voltage applications. In addition, several optical SGs can be attached to a fibre, enabling parallel measurements to be implemented. Glass fibre lengths of several hundred metres are possible.
Using optical SGs for data acquisition and evaluation is said to be very simple with the complete range of components available for all applications from HBM. These range from optical SGs with the appropriate accessories via interrogators to HBM's data acquisition software Catmanap, which includes a special Easyoptics module for optical SGs.
Users receive a data sheet with optical strain gauges that includes the gauge factor for each individual SG as tested by HBM to meet the latest VDI/VDE 2660 requirements.
For more information, visit www.hbm.com

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