Optical fibre sensors for monitoring phase transitions in phase changing materials

Rahul Kumar, Wei Han, Dejun Liu, Wai Pang Ng, Richard Binns, Krishna Busawon, Richard Fu, Fary Ghassemlooy, Chris Underwood, Khamid Mahkamov, Qiang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


A platinum-coated singlemode-multimode (SM) structure is investigated in this paper as an optical fibre sensor (OFS) to monitor the phase transition of a phase change material (PCM). Paraffin wax has been used as an example to demonstrate the sensor’s performance and operation. Most materials have the same temperature but different thermal energy levels during the phase change process, therefore, sole dependency on temperature measurement may lead to an incorrect estimation of the stored energy in PCM. The output spectrum of the reflected light from the OFS is very sensitive to the bend introduced by the PCM where both liquid and solid states exist during the phase transition. The measurement of strain experienced by the OFS during the phase change of the PCM is utilized for identifying the phase transition of paraffin wax between the solid and liquid states. The experimental results presented in this paper show that the OFS with a shorter multimode fibre section has better performance for monitoring the phase transition of paraffin wax with a measured phase transition temperature range of 41.5 ºC – 57.7 ºC for the SM based OFS with a 5 mm long multimode fibre section.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105021
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number10
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2018


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