Time-Resolved Digital Image Correlation in the Scanning Electron Microscope for Analysis of Time-Dependent Mechanisms

J. C. Stinville, T. Francis, A. T. Polonsky, C. J. Torbet, M. A. Charpagne, Z. Chen, G. H. Balbus, F. Bourdin, V. Valle, P. G. Callahan, M. P. Echlin, T. M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Advancements in the Digitial Image Correlation (DIC) technique over the past decade have greatly improved spatial resolution. However, many processes, such as plastic deformation, have a temporal component spanning from fractions of a second to minutes that has not yet been addressed in detail, particularly for DIC conducted in-situ in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Objective: To develop a methodology for conducting time-resolved digital image correlation in the SEM for analysis of time-dependent mechanical deformation phenomena. Methods: Microscope and electron beam scanning parameters that influence the rate at which time-resolved DIC information is mapped are experimentally investigated, providing a guide for use over a range of timescales and resolutions. Results: Time-resolved DIC imaging is demonstrated on a Ti-7Al alloy, where slip band propagation is resolved with imaging dwell times of seconds. The limits of strain resolution and strain collection speeds are analyzed. Conclusions: The new developed methodology can be applied to a wide range of materials loaded in-situ to quantify time-dependent plastic deformation phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Heaviside-DIC
  • High resolution digital image correlation
  • Polycrystalline materials
  • Real-time DIC
  • Scanning electron microscopy digital image correlation
  • SEM measurement variability and sensitivity
  • Strain localization
  • Strain relaxation
  • Time-resolved DIC measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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