Moiré interferometry at high temperatures

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this study was to provide an optical technique allowing full-field in-plane deformation measurements at high temperature by using high-sensitivity moiré interferometry.

This was achieved by a new approach of performing deformation measurements at high temperatures in a vacuum oven using an achromatic interferometer. The moiré system setup was designed with particular consideration for the stability, compactness, flexibility, and ease of control. A vacuum testing environment was provided to minimize the instability of the patterns by protecting the optical instruments from the thermal convection currents.

Also, a preparation procedure for the high-temperature specimen grating was developed with the use of the plasma-etched technique. Gold was used as a metallic layer in this procedure. This method was demonstrated on a ceramic block, metal/matrix composite, and quartz.

Thermal deformation of a quartz specimen was successfully measured in vacuum at 980 degrees Celsius, with the sensitivity of 417 nm per fringe. The stable and well-defined interference patterns confirmed the feasibility of the developments, including the high-temperature moiré system and high-temperature specimen grating. The moiré system was demonstrated to be vibration-insensitive. Also, the contrast of interference fringes at high temperature was enhanced by means of a spatial filter and a narrow band interference filter to minimize the background noise from the glow of the specimen and heater.

The system was verified by a free thermal expansion test of an aluminum block. Good agreement demonstrated the validity of the optical design. The measurements of thermal deformation mismatch were performed on a graphite/epoxy composite, a metal/matrix composite equipped with an optical fiber, and a cutting tool bit. A high-resolution data-reduction technique was used to measure the Strain distribution of the cutting tool bit.