Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is an important and widely used non-contact technique for measuring material deformation. Considerable progress has been made in recent decades in both developing new experimental DIC techniques and in enhancing the performance of the relevant computational algorithms. Despite this progress, there is a distinct lack of a freely available, high-quality, flexible DIC software. This paper documents a new DIC software package Ncorr that is meant to fill that crucial gap. Ncorr is an open-source subset-based 2D DIC package that amalgamates modern DIC algorithms proposed in the literature with additional enhancements. Several applications of Ncorr that both validate it and showcase its capabilities are discussed.
High-efficiency and high-accuracy deformation analysis using digital image correlation (DIC) has become increasingly important in recent years, considering the ongoing trend of using higher resolution digital cameras and common requirement of processing a large sequence of images recorded in a dynamic testing. In this work, to eliminate the redundant computations involved in conventional DIC method using forward additive matching strategy and classic Newton–Raphson (FA-NR) algorithm without sacrificing its sub-pixel registration accuracy, we proposed an equivalent but more efficient DIC method by combining inverse compositional matching strategy and Gauss-Newton (IC-GN) algorithm for fast, robust and accurate full-field displacement measurement. To this purpose, first, an efficient IC-GN algorithm, without the need of re-evaluating and inverting Hessian matrix in each iteration, is introduced to optimize the robust zero-mean normalized sum of squared difference (ZNSSD) criterion to determine the desired deformation parameters of each interrogated subset. Then, an improved reliability-guided displacement tracking strategy is employed to achieve further speed advantage by automatically providing accurate and complete initial guess of deformation for the IC-GN algorithm implemented on each calculation point. Finally, an easy-to-implement interpolation coefficient look-up table approach is employed to avoid the repeated calculation of bicubic interpolation at sub-pixel locations. With the above improvements, redundant calculations involved in various procedures (i.e. initial guess of deformation, sub-pixel displacement registration and sub-pixel intensity interpolation) of conventional DIC method are entirely eliminated. The registration accuracy and computational efficiency of the proposed DIC method are carefully tested using numerical experiments and real experimental images. Experimental results verify that the proposed DIC method using IC-GN algorithm and the existing DIC method using classic FA-NR algorithm generate similar results, but the former is about three to five times faster. The proposed reliability-guided IC-GN algorithm is expected to be a new standard full-field displacement tracking algorithm in DIC.
Local and global approaches to digital image correlation are compared when the displacement interpolation is based upon bilinear shape functions (i.e., with four-node quadrilaterals). The resolution in terms of displacements and strains associated with both techniques are evaluated a priori and validated a posteriori by using series of images of real experiments. It is shown that global approaches generally out-perform a local approach.
Optical full-field measurement methods such as Digital Image Correlation (DIC) are increasingly used in the field of experimental mechanics, but they still suffer from a lack of information about their metrological performances. To assess the performance of DIC techniques and give some practical rules for users, a collaborative work has been carried out by the Workgroup “Metrology” of the French CNRS research network 2519 “MCIMS (Mesures de Champs et Identification en Mécanique des Solides / Full-field measurement and identification in solid mechanics, http://www.ifma.fr/lami/gdr2519 )”. A methodology is proposed to assess the metrological performances of the image processing algorithms that constitute their main component, the knowledge of which being required for a global assessment of the whole measurement system. The study is based on displacement error assessment from synthetic speckle images. Series of synthetic reference and deformed images with random patterns have been generated, assuming a sinusoidal displacement field with various frequencies and amplitudes. Displacements are evaluated by several DIC packages based on various formulations and used in the French community. Evaluated displacements are compared with the exact imposed values and errors are statistically analyzed. Results show general trends rather independent of the implementations but strongly correlated with the assumptions of the underlying algorithms. Various error regimes are identified, for which the dependence of the uncertainty with the parameters of the algorithms, such as subset size, gray level interpolation or shape functions, is discussed.
This article reviews recently developed methods for constitutive parameter identification based on kinematic full-field measurements, namely the finite element model updating method (FEMU), the constitutive equation gap method (CEGM), the virtual fields method (VFM), the equilibrium gap method (EGM) and the reciprocity gap method (RGM). Their formulation and underlying principles are presented and discussed. These identification techniques are then applied to full-field experimental data obtained on four different experiments, namely (i) a tensile test, (ii) the Brazilian test, (iii) a shear-flexural test, and (iv) a biaxial test. Test (iv) features a non-uniform damage field, and hence non-uniform equivalent elastic properties, while tests (i), (ii) and (iii) deal with the identification of uniform anisotropic elastic properties. Tests (ii), (iii) and (iv) involve non-uniform strain fields in the region of interest.
In this paper, we report the following important progress recently made in the basic theory and practical implementation of digital image correlation (DIC) for deformation measurement. First, we answer a basic but confusing question to the users of DIC: what is a good speckle pattern for DIC? We present a simple, easy-to-compute yet effective global parameter, called mean intensity gradient, for quality assessment of the entire speckle pattern. Second, we provide an overview of various correlation criteria used in DIC for evaluating the similarity of the reference and deformed subsets, and demonstrate the equivalence of three robust and most widely used correlation criteria, i.e., a zero-mean normalized cross-correlation (ZNCC) criterion, a zero-mean normalized sum of squared difference (ZNSSD) criterion and a parametric zero-mean normalized sum of squared difference (PSSDab) criterion with two additional unknown parameters, which elegantly unifies these correlation criteria for subset-based pattern matching. Third, we describe an iterative least squares (ILS) algorithm for accurate subpixel motion detection, which is proved to be equivalent to the existing Newton–Raphson algorithm, but the principle and implementation of ILS algorithm is more straightforward and easier. Finally, to overcome the two limitations of existing subset-based DIC technique, we introduce a robust and generally applicable reliability-guided DIC technique, in which the calculation path is guided by the ZNCC coefficients of computed points, to determine the genuine full-field deformation of an object with complex shape.
The recent combination of scanning electron microscopy and digital image correlation (SEM-DIC) enables the experimental investigation of full-field deformations at much smaller length scales than is possible using optical digital image correlation methods. However, the high spatial resolution of SEM-DIC comes at the cost of complex image distortions, long image scan times that can capture gradients from stress relaxation, and a high noise sensitivity to SEM parameters. In this paper, it is shown that these sources of error can significantly impact the quality of the results and must be accounted for in order to perform accurate SEM-DIC experiments. An existing framework for distortion corrections is adapted to improve accuracy and the procedures are described in detail. As the results demonstrate, time varying drift distortion is a larger problem at high magnification while spatial distortion is more problematic at low magnification. Additionally, the new use of sample-independent calibration and a method to eliminate the detrimental effects of stress relaxation in the displacement fields prior to distortion correction are introduced. The impact of SEM settings on image noise is quantified and noise minimization schemes are examined. Finally, a uniaxial tension test on coarse-grained 1100-O aluminum is used to demonstrate these techniques, where active slip planes are identified and strain localization is examined in relation to the underlying microstructure.
This paper aims at illustrating the potential of X-ray tomography for studying the mechanical behaviour of materials through in situ experiments. Typical experimental tomography set ups which use laboratory and synchrotron X ray sources are described; advantages and limitations of both types of sources are presented. Dedicated experimental devices which allow deformation and/or temperature changes to be applied to various types of materials are described. Examples of results of in situ mechanical experiments are presented and discussed; they include monotonic tensile testing of steel fiber entanglements, high temperature compression and room temperature fatigue of Al alloys. Examples of quantitative assessment of localisation of deformation in the interior of optically opaque samples under mechanical loading are also described.
This paper investigates the effect of designs and process parameters on the dimensional accuracy and compressive behavior of cellular lattice structures fabricated using selective laser melting (SLM). Two unit cell types, square pyramid and truncated cube & octahedron from the Computer Aided System for Tissue Scaffolds (CASTS), an in-house developed library system were used. Powder adhesions occur on the struts of the lattice structures. The thickness of powder adhesion on the struts decreases with an increase in laser power or laser scan speed. The elastic constant in compression of the lattice structures increases with an increase in relative density, and ranged from 7.93 ± 2.73 MPa to 7.36 ± 0.26 GPa. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is also carried out to determine the significance of various process and design parameters on the dimensional accuracy and compressive strength of the lattice structures. The processing parameters, such as laser power and laser scan speed have no significant effect on the elastic constant but have a significant effect on the powder adhesion on the struts, which in turn, affects the dimensional accuracy. However, geometrical design parameters such as unit cell type and strut diameter have significant effects on the elastic constant but not dimensional accuracy of the lattice structures.
Bridge static and dynamic vibration monitoring is a key activity for both safety and maintenance purposes. The development of vision-based systems allows to use this type of devices for remote estimation of a bridge vibration, simplifying the measuring system installation. The uncertainty of this type of measurements is strongly related to the experimental conditions (mainly the pixel-to-millimeters conversion, the target texture, the camera characteristics and the image processing technique). In this paper two different types of cameras are used to monitor the response of a bridge to a train pass-by. The acquired images are analyzed using three different image processing techniques (Pattern Matching, Edge Detection and Digital Image Correlation) and the results are compared with a reference measurement, obtained by a laser interferometer providing single point measurements. Tests with different zoom levels are shown and the corresponding uncertainty values are estimated. As the zoom level decreases it is possible not only to measure the displacement of one point of the bridge, but also to grab images from a wide structure portion in order to recover displacements of a large number of points in the field of view. The extreme final solution would be having wide area measurements with no targets, to make measurements really easy, with clear advantages, but also with some drawbacks in terms of uncertainty to be fully comprehended.
A new methodology is proposed to estimate displacement fields from pairs of images (reference and strained) that evaluates continuous displacement fields. This approach is specialized to a finite-element decomposition, therefore providing a natural interface with a numerical modeling of the mechanical behavior used for identification purposes. The method is illustrated with the analysis of Portevin-Le Chatelier bands in an aluminum alloy sample subjected to a tensile test. A significant progress with respect to classical digital image correlation techniques is observed in terms of spatial resolution and uncertainty.
The cyclic stress in lithium-ion battery electrodes induced by repeated charge and discharge cycles causes electrode degradation and fracture, resulting in reduced battery performance and lifetime. To investigate electrode mechanics as a function of electrochemical cycling, we utilize digital image correlation (DIC) to measure the strains that develop in lithium-ion battery electrodes during lithiation and delithiation processes. A composite graphite electrode is cycled galvanostatically (with constant current) in a custom battery cell while optical images of the electrode surface are captured in situ. The strain in the electrode is computed using an in-house DIC code. On average, an unconstrained composite graphite electrode expands 1.41 % during lithiation and contracts 1.33 % during delithiation. These strain values compare favorably with predictions based on the elastic properties of the composite electrode and the expansion of graphite-lithium intercalation compounds (G-LICs). The establishment of this experimental protocol will enable future studies of the relationship between electrode mechanics and battery performance.
Digital volume correlation (DVC), the three-dimensional (3D) extension of digital image correlation (DIC), measures internal 3D material displacement fields by correlating intensity patterns within interrogation windows. In recent years DVC algorithms have gained increased attention in experimental mechanics, material science, and biomechanics. In particular, the application of DVC algorithms to quantify cell-induced material deformations has generated a demand for user-friendly, and computationally efficient DVC approaches capable of detecting large, non-linear deformation fields. We address these challenges by presenting a fast iterative digital volume correlation method (FIDVC), which can be run on a personal computer with computation times on the order of 1–2 min. The FIDVC algorithm employs a unique deformation-warping scheme capable of capturing any general non-linear finite deformation. The validation of the FIDVC algorithm shows that our technique provides a unique, fast and effective experimental approach for measuring non-linear 3D deformations with high spatial resolution.
Damage during loading of polycrystalline metallic alloys is localized at or below the scale of individual grains. Quantitative assessment of the heterogeneous strain fields at the grain scale is necessary to understand the relationship between microstructure and elastic and plastic deformation. In the present study, digital image correlation (DIC) is used to measure the strains at the sub-grain level in a polycrystalline nickel-base superalloy where plasticity is localized into physical slip bands. Parameters to minimize noise given a set speckle pattern (introduced by chemical etching) when performing DIC in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) were adapted for measurements in both plastic and elastic regimes. A methodology for the optimization of the SEM and DIC parameters necessary for the minimization of the variability in strain measurements at high spatial resolutions is presented. The implications for detecting the early stages of damage development are discussed.
DIC-based identification of the constitutive parameters of an elastoplastic law is addressed both from a general viewpoint, and applied to the particular case of dog-bone sample made of commercially pure titanium and subjected to tensile loading. A two-step procedure (Digital Image Correlation — DIC — followed by weighted Finite Element Method Updating — FEMU) is first presented. These two steps can be merged into a single-step procedure (i.e., Integrated-DIC or I-DIC). In both cases, the elastoplastic computations are performed with a commercial code (i.e., non-intrusive identification). When the suited weighting of FEMU is taken into account, which is based on DIC-processed image noise, both I-DIC and FEMU methods provide similar results. It is shown that the addressed experimental case requires the use of static (load) information to get precise estimates of the sought parameters.
Digital image correlation (DIC) of images obtained using scanning electron microscopy has been used to study, quantitatively, the plastic deformation of stainless steel at the microstructural scale. An artificial speckle pattern was generated by the remodelling of a deposited gold layer. A new experimental setup was shown to accelerate the remodelling process and promote the formation of finer nano-scale speckles with sizes ranging 30 nm to 150 nm and of similar spacing. The effects of surface preparation on speckle morphology are discussed. The high density of speckles enabled displacement mapping with resolution of one displacement vector each 0.2 × 0.2 μm2 of surface area. It is shown that sub-micron resolution is necessary to capture the plastic deformation associated with the formation of slip bands in stainless steel, which are an important component of the deformation of these materials at the microscale. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) was used to reconstruct the surface grain boundaries and enabled these deformation features to be linked to the microstructure.
Exposure to unaccustomed eccentric exercise causes muscle damage. Popping sarcomere theory  has been proposed and assumed that eccentric contraction-induced muscle damage predominantly occurs at muscle length on the descending limb of the force-length relationship. This study investigated changes in the mechanical properties following maximum effort eccentric exercise at systematically different muscle lengths for the human ankle dorsiflexors. The results of this study showed that the eccentric exercise of the ankle dorsiflexors decreased the peak torque, shifted the optimal joint angle towards longer muscle length without changes in the level of muscle activation. However, no difference in the shift of the optimal ankle joint angle was observed between the groups that performed eccentric exercise at long muscle length (ECC_L) and at short muscle length (ECC_S). In conclusion, the muscle length at which the eccentric exercise was performed did not produce differential effects on the neuro-mechanical properties of in-vivo human ankle dorsiflexors, and thus the popping sarcomere theory might not be the sole mechanism to account for the eccentric contraction-induced optimal muscle length change.
This paper presents a novel color stereo-digital image correlation (stereo-DIC) method using a single 3CCD color camera for full-field shape, motion, and deformation measurements without any sacrifice of the camera sensor spatial resolution. With the aid of a specially designed color separation device using a beam splitter and two optical bandpass filters, images of blue and red colors are simultaneously recorded by the 3CCD camera from two different optical paths. The blue and red channel sub-images extracted from the recorded color images can be analyzed using the regular stereo-DIC algorithm to obtain the full-field three dimensional (3D) information of a test object surface. The effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed technique are demonstrated by a series of real shape, in-plane and out-of-plane translation, and 3D deformation tests.
Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is a hard biological composite found in the inside layer of many shells such as oyster or abalone. It is composed of microscopic ceramic tablets arranged in layers and tightly stacked to form a three-dimensional brick wall structure, where the mortar is a thin layer of biopolymers (20–30 nm). Although mostly made of a brittle ceramic, the structure of nacre is so well designed that its toughness is several order of magnitudes larger that the ceramic it is made of. How the microstructure of nacre controls its mechanical performance has been the focus of numerous studies over the past two decades, because such understanding may inspire novel composite designs though biomimetics. This paper presents in detail uniaxial tension experiment performed on miniature nacre specimens. Large inelastic deformations were observed in hydrated condition, which were explained by sliding of the tablets on one another and progressive locking generated by their microscopic waviness. Fracture experiments were also performed, and for the first time the full crack resistance curve was established for nacre. A rising resistance curve is an indication of the robustness and damage tolerance of that material. These measurements are then discussed and correlated with toughening extrinsic mechanisms operating at the microscale. Moreover, specific features of the microstructure and their relevance to associated toughening mechanisms were identified. These features and mechanisms, critical to the robustness of the shell, were finely tuned over millions of years of evolution. Hence, they are expected to serve as a basis to establish guidelines for the design of novel man-made composites.
The understanding of the load-resistance mechanisms and failure modes of large-scale concrete and masonry structures relies on accurate measurements of surface motions and deformations, and faithful crack maps. Measurements are typically taken using surface-mounted point-wise sensors (PWSs), and crack maps are hand-drawn based on visual inspection. It is impractical to obtain detailed displacement and deformation maps that describe the complex response of large structures based on PWS measurements. In addition, manual crack drawing is difficult, time-consuming, and prone to human errors, which makes it challenging to consistently produce faithful crack maps. This paper reports on a pilot study to test the use of three-dimensional digital image correlation (3D-DIC) as a non-contacting method to measure surface deformation fields on full-scale masonry walls, and produce detailed crack maps. Three confined masonry walls were tested under horizontal in-plane reverse-cycle loads. The specimens were designed to attain different levels of strength and deformability through different load-resistance mechanisms. Representative 3D-DIC measurements of drift, diagonal deformations, and interface slip between the reinforced concrete tie columns and the masonry infill were evaluated vis-à-vis benchmark PWS measurements, showing a comparable accuracy. Strain maps based on 3D-DIC measurements were enlisted to visualize the development of the fundamental strut-and-tie resisting mechanism in confined masonry walls subjected to horizontal in-plane loads, and illustrate practical structural analysis and design implications. More detailed crack maps compared with traditional hand-drawn maps were obtained based on 3D-DIC maximum principal strain contours.