Surface- bonded and embedded optical fibres as ultrasonic sensors

Stephen Pierce, WR Philp, Anthony Gachagan, Alistair McNab, Gordon Hayward, Brian Culshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of surface-bonded and embedded optical fibers for the detection of ultrasonic Lamb waves in 2–3-mm-thick steel, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) plates are compared. A novel integrating ultrasonic sensor was achieved using the signal arm of an actively stabilized 633-nm homodyne Mach–Zehnder fiber interferometer which was either bonded directly to the plate surface or spliced to single-mode fibers embedded within a composite plate during manufacture. An embedded fiber is shown to be about 20 times more sensitive to Lamb wave motions than a surface-bonded fiber. However, the latter may be more practical.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5191-5197
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • embedded optical fibers
  • ultrasonic sensors
  • surface-bonded


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