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CET 3135-002

Mechanics of Materials with Laboratory


Spring 2014
Laboratory Report
Lab 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

Submitted by: James Pettus, Marquis Smith, Haroon


Rashidi
Laboratory Date: February 26, 2015
Date of Submission: March 5, 2015
Submitted to: Dr. Runing Zhang
Team Members: James Pettus, Marquis Smith, Haroon
Rashidi

James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

Table of Contents

Abstract................................................................................................................................3
Theoretical Background.......................................................................................................3
List of Equipment................................................................................................................4
List of Materials...................................................................................................................5
Test Procedures....................................................................................................................5
Summary of Data.................................................................................................................5
Results..................................................................................................................................6
Conclusions..........................................................................................................................8
Safety...................................................................................................................................9
References............................................................................................................................9
Signature Page...................................................................................................................10

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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

Abstract
The primary goal of this experiment is to learn and implement the basic principles and
procedures of photoelasticity. It will demonstrate the ability of photoelasticity to depict
visually stress distributions over significantly large areas of a test specimen. The
technique is applied also to illustrate the experimental analysis of stress concentrations in
in two different cases. One Plexiglas (Bayer Makrolon GP Polycarbonate) sample
underwent forces applied by the Instron 5569. Contour maps and lines were seen with
help from the polarized lenses. These lines showed the stress concentration of the
specimen. The second case involved a cantilever beam of the same material with one end
clamped to the table while the other end was loaded with the weight of 21.8 Newtons.
Theoretical Background
Photoelasticity is a nondestructive, optical technique for experimental stress analysis that
is particularly useful for structural components with complex geometric configurations,
or subjected to complex loading conditions. Analytical methods of stress analysis are
very cumbersome, and often unavailable for such cases, thus amplifying the importance
and the need for a suitable experimental approach. Photoelasticity has been used widely,
over an extended period of time, for problems in which stress distributions have to be
investigated over large sections, or regions, of the structure. It provides quantitative
information on highly stressed areas and the associated peak stresses. Equally important
is the capability offered by photoelasticity to discern areas of low stress levels, where
structural materials are utilized inefficiently. The method of photoelasticity can be applied
in various forms to a wide variety of problems ranging from stress wave propagation to
fracture mechanics, to three-dimensional studies. The applications illustrated and
practiced in the following experiments are restricted, however, to two-dimensional static
problems
The photoelasticity experiment showed how the material reacted under different axial
loads. The principle applied to this test is the stress concentration which follows the
formulas below (Hibbeler, 2011):

When the geometrical shape of the material is not uniform, stress concentration is not
uniform. Thus, maximum stress is important to determine where failure will occur.

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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

The principles of this lab include material properties, calculations and laws used, and
procedures introduced.
Material Properties:
Determine the value of the stress fringe value for the material provided.
o N/m2 / m / fringe or N/m
o and lb/in2 / in / fringe or lb/in
Experimentally determine the stresses acting in a beam and compare measured
and calculated results
o Calculate results using an analytical, continuum, beam model
o Discuss differences in terms of the measured stress fringe value
Experimentally determine the stress state in the model supplied and compare
measured and calculated results developed using either numerically or analytical
models
Calculations and laws used:
N = n + r :where n = lowest fringe order that moves to the test point, r = fraction
read from the COMPENSATOR scale
x= [ E / (1 +) ] * f * Nx= [ E / (1 +) ] * f *(n + r) : x and y= principal
stresses in test part surface, E = elastic modulus of test part, = Poissons ratio
of test part
Kt =x /nom: where nom was calculated to be 93.1 psi.

List of Equipment

Two (2) Scott-Engineering Services Polariscopes


Instron 5569 Load Frame (50 kN 11,250 lb. force capacity)
Microcomputer with BlueHill Software
Two (2) tension grippers for Intron 5569 Load Frame
Two (2) 0 to 0.25-inch tension jaws for each tension gripper
Two (2), 3-inch deep, 3-foot long steel beams
A 6-inch, C-clamp
A knife edge weight hanger
Two (2) weights with a hook weight hanger totaling 21.8 N (2kg & 217.3g
hanger)
Digital calipers
18-inch long measurement ruler
High resolution digital camera (optional piece of equipment)
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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

List of Materials
The specimens that were used in the photoelasticity lab were made of Bayer Makrolon
GP Polyicarbonate (Plexiglas). One was a solid rectangle shape, the other, had a hole.
Test Procedures

1. Start the computer with the Bluehill software


2. Turn on the Instron 5569 Load Frame (this is where specimen will be placed)
3. Set up the Polariscope so that its beam of light hits the mid-point marker on
the cantilever beam apparatus.
4. Set the compensator ring on the analyzer to zero and move knob B to the
magnitude position. Make sure also that the dial counter of the angle reads 90
degrees.
5. The unloaded beam viewed through the analyzer should appear black except for
the edge of the beam and areas near where the beam is clamped. Load the beam
sufficiently to produce at least 3 fringes. The fringe colors in the coating should
vary correspondingly and progress as follows: black, yellow, red, purple, blue,
yellow, red, purple, blue green, yellow green, red, green.
6. Photograph and draw the sketch colorbands that appear.
7. Set up the Polariscope so that its beam illuminates the top of the center notch.
8. The total weight exerted on the system by the hanger and weights will be 21.8 lbs.
9. Make certain that the angle display reads 0 degrees
10. Load Tension specimen into Instron 5569(with and without hole) at a load of 35
lbs.
11. Photograph and hand draw specimen while in place
12. Each group of students tests the specimen and record their own drawing of the
data on paper
13. Each group should input the group number of their student group prior to testing,
and save their data at the completion of their respective test run.
Summary of Data
The photoelastic demonstration consisted of a cantilever beam apparatus and specific
specimen properties that are included in table along with stress and strain values.
Cantilever Beam Apparatus- Photo-Elastic Demonstration
Date: February 26, 2015
Group No. : 4
Material Type: Cantilever Beam
Height towards left: 4.531cm
Height towards center: 4.305cm
Height towards end: 3.983cm
Thickness: 0.592cm
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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

Results
Results from the experiment are shown in the drawings and pictures below.

Drawing 1 Cantilever Stress

Drawing 2 Non-uniform stress due to the hole

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CET 3135-001

James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

Photo 1- Cantilever specimen

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CET 3135-001

James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

Conclusions
The results from the experiment were expected according to our theoretical information.
Contour maps of the holed-specimen showed the stress concentration in both ends of the
test object as well as the middle section, which experienced the most normal stress. The
uniform area of the specimen reflected little or no stress concentration. With heavier axial
load, the contour map became clearer at where the normal stress would focus.
The contour maps of the cantilever consisted wave forms which concentrated at the right
end of the specimen where the axial load applied. The light wave spread out to the
regions with less stress. Overall, the contour maps of the cantilever test object gave more
distinct photoelastic fringe patterns.
Since this experiments outcomes were graphic demonstration. Possible errors came from
set up process and dimension measurements of the specimen. Light interference also
contributed to quality of the contour maps.
From the results from the experiments, geometry of products should be considered when
designing engineering tool to prevent potential undesired failures.
Using white light the color chosen for observing of dark fringes was red. At low stress the
darkest fringes were nor primarily red. Light-material interactions, residual stress in the
specimen and specimen twist in the fixture can account for this variation in color. At the
three highest loads the uniform color indicates the close to ideal situation of uniform
stress. The Polariscope is set up for a light field and so with zero stress in an ideally clear
specimen the specimen will appear light. As the stress in the specimen increases a relative
retardation between the light waves develops.
There are several obvious difficulties and problems with the material calibration
procedure described above. For example,
- A series of measurements is needed and so problems in obtaining load measurements at
exactly similar fringe conditions are expected,
- The cross section area of the tensile specimen changes with different loads and so
problems with specifying the stress at different loads are expected.
A way around many material calibration problems is to use a procedure in which several
fringes of different order are available from one specimen at one load. The idea is to use a
specimen in which stress varies over the specimen and for which the stress state is
known.

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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

Safety
Safety while performing the test was the highest priority in the experiment. The test was
conducted according lab manual procedures. Students performing the test kept a safe
distance away from the Instron machine in order to prevent injuries from the moving
parts. While the test was running, all group members observed the equipment so that any
signs of malfunction would be immediately noticed. We further increased our safety by
having the lab coordinator present to observe our experiment.

References
Harris, D.W. and Mattivi, M (2005). Manual for Engineering Materials Laboratory.
University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, CO.
Hibbeler, R.C. (2011). Mechanics of Materials (9th Edition), Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Steinhauser, Edward. "Mechanics of Materials Laboratory Notes." Steel Tensile Test.
Civil Engineering Technology, 2014. 1-9. Print.
Steinhauser, Edward. Example Lab Report 01. Denver, CO: Metropolitan State
University Denver, 2013. Print.

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James Pettus, Marquis Smith,


Haroon Rashidi
3/5/2015

Lab No. 4 Photoelasticity Demonstration

CET 3135-001

Signature Page
Mechanics of Materials Testing Laboratory- CET 3135- Section 001
Laboratory No. 4- Photo-Elastic Demonstration
Group No. 4 James Pettus, Marquis Smith, and Haroon Rashidi

James Pettus

Date

Marquis Smith

Date

Haroon Rashidi

Date

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