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Experimental Mechanics Workshop

Experimental mechanics can be defined as the investigation by experimental means of the mechanical behaviour of engineering systems subjected to load. The system can be a structure, a material, soft matter such as human tissue or a fluid structure coupling – the list is practically endless. Implicit in the definition is that some kind of measurement system is used to capture a quantity that describes the system’s behaviour. The main attributes conventionally associated with experimental mechanics are the deformation and the mechanical strain. These can then be related to a failure parameter by deriving the stresses from the strains by knowing the material constitutive relationships.

Experimental mechanics approaches that provide a measure related to the strain are therefore very important design tools. Many of these techniques have been available for decades, but recently have been gaining popularity because of the advances in computing power and decreasing hardware costs. More importantly, from the design perspective, the necessity for experimental data to validate numerical models of systems manufactured from complex nonlinear inhomogeneous materials, such as fibre reinforced polymer composites, is ever increasing. Experimental mechanics approaches have much to offer and it is the purpose of this module to provide an overview of the range of application and operation of the techniques.


  • Provide an in-depth understanding of experimental mechanics approaches
  • Introduce participants to testing procedures
  • Provide detailed knowledge of the application of modern full field techniques such as Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA), Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and Grid Methods
  • Understand how the data from experimental techniques are manipulated to validate numerical models
  • Introduce high speed imaging

This workshop is aimed at postgraduate students conducting research in experimental mechanics and industrial engineers and research scientists wishing to update skills and obtain an overview of developments in the field. Participants are expected to have a basic knowledge in mechanics.

Certificates will be issued on the basis of course participation, and it qualifies for CPD.

Techniques Covered 

  • Mechanical Testing Procedures - Test Machine Principles, Strain Gauges
  • Digital Image Correlation and other White Light Techniques - White Light Imaging,  DIC and Grid Techniques, Metrology and Uncertainty Quantification in DIC 
  • White Light Data Analysis and Processing -  Data Analysis and Filtering, Practical Session on DIC Processing,  Virtual Fields Method
  • Infra-red Imaging - Infra-red Imaging,  NDE Applications of Infra-red Thermography,  Thermoelastic Stress Analysis
  • Other Techniques and Practical Applications -  High Speed Imaging, Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry,  Industrial Applications

The course is a mixture of lectures and practical hands on sessions in the Laboratory. The course lecturers include leading academic and industrial practitioners and experts in the various fields.

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