Plastic deformation causes very small changes in the thermoelastic response of metallic materials; this variation of the thermoelastic constant has the potential to form the basis of a new non-destructive, non-contact, full-field technique for residual stress assessment that is quicker and cheaper than existing methods. The effect of plastic strain on the thermoelastic constant is presented as a potential basis for a calibration methodology that reveals areas of a component that have experienced plastic strain. Establishing this basis provides the initial step in identifying a new approach to residual stress analysis using the thermoelastic response. An evaluation of initial calibration results is presented and the feasibility of applying the methodology to actual components is assessed. As the response to plastic strain is likely to be small it is necessary to identify the effects of the paint coating; experimental work is presented that highlights the importance of repeatable coating approaches
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