Photoelastic stress analysis of a plastic sheet

Photoelastic stress analysis of a plastic sheet

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Credit: ALEX BARTEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Photoelastic stress analysis. A perforated plastic sheet undergoing stress analysis by photopolari- metry. The plastic sheet is stretched under weight, and the stress effects are detected as birefringence patterns in the plastic (seen as colours). A round filter (blue) polarises the light in order to visualise these stress patterns. The instrument used is a polarimeter. This phenomenon, called photoelasticity, is used in stress calculations in engineering design by building plastic scale models of a subject (a bridge, for example) and examining the stress pattern produced through polarised light.

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Keywords: birefringence, birefringence pattern, non-destructive testing, photoelastic effect, photoelasticity, photopolarimetry, plastic, polarimetry, polymer film, stress analysis, technology, test

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