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Mechanical Properties Characterization of Polymethyl Methacrylate Polymer Optical Fibers after Thermal and Chemical Treatments

LEAL-JUNIOR, A. ; Frizera-Neto, A. Frizera-Neto ; Marques, C. ; Pontes, M. J.

Optical Fiber Technology Vol. 43, Nº C, pp. 106 - 111, July, 2018.

ISSN (print): 1095-9912
ISSN (online): 1068-5200

Journal Impact Factor: 1,300 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.yofte.2018.04.016

This paper presents the dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) in polymer optical fibers (POFs) made of Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) that were submitted to different thermal and chemical treatments, namely annealing and etching processes. The prepared samples were submitted to stress–strain cycles to evaluate the Young’s modulus of each fiber. Also, test with constant stress and temperature variation were performed to estimate the thermal expansion coefficient of the fibers submitted to each thermal and chemical treatment. The samples were also tested under different temperature, humidity and strain cycle frequency conditions to analyze the variation of their mechanical properties with these parameters. Results show that the thermal and chemical treatments lead to a reduction of Young’s modulus and an increase of the thermal expansion coefficient, which can produce sensors based on intensity variation or fiber Bragg grating with higher dynamic range, stress and temperature sensitivity. Furthermore, the etching and annealing resulted in fiber that presents lower Young’s modulus variation with temperature, humidity and strain cycling frequency in most cases. However, the annealing made under water and the combinations of etching and annealing resulted in POFs with higher modulus variation with humidity, which enable their application as intensity variation or FBG-based sensors in humidity/moisture assessment.