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As the optical power transmitted by an optical fibre under tensile stress varies with strain, it can be used as a sensor for strain monitoring in structural elements. In the present work, quasi-static tensile tests of step index polymer optical fibres (POF) with simultaneous measurement of surface temperature and optical power are described. Young's modulus, yield stress and tensile strength are derived from experimental tests. Morphological characterization of the POF fibres using scanning electron microscope images and differential calorimetry technique is performed. The contributions of both elastic and plastic strain components to the variation of temperature and optical power loss are also estimated. The evolution of the POF mechanical properties as well as that of temperature and optical power loss is explained in terms of the progressive relative movement and alignment of the molecular chains in the direction of the applied load. Strain, temperature and optical power loss are then correlated.
field strain; mechanical behaviour; microstructural analysis; optical power loss; polymer optical fibre; temperature increase; strain applications; sensor