STATIC PILE LOAD TESTS: CONTRIBUTION OF THE MEASUREMENT OF STRAINS BY OPTICAL FIBER
Keywords:Deep Foundations, Piles, Load Test, Instrumentation, Monitoring, Optical Fiber
The use of optical fiber for measuring strain and or temperature is increasing in civil engineering. Optical fiber is known to be relatively cheap, compared to the more traditional sensors commonly used, and can, depending on the chosen technology, give a complete distribution along the instrumented element, which can be very interesting in case of an element with variable dimensions along the length of said element. Therefore, for static pile loading tests, the use of optical fiber should present many advantages, compared to more conventional methods of strain measurements. The aim of this paper is to shed new light on the advantages and disadvantages of using optical fiber for the measurement of deformations along a foundation element. After a review of the state of the art of the most commonly used methods, the contribution of the optical fiber for the instrumentation of the foundation elements is evaluated, by comparing the results obtained by the use of the fiber with those obtained with more traditional methods, in some examples of full-scale load tests. Finally, some recommendations are given to maximize the awareness of the potential use of optical fiber in foundation monitoring.