Zuk, William School of Architecture, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Use of birefringent phenomenon
- Determination of principal stresses
- Three-dimensional measurements
- Measurements on actual objects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An experimental technique for the measurement of stresses and strains in material objects by means of the phenomenon of mechanical birefringence. Photoelasticity is especially useful for the study of objects with irregular boundaries and stress concentrations, such as pieces of machinery with notches or curves, structural components with slits or holes, and materials with cracks. The method provides a visual means of observing overall stress characteristics of an object by means of light patterns projected on a screen or photographic film. Regions of stress concentrations can be determined in general by simple observation. However, precise analysis of tension, compression, and shear stresses and strains at any point in an object requires more involved techniques. Photoelasticity is generally used to study objects stressed in two planar directions (biaxial), but with refinements it can be used for objects stressed in three spatial directions (triaxial). See also: Nondestructive evaluation
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