Photoelastic analysis of three-dimensional stress systems using scattered light

Weller, R Bussey, J K
naca-tn-737
November 1939


A method has been developed for making photoelastic analyses of three-dimensional stress systems by utilizing the polarization phenomena associated with the scattering of light. By this method, the maximum shear and the directions of the three principal stresses at any point within a model can be determined, and the two principal stresses at a free-bounding surface can be separately evaluated. Polarized light is projected into the model through a slit so that it illuminates a plane section. The light is continuously analyzed along its path by scattering and the state of stress in the illuminated section is obtained. By means of a series of such sections, the entire stress field may be explored. The method was used to analyze the stress system of a simple beam in bending. The results were found to be in good agreement with those expected from elementary theory.

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