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Imaging for Mechanics and Non-destructive Evaluation of Composite Structures Workshop



Location: University of Bristol, UK

Price: FOC - conditions apply - contact



Professor Janice Barton, Dr Neha Chandarana, Dr Geir Olafsson and Dr Tobias Laux, Bristol Composites Institute

About the Workshop

In the Imaging for Mechanics and Non-destructive Evaluation of Composite Structures unit a topic known as Experimental mechanics is presented. The definition of experimental mechanics is 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, a fluid-structure coupling; the list is practically endless. Implicit in the definition is that a measurement is made to capture a quantity that describes the system’s behaviour.

A key enabler in experimental mechanics is application of imaging systems to derive physical quantities such as deformation, temperature, stress and strain without the need to contact the structure with the sensor. Imaging is also used to visualise defects and damage in materials and structures. The imaging techniques are classified as full-field non-contact techniques.

Many techniques in experimental mechanics use actuators and sensor systems to understand mechanical performance and identify damage. Often the sensors automatically traverse a specimen to generate an image. Other techniques can triangulate onto regions of interest and produce a visualisation of damage evolving. These techniques require contact with the component and are termed contact techniques.

Both types of technique are applied directly to materials and structures under load to monitor performance and/or to detect, locate and classify defects. Experimental mechanics approaches have much to offer, so it is the purpose of the unit to provide a detailed insight to the physics and the methodologies used in the application and operation the techniques. From a design perspective, the necessity for experimental data to calibrate and validate numerical models of systems manufactured from complex nonlinear inhomogeneous materials is increasing, hence the focus of the unit is on application to fibre reinforced polymer composites.


The overarching aim and key learning outcome of the unit is to provide students with a working knowledge of a range of techniques to allow the most appropriate techniques to be selected for specific applications. The content of the unit will enable students to:

  • Understand testing procedures and the adaptations required to utilise the techniques presented.
  • Have a detailed knowledge of modern full-field non-contact imaging techniques such as Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA), Digital Image Correlation (DIC).
  • Understand non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) including application of ultrasound, thermography, acoustic emission (AE), eddy current, and X-ray.
  • Understand how the techniques can be combined with each other and with numerical models.
  • Be able to manipulate and interpret data from experimental techniques to provide a detailed understanding of structural performance of fibre reinforced polymer composites.

Teaching schedule


The teaching is delivered on-line through nine weekly live lectures and recorded material. The recorded lectures are short (around 20 minutes) and should be viewed by the students prior to attending the live session. At the end of each recorded lecture some tasks will be set for students to consider prior to the live lecture. In the live session the concepts presented in the recorded lectures will be brought together through application to fibre reinforce polymer composites and the solutions to the task presented. The live lectures are interactive, and it expected that students will take part in the discussion and also work on tasks. The live session will be recorded and will be available after the on-line live lecture for students to review. The schedule for the online materials is given in Table 1. The recorded lectures will be available for students to review on the Monday preceding the live lecture.


On 28th February 2022 a three-day in-person workshop will commence.

This includes:

  • In-person lectures recapping the material presented in the on-line lectures.
  • A laboratory class demonstrating some of the techniques discussed in lectures
  • Several hands-on sessions for manipulating the data gathered in the laboratory class.
  • Tutorial and Q and A sessions
  • The schedule for the workshop is given in Table 2.


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