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Opt Express. 2010 Dec 6;18(25):25712-25. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.025712.

Dynamic optical studies in materials testing with spectral-domain polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography.

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Christian Doppler Laboratory for Microscopic and Spectroscopic Material Characterization, Center for Surface- and Nanoanalytics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Altenbergerstrasse 69, 4040 Linz, Austria.


By combining dynamic mechanical testing with spectral-domain polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (SD-PS-OCT) performed at 1550 nm we are able to directly investigate for the first time changes within scattering technical materials during tensile and fracture tests. Spatially and temporally varying polarization patterns, due to defects and material inhomogeneities, were observed within bulk polymer samples and used to finally obtain--with the help of advanced image processing algorithms--quantitative maps of the evolving internal stress distribution. Furthermore, locally increased stress within fiber-reinforced composite materials was identified in situ with SD-PS-OCT to cause depolarizing sites of fiber-matrix debonding prior the onset of complete structural failure.

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