High-speed two-dimensional polarization camera for non-contact measurement of stress in transparent materials and fluids

Photron USA, Inc. of San Diego has launched a high-speed, two-dimensional polarization camera that can see and measure stress in transparent materials and fluids at framing rates of over one million frames per second.

Anyone who has worn polarized sunglasses when driving will be familiar with the technicolor patterns visible in car window glass. These patterns are due to stresses left in the material during manufacturing processes involving heat and pressure. By using the Crysta polarization camera scientists and engineers can actually see, record and measure the stresses being induced in glass, polymers, acrylics and even fluids during the manufacturing process while they are being subjected to various pressure strains.

These patterns are invisible to the naked eye. Due to the retardation of light traveling through the material along different, longer paths, materials having more than one optical refractive indices effect how differently polarized light travels through the material. This retardation, or birefringence, can then be used to measure the stress occurring inside the material. When this technology is coupled with Photron’s high-speed camera system, users are able to monitor and measure stresses that occur too fast for the human eye to see. For example, when glass cracks, the crack travels or propagates in microseconds, way too fast to see or comprehend, but the Crysta High-Speed Polarization Camera can record and replay this crack in slow motion detail, so we can see and understand the forces at play to prevent a catastrophic component failure.

Current polarization systems utilize a single moving measurement point that can only read one spot at a time as it moves over the materials surface. This is a very time-consuming process, requiring moving parts, and does not provide the complete picture at any point in time. The Crysta measures the complete area in a fraction of a second at high-speed, by combining a photonic-crystal micro polarizer array, with groups of four pixels each having different polarization filters offset by 45˚ from their neighbor, affixed directly to a proven one megapixel high-speed camera sensor.

Photron has more than forty years’ of experience in high-speed imaging, and once again leads the field with the Crysta high-speed 2D polarization camera. Please contact Photron USA, Inc. to discuss your imaging needs and schedule a free demonstration.

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