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Flenn Hale
Construction Manager
Asked a question last year

What is the use of plastic optical fibre in concrete?

What is the use of plastic optical fibre in concrete?

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Jacqueline Wade
Environmental engineer
What is the use of plastic optical fibre in concrete?

Hi, Using a plastic optical fibre in concrete mix makes it translucent.i.e the concrete are able to pass light through it , but does not allow air and water.

  • It makes concrete with high porosity and more durable
  • Reduces the deflection of the beam with 25%.
  • Presence of fibre in inter transitional zones makes the bond between the reinforcement and concrete strong and durable.
  • Due to the presence of optical fibre due to the shorter band radius a more resilient to damage is found.
  • It is easier to connect and polish which also reduces the cost of installation and maintenance.
  • It makes concrete economical and strong.
What is the use of plastic optical fibre in concrete?

Use of Plastic Optical Fibre in concrete:

Use of Plastic Optical Fibre(POF) :

  • Plastic Optical Fibre is a material which is used in the concrete to transmit light from one into another end.
  • Plastic Optical Fibre is used for the construction of light-transmitting concrete.
  • Use of plastic Optical Fibre in concrete depends on the percentage of plastic Optical Fibre usage with respect to the total volume of the mix.

Working Principle :

  • Plastic Optical Fibre works on the principle of total internal reflection.

Plastic Optical Fibre has three coats:

  • Inner – Core
  • Middle -Cladding
  • Outer – Buffer Coating

Experimental Observation :

  • When we cast M25 grade of concrete, then the light transmission is nearly 8% for 0.04% usage of plastic Optical Fibre in concrete by volume of the total mix, but its compressive strength will decrease from 5 to 6 Newton per mm square

Thank You.

Hi, I would like to add some more points about the uses of optical fibers in concrete. Light transmitting concrete or transparent concrete or translucent concrete is a concrete (made of rich raw materials, low cost and simple production)based material with light-transmissive properties, achieved by embedding optical fibres in it. Light is transported through the fibre from one end to the other. Optical fibres convey light so perfectly that there is practically no loss of light carried through the fibres, without light-heat, light-electrical or photochemical process, and photoelastic effect. This type of concrete can be installed at an average cost of construction and increasing the visual appearance. The mix and materials used are associated with that of ordinary mix except for 3–5 per cent of materials is interchanged by volume using optical fibre. The cement used is 43-grade portland cement, general aggregate is used. The maximum water-cement ratio is determined to be 0.5. The compressive strength of the concrete is said to increase with 4 per cent of replacement of materials by volume. The fibres are inserted on expected paths during casting itself.

Lillian Holmes
Director of Public Works

The experimental results show that an optical fiber can be easily combined with concrete and that the POF could provide a steady light transmitting ratio. Moreover, the FBG can be used as a sensing element for strain and temperature.