Skip to content


Fabrice Pierron

Professor Fabrice Pierron

Professor Fabrice Pierron

Research Fellow

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Imaging the mechanical properties of materials

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Organisation: University of Southampton

Dates: May 2012-Apr 2017

Value: £75,000

Summary: The Royal Society uses case studies of Research Fellows to demonstrate the value of our fellowships to Government and to identify holders who may be suitable for media and other promotion opportunities. Please supply a short lay summary of your research which includes the following: Your research area; a short lay explanation of the science; the potential impact of your work and the possible applications/benefit to society (where applicable). Your summary should be no more than 2000 characters in length. In many areas of engineering, materials suffer deformation at high rates. This is the case when structures undergo impact, crash, blast, etc. but also in material forming like stamping or machining for instance. Therefore, it is essential for design engineers to have reliable mechanical models to predict the behaviour of the materials in such applications. Currently available experimental techniques to inform such models rely on very limited experimental information and fail to provide adequate model quality and complexity. As part of his Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, Professor Pierron is exploring new ways to inform the impact behaviour of materials based on ultra-high speed imaging (UHS). Thanks to new technological solutions, it is now possible to record images at an amazing frame rate of 5 million frames per second. Using a grid pattern at the surface of the test piece, it is possible to quantify the relative displacement of a very large number of points to produce a deformation map. Such maps can be obtained at every 0.2 microseconds (i.e., 0.2 millionth of a second). As a consequence, it is also possible to derive acceleration maps. As one knows from experience in roller coasters or cars, accelerations generate forces. Using this principle, the research developed here aims at using these acceleration maps as a load sensor to measure material deformation properties (stiffness, yield etc.). It is clear that for this to be feasible, sufficient acce

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.