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Q400 DIC - System for Full field Deformation and Strain Measurement


checkmark   Flexible strain sensor for a wide application range

checkmark   Field of View of 1x1mm² to 10x10m²

checkmark   Easy usage and fully automatic calibration within 20 seconds

checkmark   Integrated Analysis modules for automatic post processing

checkmark   Certifiable after ISO9513 and VDI/VDE2626

 Q400 - measurement system digital image correlation for 3D deformation analysis at material tests and component tests


With the Q400 system, the 2D or 3D deformation analysis is performed in a precise, fast and user-friendly manner. The modular system is also characterized by the high flexibility of the optical setup and  thus can be optimally adapted to the application. The intuitive measurement software Istra4D also provides the associated measurement accuracy for each measured value (displacement, deformation, strain, 3D coordinates, etc.). Thanks to optimized algorithms, Istra4D can resolve local effects, e.g. in crack growth, better than other DIC systems. Using a special cluster approach, up to 16 cameras can be used in a Q400 system, which achieves better surface coverage for complex component geometries and higher measurement accuracy.



  • Spatial measurement of 3D coordinates, displacements and strain tensors shown as 2D overlay or 3D model
  • Fully automatic calibration with real-time tracking and quality feedback
  • 'Genuine' multi-camera system - Fully integrated system with up to 8 cameras for improved accuracy and surface coverage on complex surfaces and complete detection of a cylinder.
  • 4-camera system for simultaneous measurement of the front and rear sides as well as thickness and thickness change.
  • Modular software package for image acquisition, evaluation and visualization.
  • Powerful integration of CCD and high-speed cameras
  • Synchronized image recording with up to 8 analog input signals
  • Fully automatic calibration with real-time tracking and live quality feedback
  • Custom coordinate systems
  • The measurement accuracy (Confidence Margin) is given for each variable based on an internal error calculation. Full field error estimation for each measuring point.
  • Open-source data format. Direct data access from Matlab, Scilab, etc.
  • Open-Source Datenformat. Direkter Daten-Zugriff aus Matlab, Scilab, etc.
  • Programmable image acquisition - Realization of complex recording processes (trigger, frame rate, time, analog value change, phase position, ...)
Measured strain distribution on a wrench

Result of a Q400 strain measurement of a water pipe wrench. The color scale shows tensile
strain (red) and compression strain (blue) corresponding to the mechanical load of the wrench.


Technical Specifications

System type
Description Applications
Q400-2D 2D-DIC "Entry system" with one camera Measurement at flat specimen
Q400-3D 3D-DIC Stereo system Measurement on all surface geometries
Q400-EDU 3D-DIC system for educational institutions Flexible system for academic teaching and internships
Q400-TRIPLE 3D-DIC system with 3 cameras Higher measurement accuracy than with 2 cameras
Better surface coverage at complex object geometries
Q400-4CAM 3D-DIC system with 4 cameras (2x 2 cameras) For the measurement of the strain distribution at material tests. Simultaneous measurement of the strain distribution at front and back side and thickness, thickness change and volume.
Q400-MultiCAM Multi camera system Better surface coverage at complex object geometries
8 cameras for 360° measurement of cylindrical objects
Q400-µDIC DIC system with stereo microscope Measurement at small FOV (0,5 x 0,5mm to 17x17mm)
Q400-Vibro Combination of Q400 and trigger unit PhaseTriggerLS (Strobe-CAM) For vibration measurement, mode shapes, fatigue tests
Q450 Systems with high speed cameras For dynamic applications and for vibration measurement at non periodic excitations

Due to our modular concept the systems can be upgraded with additional cameras.

(depending on the selected system hardware):

Field of View 1mm² to 100m² (with standard lenses)
Precision for 3D displacements   0.01 pixel (corrsponds to 1µm with 1Mpixel camera and 100x100mm FOV)
Precision for strain 50 µstrains (=0.005%) @ spatially resolved measurement
5 µstrain as extensometer
Strain measurement range 1µstrain to 1000%
Camera resolution 0,3 MPixel up to 65 MPixel
The Q400 systems can be equipped from a larger range of cameras
Standard system: 12Mpixel at 30Hz
Acquisition rate Static Systems:        e.g. 12MPixel@30Hz (USB3), 24Mpixel@50Hz (10GigE)
Midspeed-Systems:   e.g. 5MPixel@700Hz (CoaxExpress), 16MPixel@285Hz (CoaxExpress), 25MPixel@150Hz (CoaxExpress)
Highspeed-Systems:  up to 2.000.000 images/s
Real time analysis Optional software module


The applications field of the Q400 systems is very wide spread.
The essential prerequisite for the application are

  • The optical access of the component surface to be measured
  • A natural pattern present on the surface or a prepared speckle pattern

It can be measured on nearly all materials like: wood, metals, plastics, (metal) foams, rubber, composites, paper, etc.

Typical applications:

  • Material testing for the determination of material parameters such as Young's modulus, Poisson number, u.v.m.
  • Component testing: Component tests, strength tests, stress tests, test benches, temperature chambers, tensile testing machines
  • Validation of FEM simulations
  • Crack propagation, crack growth
  • Delamination tests
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Dynamic tests: crash tests, pedestrian safety, airbag tests, rapid tensile tests
  • Vibration measurement, vibration tests
  • Fatigue tests, Relaxation tests
  • Measurement of thermal expansion coefficients

To the list of scientific articles in which the Q400-System was used.


Applications examples categories:

Deformation analysis & Component testing

Material testing

Vibration analysis

Measurement principle DIC (Digital Image Correlation)


Measuring principle:
One or more digital cameras record the deformation process. The object surface has a stochastic (natural or prepared) pattern ("speckle pattern"). The images are automatically evaluated using subpixel-accurate digital image correlation algorithms. This assigns the local surface pattern to the camera pixels and measures 3D coordinates, 3D displacements, 3D deformations and surface strains components.


Pattern recognition

Digital image correlation is a camera based technique for the measurement of deformations on object surfaces. The method tracks the grey value pattern (speckle pattern") in small neighborhoods ("subsets" or "facettes") shown light blue in the camera images.

The measurement principle of digital image correlation show the deformation of the subsetsReference state vs. deformed state

Spatially Resolved Measurement

The analysis of images and sequences with digital image correlation allows the measurement of displacements and deformations at every camera pixel. The resulting fullfield information is very comprehensive and has many advantages compared to other measurement techniques.


The images show the speckle pattern of an object without and with deformation and the measured strain distribution.

Reference state image of a compression test
Undeformed state
Deformed state image of a compression test
Deformed state
Measured strain distribution at a compression test
Strain distribution

result video of the compresson loaded specimen with overlay strain distributiionMajor strain E1 of the image sequence.



During the object deformation stereo images are recorded with two cameras. The stereo correlation between the left and right images measures the geometry and position of the object at every load stage.

The two shown images are recorded simultaneously with the left and right camera of a stereo system.

The principle of stereo correlation measures the 3D geometry of the object
3D geometry by stereo correlation

Time Course

The temporal correlation between reference state and deformed state calculates the 3D displacement and 3D deformation of the object.

Strain field measured on a aircraft wing at bending load using digital image correlationStrain calculation by stereo correlation and temporal crrelation.


Software Functionality


Modular software package with integrated

  • Camera control
  • Automatic Real time calibration
  • Images acquisition
  • Analysis

Import and export of external image sources (e.g., high-speed camera, microscope)

Visualization of the spatially resolved measurement results as a 2D color overlay or as a 3D representation

Data display on points, lines, polygonal lines as well as circular and polygonal areas

Definition of "virtual strain gauge"

Definition of "virtual extensometers" with a definable length

Temporal diagram plots of variables

Spatial variable diagrams of polygonal line sections

Multiple possibilities of data export (ASCII, STL, HDF5)

Generation of AVI videos and image export of results

Integrated analysis modules (scripting):

  • Automatic calculation of complex measured variables
  • Generation of results diagrams
  • The scope of delivery includes a wide range of evaluation modules e.g. for the determination of material parameters
  • Easy adaptation of the analysis modules by the user or LIMESS




Q400 - Mehr Kameras für mehr Nutzen

Image correlation, strain sensor and strain measurement in industry

Image correlation or digital image correlation is a proven method for measuring the smallest displacements and strains. It is generally based on the digital image analysis of a series of images taken during the deformation of the object under study, with the aim of identifying areas of similar appearance in different images. This method can be used to measure very small displacements that cannot be detected using other means.

Strain measurement at a glance

There are many different types of strain sensors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common type is the piezoelectric strain sensor, which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Other types of strain sensors include strain gauges, optical fiber Bragg grating sensors and carbon nanotube sensors.
Strain measurement involves measuring the magnitude and direction of an object's deformation. This can be done through direct or indirect methods. The direct method involves measuring deformation directly using a measuring device such as a micrometer or digital caliper. In the indirect method, the deformation is derived from other measurements, e.g.  from changes in length, width or thickness.
Strain measurement is used in many different industries for quality control and monitoring. It is particularly important in the automotive industry, where it is used to monitor the manufacturing process of auto parts and ensure compliance with safety standards. Strain measurement is also used in the aerospace industry to monitor aircraft parts during manufacturing and testing.

Often safety-relevant: strain measurements, image correlation, etc.

Image correlation, strain sensor and strain measurement are all essential tools in many industries. With their help, engineers and technicians can ensure the quality of products, machines and designs and thus also the safety of users.

Applications Deformation Analysis


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