Interlaboratory Study of Digital Volume Correlation Error Due to X-Ray Computed Tomography Equipment and Scan Parameters: an Update from the DVC Challenge

B. P. Croom (Corresponding author), D. Burden, H. Jin (Corresponding author), N. H. Vonk, J. P.M. Hoefnagels, B. Smaniotto, F. Hild, E. Quintana, Q. Sun, X. Nie, X. Li (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The quality of Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) full-field displacement measurements depends directly on the characteristics of the X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) equipment, and scan procedures used to acquire the tomographic images. Objective: We seek to experimentally study the effects of XCT equipment and tomographic scan procedures on the quality of these images for DVC analysis, and to survey the level of DVC error that may be achieved using standard XCT operating procedures. Methods: Six participants in an interlaboratory study acquired high-quality XCT scans of a syntactic foam before and after rigid body motion. The resulting images were correlated using commercial DVC software to quantify error sources due to random image noise, reconstruction artifacts, as well as systematic spatial or temporal distortion. Results: In the absence of rigid body motion, the standard deviation of the displacement measurements ranged from 0.012 to 0.043 voxels using a moderate subvolume size, indicating that subvoxel measurement resolution could readily be achieved with a variety of XCT equipment and scan recipes. Comparison of consecutive scans without rigid body motion showed transient dilatational displacement gradients due to self-heating of the X-ray source and/or thermal expansion of the foam. Evaluation of the scans after rigid body motion showed significant, machine-specific spatial distortion in the displacement fields of up to 0.5 voxels; new approaches to remove this error need to be developed. Conclusions: Analysis of the scan protocols used in the interlaboratory study, as well as a complementary parametric sensitivity study, showed that the DVC error was strongly influenced by the XCT equipment, but could be mitigated by adjusting the total scan duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-410
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Digital volume correlation
  • Interlaboratory study
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • X-ray computed tomography


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