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Title: The design and application of polymeric materials in a novel light modulated accelerometer
Author: Grassham, Paul J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3511 8752
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1992
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A novel accelerometer based on light modulation has been designed and a prototype device manufactured. The device utilises the change in refractive index brought about by stress induced by the applied vibration. A detailed mathematical analysis of several feasible sensing designs has been performed to aid the design process. A mathematical model has been developed to assess the performance characteristics of the light modulated accelerometer the results of which were also used as a design tool. The prototype accelerometer was tested, from 1 g to 50 g between frequencies of 25 Hz to 2000 Hz, on a vibration system under three modulation schemes. The acceleration response of the device was seen to be linear over the testing range whilst the frequency response dropped off initially and levelled off at approximately 1 kHz. An experimental accelerometer was also assembled on the vibration table so that various materials could easily be tested without having to undergo precise machining. The acceleration and frequency responses showed similar behaviour to those obtained with the prototype accelerometer. However, the actual response levels varied with each material. To aid in the development of the accelerometer the stress-optic and thermo-optic coefficients have been determined for a range of polymeric materials. The stress optic coefficient was determined for polycarbonate, polymethyl methacrylate, polvinyl chloride and araldite epoxy resin using a circular polariscope and two interferometer configurations up to the yield stress of the materials tested. Each material showed a constant coefficient over the testing range. The results obtained using each technique were in good agreement with each other and the limited literature data available. The thermal variation of refractive index was also determined for the same materials. The Abbe refractometer was used for the determination between 5 and 140°C using five wavelength sources and two interferometer configurations using a HeNe laser from -50°C to approximately 30° above the glass transition temperatures. The change in index was found to be linear over the temperature range tested. However, at the glass transition temperature a change in gradient was observed with each material. Two simple mathematical relationships were used to predict the thermo-optic coefficient. These gave values reasonably close to those obtained in experiment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fibre optic sensors