Digital image correlation and finite element analysis of inter- and intra-granular deformation

S. Dave, X. Song, F. Hofmann, K. Dragnevski, A. M. Korsunsky

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Deformation in individual grains within a polycrystal depends on their orientation with respect to the direction of external loading (e.g. uniaxial tension), and also on mis-orientation with respect to neighbouring grains. Thus, strain inhomogeneity at the grain level is strongly dependent on the local microstructure, and not simply of the grain's own orientation, as implied in self- consistent modelling schemes [1,3]. Digital image correlation (DIC) is an excellent tool for probing deformation behaviour at different resolutions, since it is independent of the precise physical length scale, and can be applied to any digital image, e.g. obtained from optical or scanning electron microscopy, or AFM. In this study large-grained polycrystalline samples of commercial purity nickel were used. The surface of a dogbone specimen was etched prior to the experiment to create a pattern suitable for DIC interpretation. A custom-made loading stage for small samples was placed in the Alicona InfiniteFocus microscope, and uniaxial tensile force was applied to cause the specimen to elongate. Small steps for crosshead displacement between 7 μm and 34 μm were used to generate elastic deformation, followed by plastic stretching. At every loading step an image was taken with the digital camera attached to the microscope, up to the total strain within the specimen of 35%. The Alicona InfiniteFocus instrument could be used for two purposes: (i) to obtain high resolution images (1624x1232 pixels) of the sample surface during deformation, so that in-plane displacement and strain fields could be extracted; and (ii) to collect the data about surface profile evolution (roughening) caused by plastic slip during deformation. Digital image correlation analysis was carried out using LaVision DaVis software. Results show significant inter-granular and intra-granular strain inhomogeneity. When a plot of strain along a line crossing a particular grain is considered, areas of high and low strain can be readily identified that persist at different strain levels throughout the deformation history. As discussed by Zhang and Tong [4], this indicates the stability of the mechanisms responsible for the slip activity. The presence of neighbouring grains orientated so as to resist plastic deformation by crystal slip (i.e. possessing high Schmid factors) causes a softer adjacent grain to undergo more severe deformation. These observations were borne out by crystal plasticity finite element simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-200
Number of pages4
JournalProcedia Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventMesomechanics 2009 - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jun 200926 Jun 2009


  • Correlation
  • Inter-granular
  • Intra-granular


Dive into the research topics of 'Digital image correlation and finite element analysis of inter- and intra-granular deformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this