Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Chu, Tsuchin


Digital Laser Speckle Image Correlation (DiLSIC) is a technique that utilizes a laser generated speckle pattern with Digital Image Correlation (DIC). This technology eliminates the need to apply an artifact speckle pattern to the surface of the material of interest, and produces a finer speckle pattern resulting in a more sensitive analysis. This investigation explores the parameters effecting laser speckle patterns for DIC and studies DiLSIC as a tool to measure surface strain and detect subsurface defects on pressure vessels. In this study a 632.8 nm 30 mW neon-helium laser generated the speckle pattern by passing through the objective end of an objective lens. All experiments took place in a lab setting on a high performance laminar flow stabilizer optical table.This investigation began with a deeper look at the camera settings that effect the effectiveness of using laser speckles with DIC. The first studies were concentrated on the aperture size (f-stop), shutter speed, and gain (ISO) of the camera. Through a series of zero-correlation studies, translation tests, and settings studies, it was discovered that, much like white light DIC, an increased gain allowed for more noise and less reliable measurements when using DiLSIC. It was shown that the aperture size and shutter speed will largely depend on the surface composition of the material, and that these factors should be investigated with each new sample of different surface finish.To determine the feasibility of using DiLSIC on pressure vessels two samples were acquired. The first was a standard ASTM filament wound composite pressure vessel (CPV) which had an upper load limit of 40 psi. The second was a plastic vessel that had internal subsurface defects added with the use of an air pencil grinder. Both vessels were put under a pressure load with the use of a modified air compressor that allowed for multiple loading cycles through the use of a pressure relief valve. The CPV was mapped out in 10-degree increments between the 90° and 180° markings that were on the pressure vessel, occurring in three areas, each one inch apart. The CPV had a pressure load applied to at 10, 20, 30,and 40 psi. DiLSIC was able to measure increasing displacement with increased loading on the surface of the CPV, however with a load limit of 40 psi no strains were detected. The plastic vessel had known subsurface defects, and these areas were the focus of the investigation. The plastic vessel was loaded with a pressure load at 5, 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 psi. The 5 psi loaded image was used as a reference image for the correlation and decorrelation consistently occurred at 20 psi. This investigation proved that DiLSIC can detect and locate subsurface defects through strain measurement. The results were verified with traditional white light DIC, which also showed that the subsurface defects on pressure vessels were detectable. The DIC and DiLSIC results did not agree on maximum strain measurement, with the DiLSIC prediciting much larger strains than traditional DIC. This is due to the larger effect out-of-plane displacement has on DiLSIC. DiLSIC was able to detect subsurface defects on a pressure vessel. The median measured hoop strain was in agreement for DiLSIC, DIC and the predicted hoop strain for a wall thickness of 0.1 inches. However, DiLSIC also produced unreliable maximum strain measurements. This technique shows potential for future applications, but more investigations will be needed to implement it for industrial use. A full investigation into the parameters surrounding this technique, and the factors that contribute the most to added noise and unreliability should be conducted. This technology is being developed by multiple entities and shows promising results, and once further advanced could be a useful tool for rapid surface strain measurement and subsurface defect detection in nondestructive evaluation applications. Therefore, it is recommended to continue further investigations into this technology and its applications.




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