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Fractional Fringe Order Determination

We can determine the isochromatic fringe order to the nearest order by using both the
dark and bright-field arrangements of a polariscope. Further improvements on the accuracy of
the fringe order determination can be achieved either by using the mixed-field patterns or by
using Post’s fringe multiplication method. In order to achieve higher accuracy, as is desirable in
many applications, the following methods may be used:
1. Compensation techniques
2. Colour matching techniques
3. Equidensometry method
Compensation Techniques
Compensation is a technique in which partial modification of relative retardation either
by addition or subtraction is brought about so that the fractional fringe order at a point become
integral. Then by knowing the amount of relative retardation added or substracted the actual
fringe order at that point can be ascertained. The following methods for compensation
techniques are most commonly used:
1. The Babinet compensation method.
2. The Babinet Soleil compensation method.
3. Tension or compression strip method.
4. Tardy method of compensation.
5. Senarmont method of compensation
6. Photometric method.
1. The Babinet Compensation Method. The Babinet compensator uses two wedges of quarts,
which is a naturally double refracting material. As shown in Figure, one of the wedges is fixed
in the instrument, while the other can be displaced relative to the first so as to alter combined
thickness by means of a fine micrometer screw with graduated drum head. With micrometer
screw at zero, the compensator is said to be in the neutral position. The compensator is placed in
the polariscope in between the model and second quarter wave plate. The optic axis of the two
wedges are orthogonal to each other. The polarized light beam in one and retarded in the other
The relative retardation R produced when the two wedges have been displaced from their
neutral position is given by,
R= (d - d0 )
= (t + d 0 - d 0 )
Kt K
= = x tan a
l l
Figure: The Babinet Compensator
where K = n1 – n2

a = angle of wedge

 2.5
x = horizontal displacement, which is equal to the micrometer reading

�K tan a �
or R= � �
� l �

= C. x

�K tan a �is a constant.

where C = � �
� l �
m Micrometer reading
m0 � Number of turns necessary to �
thus R= � �
�produce a retardation of one �

� wavelength �

The Babinet compensator allows fringe orders, to be determined to within 0.01 fringe.
2. The Babinet Soleil Compensation Method. The Babinet-Soleil compensator shown in
figure is an improvement upon the Babinet compensator. This instrument consists of a quartz
plate of uniform thickness and two quartz wedges. The optical axes of the quartz crystals
employed in the plate and the wedges are mutually orthogonal. The birefringence exhibited by
the compensator can be controlled by adjusting the thickness of the two wedges by turning a
calibrated micrometer screw. When t1 = t2, no relative retardation takes place, however for t2 <> 1
, both positive and negative retardation can be produced over the whole area of the compensator
plate. This compensator is very useful for measuring boundary stresses.

Figure: The Babinet-Soleil Compensator.

In practice, a point is selected on the model where the fringe order is to be established
precisely. Then isoclinic parameters are established for this point to give the direction to either
1 or 2. The compensator is then aligned with the principal stress direction and adjusted to
cancel out the model retardation. The reading of the screw micrometer is proportional to the
fringe order at that point. Like this fringe order at a point can be ascertained to within 0.001
3. Tension or Compression Strip Method. In a standard circular polariscope, at an
isotropic point the fringe order is always zero. Based upon this fact a method for the
determination of (1 - 2) has been suggested by Wetheim and developed by Coker. In this
method a pure tensile or compressive stress is superimposed over an arbitrary system of 1 and
2 in such a way as to convert the given stress system into one which is optically equivalent to an
isotropic point. White light is exclusively used in this method.
Figure shows how the plane stress system at a point can be converted to an isotropic
system plus a tension of (1 - 2). A tension compensator may be placed parallel to the minimum
stress 2 and the compression compensator must be placed parallel to the maximum stress 1.
The value of (1 - 3) equals numerically the stress in the compensator at extinction. If the fringe
order at a point by placing a tension compensator increases, then that point is having tensile

Figure: Superposition of retardation exhibited by model and compensator

4. The Tardy Method of Compensation. The Tardy method of compensator is generally
preferred over the Babinet-Soleil method since no auxiliary equipment is required and the
analyzer of the polariscope serves as the compensator. In this method the polarizer of the
polariscope is aligned with the direction of the principal stress 1 at the point of interest and all
other elements of the polariscope are rotated relative to the polarizer so that a standard dark-field
polariscope exists. Then the analyzer alone is rotated to obtain extinction. The rotation of the
analyzer gives the fractional fringe order.

As shown in Figure, here  = -/4 and the light vector emerging out from the second
QWP becomes (see Art).

� �a     �
E 3l = -� wt + D - �
sin � �cos �
�- ��- cos �
wt - �
� sin �
� - �
� ��
� � 2 4� � 4� � 4� � 4� �
a� �   �
=- � wt + D - �
sin � �
wt - �
�+ cos � ��
2� � 4� � 4� �
Figure: The Tardy compensation method.

� �     �
E 4l = sin �
� wt - ��cos �
- �

�- cos �wt + D - �sin �
� �- �
� �2 4� � 4� � 4� � 4� �
a�   �
- sin �
= � wt - �

wt + D - �
�- cos � ��
2� � 4� � 4��

Let  be the angle through which analyzer should be rotated to obtain extinction, i.e. Et = 0, then

 
E t = E 4l cos �
� -�
� - E 3l cos �
� + �

�4 � �4 �
a� �   � �
=- � sin �wt - ��+ cos �
�wt + D - �
�cos � -  �
� �
2� � 4� � 4�� �4 �
a� �   � �
+ � wt + D - �
sin � �
wt - �
�+ cos � ��cos � +  �

2� � 4� � 4�� �4 �

Simplifying, we get

D � �D �
E l = a sin �
wt + �
� �sin � -  �
� �= 0

� 2�� �2 �

Hence sin � �
� -  �= 0
�2 �
or -  = n , n = 0, 1, 2, .......
or = n + 
D 
or N= = n+
2 
If the analyzer is rotated in the opposite direction then

N = (n + 1) -

Thus the Tardy method of compensation can be accomplished in the following way:
1. Using a plane-polariscope set up, determine the principal stress directions at the point of
interest by rotating the crossed polarizer and analyzer until an isoclinic passes through
that point.

2. Now rotate only the quarter wave plates of a circular polariscope to obtain a standard
dark-field arrangement.

3. Rotate only the analyzer then until an isochromatic fringe coincides with the point.
Determine the angle  that the analyzer has rotated.

4. If the Nth order fringe moves to the point as the analyzer rotates through the angle , the
fringe order N0 at the point is

N0 = N +

If the (N + 1)st order fringe moves to the point as the analyzer rotates through the angle ,
the fringe order N0 at the point is

N 0 = (N + 1) -

To account for the finite fringe width, the following procedure, as illustrated in fig, may be
1. The angle of analyzed ra = 0 [Fig (a)].
2. Rotate the analyzer until the fringe N just touches the boundary at the point of interest.
This is angle rb. [Fig (b)].
Figure: Illustration of Tardy method of fringe order determination.
3. Continue to rotate the analyzer until N vanishes from the field of view. This is angle r c
Then the fringe order at the point of interest of the free boundary is
rb + rc
N0 = N +

This method is commonly referred to as the Tardy in-out method.

5. The Senarmont Method of Compensation.
(Friedel’s Method)
The following steps are involved for this method:
1. Remove first quarter wave plate.
2. Rotate system of polarizer and analyzer so that their axes make angles of 45 with the
principal directions in the modal at the point of interest.
3. Rotate second quarter-wave plate until one axis is parallel to the axis of the polarizer.
4. Rotate the analyzer until extinction is obtained at the point of interest.
The arrangements of the elements of the polariscope are shown in Fig.
Let the light vector from the polarizer be given by

E = a cos wt
Since the polarizer is set as 45 to the principal directions in the model hence on entering the
model the light vector is resolved into two components, given by
E1e = a cos wt.cos 45o = a cos wt
E 2e = a cos wt.sin 45o = a cos wt

The model introduces a phase different of D. Therefore, on leaving the model, the components
of light vector become,
E1l = cos(wt + D )
E 2e = E 2e = cos wt

The fast axis of the QWP is set at 90 to the polarizer axis. Hence on entering the QWP, the light
components become

Eac = E1l cos 45o - E2l cos 45o

= [cos(wt + D) - cos wt]
E bc = E1l cos 45o + E 2l cos 45o
= [cos(wt + D) - cos wt]

Figure: Senarmont compensation method

The QWP introduces a phase difference of /2. Hence on leaving the QWP , the light
vectors become,

a� �   �
Eal = � wt + D + �
cos � �- cos �

wt + �
2� � 2� � 2� �
= [- sin(wt + D ) + sin wt]
E bl = E bc = [cos(wt + D) + cos wt]

Now the analyzer is rotated through an angle  to obtain extinction at the point of interest. Light
transmitted through the analyzer is
E t = E al cos  - E bt sin 
= - [{ sin( wt + D) - sin wt} cos  + { cos( wt + D) + cos wt} sin ]
a� D D D D �
=- � 2 cos �
�wt + � � sin cos  + 2 cos � � wt + � �cos sin  �= 0
2� � 2� 2 � 2� 2 �
Hence sin cos  + cos sin  = 0
2 2

sin � �
� +  �= 0
�2 �
or +  = n , n = 0,1, 2,.... f
= n - 
D 
N= = n-
2 

Tardy and Senarmont compensation methods are called the ‘goniometric’ or ‘null location’
6. Photometric Method: A serious disadvantage of the Tardy and Friedel’s methods of
compensation is that they involve a sequence of operations and are, therefore, suitable only
when the state of stress is static. By means of the photometric method, also known as the
intensity method, it is possible to determine both the phase difference and the directions of
the principal stresses at a point from a single operation. The intensity of light transmitted by
the analyzer is measured with a photocell or photo-multiplier.
Three-dimensional Photoelasticity
Many stress analysis problems are three-dimensional in nature for which the two-
dimensional photoelastic method cannot be employed. These problems, however, can be solved
either by locking in the stresses in the model or a multilayer reflection technique may be used to
determine the stresses at the inner layers of the body. Three-dimensional stress distribution in
the body can also be determined by the scattered light method. In this chapter we shall discuss
the locking-in method the stresses in three-dimensional models in detail and the multilayer
reflection technique in brief.
The stresses in a three-dimensional model can be locked-in either by stress-freezing, by
curing method, by creep method or by gamma-ray irradiation method. Out of these methods, the
stress-freezing method is most widely used. This method consists in loading the model at room
temperature (at which the primary secondary bonds break down), keeping at that temperature for
few hours and then cooling to room temperature at a slow rate. The stresses thus frozen in the
model can be analyzed by slicing and viewing in a polariscope.
Maxwell in 1853, and Filon and Harris in 1923 had both obtained the stress-frozen effect
accidentally, while Tuzi in 1927 and Solakian in 1935 both attempted to calculate the residual
stresses and to relate them to the applied loads. None of these, however, fully appreciated the
significance of the phenomenon, and it was Solakian who in 1935 and Oppel in 1936 first
produced a quantitative solution of a three dimensional problem, followed by He’tenyi, who in
1938 first established the strict proportionality of stresses. This discovery opened the way to the
complete solution of the three-dimensional problems and resulted in a very sharp increases in
activity in photoelastic research. Hetenyi, O’ Rourke, Drucker and Mindlin, Drucker and
Woodward, Frocht and Mindlin developed methods of measurement of the frozen stresses and
Jessop in 1949 devised integration methods for determining the separate stresses. Jessop and
Stableford in 1953 published an extension to three dimensions of the Lame-Maxwell equations,
which made it possible to determine the principal stresses along a stress trajectory in a plane of
symmetry. The stress-freezing method of three-dimensional photoelasticity today is a practical
instrument of stress analysis, particularly in complex structures.