Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 166–173 | Cite as

The spatial and pressure resolution of fuji pressure-sensitive film

  • A. B. Liggins
  • W. R. Hardie
  • J. B. Finlay


Due to its ease of application, Fuji prescale pressure-sensitive film is currently one of the more popular methods, within the biomechanics community, for assessing contact areas and pressures within articulating joints—in addition to its use in industry. This material produces a stain on the application of pressure due to the rupture of microscopic bubbles releasing a liquid which, in turn, causes patches of color to be formed; a greater pressure produces a darker stain. These stains are often converted into digital images and manipulated to produce false-color pressuremaps, an approach which is beyond the simple methods of analysis suggested by the manufacturer. Due to the granular nature of Fuji film stains, the two user-defined variables which will determine the accuracy of any pressure-map are: (a) the size of the sample-area used to capture data from the original stain during the digitization process and (b) the number of pressure-intervals identified on each map; the chosen values should match the spatial and pressure resolutions of the film. Despite the importance of these factors, the literature presents a bewildering array of values, particularly for the number of pressure-intervals, with no validation of those chosen; consequently, little guidance is provided for other potential users of Fuji film. This paper discusses the relationship between sample-area and pressure-interval and introduces a method for examining their effect on the resulting pressure-maps. The results obtained using ‘Super Low’ grade Fuji film suggest that the authors of some previously reported methods may have been overambitious in their choice of sample-area and pressure-intervals. Finally, a series of suggested values of sample-area size and pressure-intervals are provided.


Color Mechanical Engineer Fluid Dynamics Digital Image Contact Area 
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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. B. Liggins
    • 1
  • W. R. Hardie
    • 1
  • J. B. Finlay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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