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New measurement method for materials subjected to high thermal and mechanical loads

Materials for light construction and high-temperature applications first have to be qualified before use in order to be able to utilize them to their full potential. The fatigue tests necessary for this purpose can now be performed with a newly developed optical strain measurement system with significantly faster test frequencies without the use of conventional, contacting measurement systems which lead to unwanted damage to test specimens. The versatile process developed by the Fraunhofer IWM and IPM combines the advantages of previous optical and mechanical measuring methods.

High-performance materials improve the function and extend the application range of machines and systems, such as in light construction and high-temperature applications in the automotive industry, in power plants or in aircraft engines. However, components based on high-performance materials have to be qualified in each case in order to ensure the resilience and safety of the subsequent product. In view of the mechanical properties and the service life behavior, they occur, for example, with high-frequency fatigue tests under a cyclic, recurrent load. These measurements place high demands on the measuring speed of the strain measurement systems which are used. Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM and the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM have succeeded in increasing by a factor of ten the measuring speed for the non-contact strain measurement as part of fatigue tests.

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