This paper presents the characterization of polymer optical fibers (POFs) submitted to the catastrophic fuse effect towards intensity-variation-based sensing of strain, transverse force, temperature, and moisture. In the experiments, POFs with and without the fuse effect are tested and the results are compared with respect to the sensitivity, linearity, and root mean squared error (RMSE). The fused POFs have higher linearity and lower RMSE than non-fused POFs in strain and transverse force sensing. Also, the sensitivity of the fused POFs is higher in transverse force and temperature sensing, which can be related to the higher sensitivity to the curvature that the transverse force creates on the POF and to the more significant variations of the refractive index with temperature increase. Additionally, the fused POFs present lower moisture absorption than the non-fused POFs. The presented results indicate a great potential of the fused POFs intensity-variation-based sensing applications of various physical parameters.
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