Process monitoring of woven fabric thermoplastic composite is crucial to enhance the quality of composite products. In this work, a new fiber Bragg grating based technique was proposed to achieve hybrid temperature and stress monitoring according to the changes of wavelength and reflectivity, respectively. The sensor head consisting of a pre-annealed fiber Bragg grating and a steel capillary was properly designed to overcome the challenge of high forming temperatures up to 332 °C, complex woven structure, and high forming pressure of 2 MPa, which hinder the use of the conventional fiber Bragg grating sensor during the forming process. The forming temperature changes of thermoplastic composite in the heating, dwelling, and cooling phases can be precisely measured by the proposed sensor head after using a curve-reconstruction algorithm based on cubic polynomial fitting. The measured difference from the reference thermocouple is 2.92 °C, averaged from three sets of repeated experiments. Meanwhile, the change of the residual stresses of the composite can be illustrated by using the micro-bending-caused optical power loss of the fiber pigtail commencing at the glass-transition temperature in the cooling phase. The decrease of grating reflectivity that was equivalent to the optical loss was discussed by comparing to strain change detected by strain gauges and a calculated theoretical curve. These results are beneficial for developing an advanced in situ monitoring technique and understanding the forming process of the woven fabric thermoplastic composite.
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology