Strained superlattices (SSLs) are typically found inside the p-n junction area of semiconductor devices and consist of very thin alternating layers of different material. There exists a small lattice mismatch between these materials which results in localised strain, as in the case of germanium-silicon/silicon SSLs. Strain measurements using a convergent beam electron diffraction (CBED) technique inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM) have indicated that the strain measured normal to these germanium–silicon/silicon SSLs varies almost sinusoidally, in spite of theoretical predictions which indicate a much sharper change in strain between these layers. A theoretical formulation involving an elasticity solution has been developed to predict the strain inside these SSL structures. The comparison of theoretical and experimental results clearly quantifies the effect of beam size on the spatial resolution of CBED measurements. Given that beam size is critically dependent on the spot size of the beam, the convergence angle, the specimen thickness and the position of the focused plane, these parameters are all clearly accounted for in the theoretical predictions.

The design of concrete structures is based on calculation rules, which often do not take into account the very early age behaviour of the material. However, during this period, structural concrete is subjected to strains due to the hydration process of cement. If these strains are restrained by concrete itself or surrounding boundaries, stresses start to build up that can lead to the formation of cracks. Among the parameters involved in the stress build up, the stiffness evolution is of major importance. This paper reports the use of eight different techniques aimed at stiffness evolution assessment, applied on the same concrete mix, in a round robin experimental test within three laboratories. The observations are compared after having expressed the results at the same equivalent age. Both the loading stress rate and amplitude are observed to have an effect of limited importance on the determination of the quasi-static elastic modulus, which might be explained by very short term creep. Ultrasonic measurements provide values of E-modulus that are higher than the values provided by the quasi-static tests at the time of the concrete setting. Similar mechanisms associated to very short term creep could explain the difference between the quasi-static and high-frequency elastic modulus.

In this paper, the strain error of subset-based two-dimensional digital image correlation (DIC) is theoretically derived. Analytical solutions are provided to estimate the strain error. A dimensionless factor is proposed, namely the overlap magnifier, which reveals the dependency of the strain error on the DIC regularisation parameters, that is, subset size, step size and strain window size. The derived equations are validated numerically and experimentally. The estimated random strain error is in good accordance with the experimental data. The proposed derivation can be readily extended to stereo DIC.

The primary objective of this study was to conduct constitutive tests of relatively large diameter inflatable, braided fabric tubes at different inflation pressures and braid angles in order to quantify the longitudinal modulus, in-plane shear modulus and effective lamina stiffness properties. The stiffness properties quantified here are of high interest because the same braided fabric tubes have been used in the construction of test articles for a major, multi-year, ground based test campaign led by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. These properties are also input directly into high-fidelity yet computationally intensive 3D shell-based finite-element simulations of the large, inflatable structures. Experimental methods employed during this study included tension–torsion testing, uniaxial tension testing of individual fibre tows, and uniaxial tension testing of gas bladder coupons. Digital image correlation was used to measure all of the geometric information that is necessary to perform netting theory calculations. The test results indicate that fabric in-plane shear modulus is highly dependent on both braid angle and inflation pressure, but that longitudinal stiffness is quite small and relatively unaffected by braid angle and pressure. In addition to advancing the state-of-the art in experimental constitutive property determination of inflatable, braided fabric, this study includes the development of a method to back calculate lamina properties from the experimental results that are suitable for use as input to commonly used finite-element programmes. The digital image correlation data revealed spatial variation of shear strain that was important to consider when computing the gross shear stiffness. Digital image correlation data also captured the braid surface flattening with increasing inflation pressure, which supports the fibre de-crimping theory.

This paper presents a theoretical uncertainty quantification of displacement measurements by subset-based 2D-digital image correlation. A generalised solution to estimate the random error of displacement measurement is presented. The obtained solution suggests that the random error of displacement measurements is determined by the image noise, the summation of the intensity gradient in a subset, the subpixel part of displacement, and the interpolation scheme. The proposed method is validated with virtual digital image correlation tests.

No abstract is available for this article.

]]>As the optical power transmitted by an optical fibre under tensile stress varies with strain, it can be used as a sensor for strain monitoring in structural elements. In the present work, quasi-static tensile tests of step index polymer optical fibres (POF) with simultaneous measurement of surface temperature and optical power are described. Young's modulus, yield stress and tensile strength are derived from experimental tests. Morphological characterization of the POF fibres using scanning electron microscope images and differential calorimetry technique is performed. The contributions of both elastic and plastic strain components to the variation of temperature and optical power loss are also estimated. The evolution of the POF mechanical properties as well as that of temperature and optical power loss is explained in terms of the progressive relative movement and alignment of the molecular chains in the direction of the applied load. Strain, temperature and optical power loss are then correlated.

A new concept has been introduced that the combination of rotational mode shape with two-dimensional wavelet packet transform to detect the added mass (damage) in a glass fibre reinforced polymer composite plate structure. Wavelet packet transform is an advanced signal processing tool that can magnify the abnormality features in the signal. Rotational mode shapes are sensitive to damage in beam and plate structures. The proposed method employs an added mass, which slides to different locations to alter the local and global dynamic characteristics of the structure. Finite element analysis is carried out to obtain the first three rotational bending mode shapes, from the damaged plate structure, then used as input to two-dimensional wavelet packet transform. The numerical results of normalised diagonal detail wavelet packet coefficients show a peak at single or multiple added mass (damage) locations of a plate structure for two different boundary conditions. This method seems to be sensitive to relatively small amount of damage to the plate structure. A simple parametric study is carried out for the damage extent quantification. In addition, investigation with noise-contaminated signals shows its feasibility in the real applications.

The paper describes investigation results on fracture in notched concrete beams under quasi-static three-point bending by the X-ray micro-computed tomography. The two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional image procedures were used. Attention was paid to width, length, height and shape of cracks along beam depth. In addition, the displacements on the surface of concrete beams during the deformation process were measured with the 2D digital image correlation technique in order to detect strain localisation before a discrete crack occurred. The 2D fracture patterns in beams were numerically simulated with the finite-element method using an isotropic damage constitutive model enhanced by a characteristic length of micro-structure. Concrete was modelled as a random heterogeneous four-phase material composed of aggregate, cement matrix, interfacial transitional zones and air voids. The advantages of the X-ray micro-computed tomography were outlined.

The effect of dynamic strain rates on failure responses of a fine-grained granitic rock is studied experimentally and theoretically. Theoretical investigation employs a model incorporating dynamic fracture criterion with damage mechanics theory. Experimental investigation is conducted using split Hopkinson pressure bar device. In order to investigate the effects of microstructure on dynamic fracture failure under different loading rates, fragment debris of each tested specimen is collected and analyzed. It is found through the debris analysis that the granitic rock breaks down into the fragment debris in grain size scales and the effect of strain rates on the formation of fragment debris appears to be related to the microstructure of the rock. It is also found that dynamic inertia induced by the dynamic loading can reduce the effect of friction confinement generated by the contact between the cylindrical specimen and two split Hopkinson pressure bars on the dynamic responses of the specimen. Theoretical evaluations agree with the corresponding experimental observations.

This article presents a methodology to optimise the design of a realistic mechanical test to characterise the material elastic stiffness parameters of an orthotropic PVC foam material in one single test. Two main experimental techniques were used in this study: Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and the Virtual Fields Method (VFM). The actual image recording process was mimicked by numerically generating a series of deformed synthetic images. Subsequent to this, the entire measurement and data processing procedure was simulated by processing the synthetic images using DIC and VFM algorithms. This procedure was used to estimate the uncertainty of the measurements (systematic and random errors) by including the most significant parameters of actual experiments, e.g. the geometric test configuration, the parameters of the DIC process and the noise. By using these parameters as design variables and by defining different error functions as object functions, an optimisation study was performed to minimise the uncertainty of the material parameter identification and to select the optimal test parameters. The confidence intervals of the identified parameters were predicted based on systematic and random errors obtained from the simulations. The simulated experimental results have shown that averaging multiple images can lead to a significant reduction of the random error. An experimental determination of the elastic coefficient of a PVC foam material was conducted using the optimised test parameters obtained from the numerical study. The identified stiffness values matched well with data from previous tests, but even more interesting was the fact that the experimental uncertainty intervals matched reasonably well with the predictions of the simulations, which is a highly original result and probably the main outcome of the present paper.

The advent of pixelated detectors for time-of-flight neutron transmission experiments has raised significant interest in terms of the potential for tomographic reconstructions of triaxial strain distributions. A recent publication by Lionheart and Withers [WRB Lionheart and PJ Withers, “Diffraction tomography of strain”, Inverse Problems, v31:045005, 2015] has demonstrated that reconstruction is not possible in the general sense; however, various special cases may exist. In this paper, we outline a process by which it is possible to tomographically reconstruct average triaxial elastic strains within individual particles in a granular assembly from a series of Bragg edge strain measurements. This algorithm is tested on simulated data in two and three dimensions and is shown to be capable of rejecting Gaussian measurement noise. Sources of systematic error that may present problems in an experimental implementation are briefly discussed.