The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a metrology workbench for the measurement and visualization of displacement and strain fields in three dimensions. The workbench uses two or more cameras to image a specimen, and includes custom software that implements the 3D Meshless Random Grid method.

The workbench uses two or more cameras to image a specimen, and includes custom software that implements the 3D Meshless Random Grid methods.

A random pattern of optically distinct dots is applied on the specimen surface. This procedure greatly reduces specimen preparation time compared to other optical methods. With the help of the software, the dots are identified and tracked, and their displacement is computed as the specimen deforms under various loads. Additionally, optically distinct intrinsic features of the specimen surface can be tracked, allowing for remote measurement of deforming objects in various length scales including the nano-scale.

In contrast to the Pure Grid Method (PGM), a uniform grid on the surface of the sample is not required, simplifying setup and allowing the test and measurement of irregularly shaped objects. The NRL method is both faster and more accurate when compared to Digital Image Correlation (DIC) techniques.

Other features of the software include a choice of any number of gauge points, optional calculation of advanced deformation measures, automated detection of convex and non-convex domain geometries, time-domain filtering, import/export capabilities, scripting interface, and multi-operating system capability.

Applications include experimental mechanics applications, material characterization, remote sensing, reverse engineering, quality control, nanoscale engineering, non-contact metrology, and finite element analysis validation.

For more information, visit https://www.nrl.navy.mil/techtransfer/.