On the degree of conversion and coefficient of thermal expansion of a single fiber composite using a FBG sensor
The increasing needs of extending the lifetime in high-technology fields, such as space and aerospace, rail transport and naval systems, require quality enhancing of the composite materials either from a processing standing point or in the sense of resistance to service conditions. It is well accepted that the final quality of composite materials and structures is strongly influenced by processing parameters like curing and post-curing temperatures, rate of heating and cooling, applied vacuum, etc. To optimize manufacturing cycles, residual strains evolution due to chemical shrinkage and other physical parameters of the constituent materials must be characterized in situ. Such knowledge can lead to a sensible reduction in defects and to improved physical and mechanical properties of final products. In this context continuous monitoring of strains distribution developed during processing is important in understanding and retrieving components' and materials' characteristics such as local strains gradients, degree of curing, coefficient of thermal expansion, moisture absorption, etc.