A low-cost super-stretchable optical strain sensors


Researchers at the WSU have produced a low cost alternative of a ubiquitously utilized stain sensor. The Fiber Bragg grating was first introduced in the late 1970’s, sense then the method has been shown to be effective and reliable as a strain sensor. Most conventional optical fiber strain sensors have complicated manufacturing processes and are limited to small-strain sensing (<5%). This novel innovation relates to producing high quality Fiber Bragg strain sensors at a low cost.


The highly elastic and extensible fiber allows for a long period grating fiber, which can measure strains as large as 200% of the unstressed sensor length.  This translates into a number of potential applications from monitoring the structures of large aircraft, ships, buildings and other large structures, which are subjected to constant stress by applied forces. Other applications for fiber-optic strain sensors include the detection of temperature, humidity, and refraction index that allow for other applications such as: medical devices, wearable devices, and optical communication systems to name a few.


This invention involves a low-cost, optical fiber large-strain sensor, a long-period grating light waveguide, and the manufacturing method to fabricate this strain sensor and waveguide.


Applications and Advantages

•       Low cost alternative to producing high quality strain sensors

•       Fibers have a much higher tolerance for strain (200% vs. 5%)

•       Different materials are utilized when compared to traditional optic sensors


IP Status

Issued Patent US 9,846,276 


Learn More

Eric Wannamaker
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
(509) 335-5004
Reference No: 1553


Lei Li
Rahul Panat

Key Words