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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 312053, 13 pages
Review Article

Plastic Optical Fibre Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring: A Review of Recent Progress

1Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore, Block E1A, #07-03, 1 Engineering Drive 2, Singapore 177576
2Department of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Brownlow Hill, L69 3GH Liverpool, UK
3The Photon Science Institute, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL Manchester, UK

Received 4 March 2009; Revised 24 June 2009; Accepted 30 July 2009

Academic Editor: Christos Riziotis

Copyright © 2009 K. S. C. Kuang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While a number of literature reviews have been published in recent times on the applications of optical fibre sensors in smart structures research, these have mainly focused on the use of conventional glass-based fibres. The availability of inexpensive, rugged, and large-core plastic-based optical fibres has resulted in growing interest amongst researchers in their use as low-cost sensors in a variety of areas including chemical sensing, biomedicine, and the measurement of a range of physical parameters. The sensing principles used in plastic optical fibres are often similar to those developed in glass-based fibres, but the advantages associated with plastic fibres render them attractive as an alternative to conventional glass fibres, and their ability to detect and measure physical parameters such as strain, stress, load, temperature, displacement, and pressure makes them suitable for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. Increasingly their applications as sensors in the field of structural engineering are being studied and reported in literature. This article will provide a concise review of the applications of plastic optical fibre sensors for monitoring the integrity of engineering structures in the context of SHM.