Testing: Vision Extensometer Tests Structural Materials

Startup Point Semantics high-performance extensometer is designed for plastics, composites, elastomers, metal alloys and other materials. 

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Startup company Point Semantics Corp. (PSC), Silver Springs, Md., is commercializing a technology licensed from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (US-NRL), and has made its entry into the materials testing arena.  PSC’s new MVE-100 High Performance Machine Vision Extensometer is designed to measure elongation, strain and crack opening displacement during testing of plastics, composites, elastomers, metal alloys and other materials.PSC’s CEO Chris Vizas pointed out that advanced computer vision is now revolutionizing many industries and combined with sophisticated processing is resulting in breakthrough in strain metrology.

The instrument is priced competitively with conventional contact extensometers, but boasts distinct advantages beyond being non-contacting. Most crucially, the MVE-100 measures elongation, strain and crack opening displacement with much high accuracy, precision, and efficiency for a wide range of strain rates. It provides six analog inputs and four outputs, strobing for controlling external devices, and internal and external triggering capabilities. Also, it measures the total as well as the horizontal and vertical components of elongation between two arbitrary points. Said PSC’s CTO and co-inventor and engineer Athanasios Iliopoulos, “Our extensometer can measure strain in a deforming specimen or structure while it is being stretched more than twenty times its initial length. And, it can perform measurements with precision of plus or minus thirty µStrain when the proprietary tMarch technology is enabled.”

The instrument comes equipped with everything needed to capture data and export the results, including an integrated computer processor and control unit, digital camera and lens optimized for the user applications, LED lighting source, support fixtures, tripod, and shock-absorbing storage case. Testing setup is reportedly quick, only requiring the user to mark two dots on the surface of the specimen or other deforming component and point the camera and a lighting source at it. PSC’s Ariston-EX software is used to capture and display extension or strain or crack opening displacement histories as a function of loading as well as stress-strain curves (when load-cell data are acquired through the analog input interface) in real time. The instrument is evaluated under the ASTM E83 and ISO 9513 standards.