Faculty Advisor

Pilar Arroyo

Faculty Advisor

Raghvendra V. Cowlagi

Faculty Advisor

Allen H. Hoffman

Faculty Advisor

John M. Sullivan

Faculty Advisor

Cosme Furlong


"Non-destructive testing (NDT) is critical to many precision industries because it can provide important information about the structural health of critical components and systems. In addition, NDT can also identify situations that could potentially lead to critical failures. Specifically, NDT by optical methods have become popular because of their non-contact and non-invasive nature. Shearography is a high-resolution optical NDT method for identification and characterization of structural defects in components and has gained wide acceptance over the last decade. Traditional workflow of NDT by shearography has been determined to be inefficient, due to the requirements of having experienced operators that must determine the most suitable loading methods to identify defects in samples under testing as well as to determine the best system arrangement for obtaining the maximum measuring sensitivity. To reduce the number of experiments that are required and to allow inspectors to perform NDT by laser shearography in a more efficient way, it is necessary to optimize the experimental workflow. The goal of the optimization would be an appropriate selection of all experimental variables including loading methods, boundary conditions, and system¡¯s sensitivities, in order to avoid repeating experiments several times in the processes of components characterization and health monitoring. To achieve this goal, a hybrid approach using shearographic fringe prediction with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed. In the FEA simulations, different loading conditions are applied to samples with defects, and in turn, the shearographic fringes are predicted. Fringe patterns corresponding to specific loading conditions that are capable of detecting defects are chosen and experimental tests are performed using those loading conditions. As a result, using this approach, inspectors could try different combinations of loading methods, and system¡¯s sensitivities to investigate and select appropriate experimental parameters to improve defect detection capabilities of the system by using low-cost computer simulations instead of lengthy and expensive experiments. In addition, to improve the identification of defects on the sample, camera calibration and image registration algorithms are used to project the detected defects on the sample itself to locate and visualize the position of defects during shearographic investigations. This hybrid approach is illustrated by performing NDT of a plate made of acrylic that has a partial hole at the center. Fringe prediction with finite element analysis are used to characterize the optimized experimental procedures and in turn, corresponding measurements are performed. A multimedia projector is employed to project the defects on the surface of the plate in order to visualize the location of the partial hole (defect). Furthermore, shearographic system is used for other applications including NDT of a composites plate and of a thin latex membrane. The procedures shows the effectiveness of the approach to perform NDT with shearography methods. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





FEA, Digital Image Processing, NDT, Opto-mechanical Engineering, Laser Shearography