Eliminating Air Refraction Issues in DIC by Conducting Experiments in Vacuum

  • P. L. ReuEmail author
  • E. M. C. Jones
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


A major and often unrecognized error source in digital image correlation (DIC) is the influence of the intervening air between the cameras and sample. Minute differences in air temperature, composition, or both can cause index of refraction changes that act as a lens and cause distortions in the DIC displacement and strain results (Jones and Reu, Exp Mech, 2017). There are limited options to correct this problem as it is both spatial and temporal in nature. One method is to use X-rays for imaging that are not affected by air refraction, but this requires costly equipment. A second method uses a vacuum chamber to minimize the intervening air to remove the distortions, but unfortunately this requires inconvenient setups.


Digital image correlation (DIC) Full-field Optical methods Uncertainty quantification (UQ) 



We would like to thank Rusty Spillers, Seth Spitzer and Paul Farias for help in setting up and conducting these experiments.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525.


  1. 1.
    Jones, E., Reu. P.: Distortion of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) Displacements and strains from heat waves. Experimental Mechanics: 1–24 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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