We conducted a strain characterization experiment to monitor steel pipe and column buckling for the first time using a distributed Brillouin sensor system. Two specimens (steel pipe and column) were prepared by locally thinning the inner wall to initiate buckling. An axial load was applied to the specimens and increased while compressive strain was measured by both Brillouin sensor and strain gauges. With the Brillouin sensor, we observed compression on the whole specimens while elongation was detected in the neighborhood of the thinned wall at onset of the buckling. Both tension and compression are measured simultaneously from the same spectrum. This capability to extract both informations at the same time makes the Brillouin sensor a unique tool for structural health monitoring. The buckling was identified and localized thanks to this original approach.

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Optical Fiber Technology
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ravet, F. (Fabien), Zou, L. (Lufan), Bao, X. (Xiaoyi), Chen, L. (Liang), Huang, R.F. (Rong Feng), & Khoo, H. A. (2006). Detection of buckling in steel pipeline and column by the distributed Brillouin sensor. Optical Fiber Technology, 12(4), 305–311. doi:10.1016/j.yofte.2005.12.002