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High stress monitoring of prestressing tendons in nuclear concrete vessels using fibre-optic sensors

Perry, M. and Yan, Z. and Sun, Z. and Zhang, L. and Niewczas, P. and Johnston, M. (2014) High stress monitoring of prestressing tendons in nuclear concrete vessels using fibre-optic sensors. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 268. pp. 35-40. ISSN 0029-5493

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Abstract

Maintaining the structural health of prestressed concrete nuclear containments is a key element in ensuring nuclear reactors are capable of meeting their safety requirements. This paper discusses the attachment, fabrication and characterisation of optical fibre strain sensors suitable for the prestress monitoring of irradiated steel prestressing tendons. The all-metal fabrication and welding process allowed the instrumented strand to simultaneously monitor and apply stresses up to 1300 MPa (80% of steel's ultimate tensile strength). There were no adverse effects to the strand's mechanical properties or integrity. After sensor relaxation through cyclic stress treatment, strain transfer between the optical fibre sensors and the strand remained at 69%. The fibre strain sensors could also withstand the non-axial forces induced as the strand was deflected around a 4.5 m bend radius. Further development of this technology has the potential to augment current prestress monitoring practices, allowing distributed measurements of short- and long-term prestress losses in nuclear prestressed-concrete vessels.