Fiber Optical Bragg Grating Sensors Embedded in GFRP Rockbolts

Andreas Frank, Philipp M. Nellen, Roif Brönnimann, and Urs Sennhauser

EMPA, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Ueberlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Duebendorf


Rockbolt anchors for tunnel or mine roofs are key elements during construction and operation. We report on the fabrication of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rockbolts with embedded fiber optical Bragg grating sensors and their first field application in a test tunnel. Optical fibers and in-fiber Bragg grating sensors were embedded in GFRP rockbolts during a continuously ongoing pultrusion process on a industrial production machine. Depending on their outer diameter the rods equipped with fiber sensors serve as measuring rockbolts or as extensometric sensors for the motion of boulders in the tunnel roof. The adhesion and force transfer of different fiber coatings were tested by push-out experiments. By temperature and strain cycle tests the performance of the rockbolt sensors was evaluated. We will present these results and the measurements made during a first installation of fiber optical rockbolt sensors in a tunnel.

Keywords: GFRP rockbolts, embedded optical fiber sensors, civil engineering


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