Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Weinong Chen

Committee Member 1

James F. Doyle

Committee Member 2

Eric A. Nauman


The mechanical behavior of fibrous tissue is generally characterized at very low strain rates. However, many injuries occur at high rates of loading, such as those encountered in sporting events or vehicle accidents. An understanding of injury behavior requires the injury process to be recorded at high strain rates. Even at low rates of loading, the injury/failure within tissues occurs quickly. Furthermore, using conventional imaging systems, the surface of a specimen may be well documented throughout an experiment. However, damage formation does not necessarily begin at the surface of the specimen or even on the surface exposed to a camera. With the integration of a tension Kolsky bar and X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging (PCI), damage formation within a specimen can be observed without knowledge of when the damage event occurs and without regard for the opaqueness of the specimen. By using these two systems at higher strain rates, the damage event can be correlated with load data, acceleration, and strain rate.