The VIC-3D IR System

Non-Contact Full-Field Thermal and Strain Measurement System

The VIC-3D IR system conveniently allows white light and IR images to be simultaneously acquired for thermal and surface strain analysis.  The digital image correlation (DIC) strain data can now be synchronized and calibrated with IR temperature data.  This fully integrated imaging system accurately calibrates the two imaging systems so temperature and strain data are accurately displayed in a common coordinate system.  The system is turn-key and ready to use right out of the box, and includes onsite installation, and one year of unlimited technical support with every purchase.   The thermal imaging capability may also be added to any existing VIC-3D system for increased functionality.  For more details about this product, and to see an application example, please download our VIC-3D IR System brochure.

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VIC-3D IR system

Technology Overview

The VIC-3D™ IR System is a new addition to the 3D digital image correlation system.  The  VIC-3D IR System integrates an infrared (IR) camera with the white light DIC cameras enabling temperature data to be accurately analyzed alongside full-field strain data.  The system works by first synchronizing images from the IR camera with images from the stereo DIC system, and then calibrating all three cameras so that the thermal and strain data are in a common coordinate system.  This calibration procedure has been streamlined using the VIC-Snap IR software, which allows the user to capture synchronized single images for calibration, and multiple images at a constant rate for quasi-static testing.  The result is an easy to use turn-key thermal imaging system that utilizes the digital image correlation technology to accurately measure temperature and strain concurrently without any contact with the sample. Thermal and strain data can be viewed, analyzed, and extracted over the entire field or at precise locations. 


VIC-3D screenshot of temperature data


VIC-3D extraction of temperature and strain data


  • Temperatures up to 1,760C
  • Synchronized IR and DIC images
  • User-friendly setup and calibration
  • Uniquely designed IR calibration targets
  • Analog data synchronization
  • Extract points, regions, or nodes locations for FEA validation
  • Accurately measure deformation and thermal data concurrently
  • Remotely view and acquire images using the Vic-Snap remote
  • Measure 3D full-field displacements and strains
  • All the features for the VIC-3D system included

Thermal DIC Applications

Whether working with metals, composites, ceramics, or biological specimens, thermal testing is a growing field for many researchers and engineers in academia and commercial industries.  Temperatures ranging from -40C to 1,760C can be measured with great accuracy.  Some examples of high-heat applications include (but are not limited to) the following:

Military – Vehicles, UAVs, armor, firearms, etc.

Automotive – Exhaust manifolds,  turbochargers, superchargers, engine components, brake systems, heat exchangers, etc.

Aerospace – Engine components, fuselages, wing sections, spacecraft re-entry, etc.

Civil – Walls, buildings, concrete structures, steel beams, etc.

Experimental – Metal alloys, composites, polymers, concrete, etc.

IR and DIC data combining is useful any time thermal characteristics are part of a mechanical test.  Some other application examples are listed below:
  • Heat-induced softening of steel
  • Blistering and delamination in composites
  • Strain induced heating in polymers
  • Correlating heat transfer and strain distribution during bonding/debonding
  • Matrix and fiber or particulate composite testing

There are many other possible thermal applications where this measurement system may be used.  If there is a need to measure full-field displacements and strains concurrently with temperature data, then this is the right system for you.  

E-glass/Vinyl Ester/Balsa Wood Sandwich Composite Application Example

Understanding thermo-mechanical behavior of material can be a vital component when designing vehicles and structures that may become exposed to high temperatures. Virginia Tech’s Extreme Environments, Robotics, and Materials (ExtReMe) Laboratory focuses on the impact of extreme environments on materials. This includes research that is focused on understanding the thermo-mechanical behavior of materials both during and following fires. Experimental investigations are performed to understand the evolution of the material due to elevated temperature.

The senior research associates in the lab used the VIC-3D IR system to find the effects of a simultaneous one-sided heating and compressive loading test on an e-glass/vinyl ester/balsa wood sandwich composite sample. As one researcher stated, “The VIC-3D IR system identified several transient events during the compression tests which would not have otherwise been fully understood using either DIC or IRT independently. Through this testing, several features of sandwich composite thermomechanical behavior were elucidated which would not have been possible with traditional point measurements (i.e., strain gages, deflectometers, or thermocouples).”

The data in the images and graphs below display the strain and temperature data extracted from the two locations C1 and C2. The strains peak at the highest temperature, and then become smaller as the surface cools when the sample’s surface delaminates and blisters.

Longitudinal Strain (Exx)

Temperature Data from IR Camera

Strain & Temperature vs. time

VIC-3D extraction video of temperature and strain data

Contact Us

Viewing, plotting, and extracting thermal distributions in the form of full-field temperature are now as easy as processing strain and deformation in the VIC-3D software.  To find out more about how to include this capability in your laboratory or to add it to your current VIC-3D system, please call us today at: +1 (803) 926-7272.  If you prefer to communicate with us via e-mail, please direct your question/request to our respective departments: General questions about our technologies and your measurement needs Current customers may submit a support ticket here Request a quotation, licensing questions, submit purchase orders

IR Plotting

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