Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Stefan Dragos Dancila


Ultra-high temperature deformation measurements are required to characterize the thermo-mechanical response of material systems for thermal protection systems for aerospace applications. The use of conventional surface-contacting strain measurement techniques is not practical in elevated temperature conditions. Technological advancements in digital imaging provide impetus to measure full-field displacement and determine strain fields with sub-pixel accuracy by image processing. In this work, an Instron electromechanical axial testing machine with a custom-designed high temperature gripping mechanism is used to apply quasi-static tensile loads to graphite specimens heated to 2000°F (1093?C). Specimen heating via Joule effect is achieved and maintained with a custom-designed temperature control system. Images are captured at monotonically increasing load levels throughout the test duration using an 18 megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T2i digital camera with a modified Schneider Kreutznach tele-centric lens and a combination of blue light illumination and narrow band-pass filter system. Images are processed using an open-source Matlab-based digital image correlation (DIC) code. Validation of source code is performed using Mathematica generated images with specified known displacement fields in order to gain confidence in accurate software tracking capabilities. Room temperature results are compared with extensometer readings. Ultra-high temperature strain measurements for graphite are obtained at low load levels, demonstrating the potential for non-contacting digital image correlation techniques to accurately determine full-field strain measurements at ultra-high temperature. Recommendations are given to improve the experimental set-up to achieve displacement field measurements accurate to 1/10 pixel and strain field accuracy of less than 2%.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington