Comparison of epoxy and braze-welded attachment methods for FBG strain gauges

McAlorum, J. and Rubert, T. and Fusiek, G. and Mckeeman, I. and Clayburn, L. and Perry, M. and Niewczas, P. (2017) Comparison of epoxy and braze-welded attachment methods for FBG strain gauges. In: IEEE SENSORS 2017, 2017-10-29 - 2017-11-01, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

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This paper presents experimental results from fatigue and static loading tests performed on both epoxy and braze-welded FBG strain sensors. Most FBG attachment methods are relatively understudied, with epoxy the most commonly used. Long curing times and humidity sensitivity during curing render epoxy inappropriate for certain implementations. This work shows that a bespoke braze-welded attachment design is able to achieve a higher static failure limit of 22kN when compared to strain gauge epoxies, which fail at 20kN. Both methods demonstrate high fatigue life, with no significant deterioration after two million cycles. Epoxy swelling was observed when the sensors were held at a relative humidity of 96%, applying ~0.6 mϵ of tension to the FBG, whereas a braze-weld attachment was unaffected by humidity.