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# Analysis of Strains from a 45

Rosette
Jonathan Merritt
June 15, 2009
This document briey describes a set of equations which can be used to re-
cover principal strains from measurements taken with a 45

strain gauge
rosette.
1 Recovery of Principal Strains
Benham et al. (1996) provide equations for a 45

## strain gauge rosette in

Chapter 11 Stress and Strain Transformations. Figure 1 shows a congu-
ration of planar principal strains and a rosette at a test site. Planar principal
strains
1
and
2
exist at the test point, and are named so that
1
>
2
. Thus,
1
is the more tensile of the strain components and
2
is the more compressive.
The gauge is placed at the test site so that its
l
gauge is rotated by angle
anticlockwise from the
1
direction. Angle is dened as the anticlockwise
rotation from the central gauge to the
2
direction.
Following Benham et al. (1996), we can then use the following equations to
1

Figure 1: 45

## rosette. The solid axes represent axes of principal strains. The

principal compressive strains are
1
and
2
, such that
1
>
2
. The strain
gauges of the rosette are aligned so that they measure normal strains
l
,
m
and
n
, and are each separated by 45

. The axis of
l
is rotated by an angle
of anticlockwise from the principal tensile strain
1
. Angle is dened as
the anticlockwise rotation from the central gauge to the
2
direction. This is
a modication of Fig 11.23 from Benham et al. (1996).
2
recover principal strains and the angle in this conguration

1
=
1
2
(
l
+
n
) +

2
2
_
(
l

m
)
2
+ (
m

n
)
2
(1)

2
=
1
2
(
l
+
n
)

2
2
_
(
l

m
)
2
+ (
m

n
)
2
(2)
=
1
2
atan2
_
2
m

n
_
(3)
In these equations, the atan2 function is the two-argument arctangent func-
tion which may be found in numerous computation libraries. atan2 is dened
as follows
atan2 (y/x) =
_

_
sign(y) arctan(y/x) if x > 0
sign(y) (/2) if x = 0
sign(y) ( arctan (y/x)) if x < 0
(4)
in which the sign function returns the sign of its argument, arctan is the
single-argument arctangent, and
atan2 (0/x) =
_

_
0 if x > 0
undened if x = 0
if x < 0
(5)
Equations 13 have been modied to use the atan2 function, but otherwise
are identical to those given by Benham et al. (1996). The recovered angle,
, is of particular interest. The use of atan2 results in the domain of being
[/2, /2], or the right-half plane. In these equations, always indicates
the angle of the
1
axis, and never the
2
axis.
The relationship between and is
+ +

4
=

2
(6)
=

4
(7)
Hence
=

4
+
1
2
atan2
_
2
m

n
_
(8)
3
2 Transformation fromPrincipal Strains to Gauge
Strains
In order to check the values obtained from Equations 1, 2 and 8, it is useful
to be able to reconstruct the individual gauge strains (
l
,
m
and
n
) from the
principal strains and angle relative to the central gauge (
1
,
2
and ). In
general, strains transform as second-order tensors

= R
1
R (9)
where is the strain tensor before rotation
=
_
_

x

xy

xy

y
_
_
(10)

## is the strain tensor after rotation

=
_
_

xy

xy

y
_
_
(11)
R is a rotation matrix, rotating clockwise by an angle
R =
_
_
cos sin
sin cos
_
_
(12)
and R
1
is the inverse rotation matrix
R
1
=
_
_
cos sin
sin cos
_
_
(13)
The tensor shear strain,
xy
, is related to the Engineering shear strain,
xy
, as

xy
= 2
xy
(14)
Expanding Equation 9 gives the equation for rotating a planar strain
_

xy
_

_
=
_

_
cos
2
sin
2
sin cos
sin
2
cos
2
sin cos
sin 2 sin 2 cos 2
_

_
_

xy
_

_
(15)
4
Using Equation 15, and realizing that for the principal strain state,
xy
= 0,
the following equations can be derived, relating gauge strains to principal
strains and the angle

m
=
1
sin
2
+
2
cos
2
(16)

n
=
1
sin
2
_

4

_
+
2
cos
2
_

4

_
(17)

l
=
1
sin
2
_
+

4
_
+
2
cos
2
_
+

4
_
(18)
These equations can be used to check the results of Equations 1, 2 and 8,
by taking the principal strains (
1
and
2
), and the strain angle , and trans-
forming back to the gauge strain values (
l
,
m
and
n
).
3 Example
Consider three gauge values as follows

l
= 127.7 (19)

m
= 960.8 (20)

n
= 572.3 (21)
Using Equations 1 and 2, we can obtain principal strains as follows

1
=
1
2
(127.7 572.3) +

2
2
_
(127.7 + 960.8)
2
+ (960.8 + 572.3)
2
= 300

2
=
1
2
(127.7 572.3)

2
2
_
(127.7 + 960.8)
2
+ (960.8 + 572.3)
2
= 1000
(22)
Using Equation 8, we can obtain the angle as follows
=

4
+
1
2
atan2
_
2 (960.8) + 127.7 + 572.3
127.7 + 572.3
_
= 10

(23)
5
Now, having obtained the principal strains and the angle , we can trans-
form these back to the original strain gauge values in order to check the
calculations

m
= 300 sin
2
(10

) 1000 cos
2
(10

)
= 960.8

n
= 300 sin
2
(45

10

) 1000 cos
2
(45

10

)
= 572.3

l
= 300 sin
2
(45

+ 10

) 1000 cos
2
(45

+ 10

)
= 127.7
(24)
References
Benham, P. P., Crawford, R. J. and Armstrong, C. G. (1996) Mechanics of
Engineering Materials (2nd ed) Addison Wesley Longman Ltd.
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