The physical quantities involved in a triaxial testing device have mostly been monitored with electric sensors. These sensors are currently subject to short circuit when submerged under water and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Waterproofing and EMI noise filtration have often been a challenge to the triaxial test set-up. These drawbacks can be substantially minimized when using optic fiber sensors. The optic fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors have the additional advantage of being partially distributive where multiple sensors can share the same signal transmission line. Taking advantage of these unique capabilities, the authors explored the possibility of converting all pressure/force and linear displacement transducers in a triaxial testing device into FBG based sensors. A series of shearing tests on unsaturated and saturated soil specimens were carried out using the new FBG sensored triaxial testing device. In most cases, the measurement of physical quantities was paired with electric sensors so that the results can be compared. This paper describes the principles of the individual FBG sensor designs and demonstrates their applications in triaxial testing.
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