Abstract

A reusable memory capable polymer optical fiber (POF) strain sensor is reported. The fiber consists of an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) core and polymethylmethacrylate cladding. The memory capability is derived from stress whitening due to crazing of the ABS core, which can be reversed by heating the fiber close to the ABS glass transition temperature. The probe was characterized under transverse compressive load, macrobending, and tensile loading. Testing shows that the optical properties of the fiber can be reversed to near pristine ABS conditions after thermal recovery and that the POF can be used on the accurate assessment of indentation, flexural and tensile loading, static or cyclical, even after removal of the load. The reusability of the proposed sensor combined with a deeper understanding of the memory mechanisms in POFs are of great interest for the development of new large-strain sensors for modern applications.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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