The technique described in this paper consists of the examination of surface strains in a metal component with optically sensitive material bonded to the component and the analysis of the photoelastic pattern produced under load by means of polarized light reflected from the surface of the metal. The original investigations cover in considerable detail the development of the technique and the results obtained, using the photoelastic materials Catalin 800, C.R.39, and the Marco Resin, S.B.26C, and S.B.28C, in conjunction with light alloy, magnesium and mild steel. The fundamental problem of producing good adhesion between the photoelastic material and the metal surface coupled with satisfactory light reflexion from the latter comprised the major part of the initial investigations. Results of the measurement of both elastic and plastic stress concentrations at holes in plates subjected to uniform tension are presented, together with a qualitative analysis of the effect on stress distribution of the variation of the pin to hole clearance in lugs. Owing to the fairly extensive nature of the original investigations it has only been possible to outline the more salient features of the work undertaken. The term ‘Metaplastic’ is suggested to describe concisely the use of compound specimens for the photoelastic applications considered.
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