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The photoelastic coating technique of experimental stress analysis is a valuable extension of conventional photoelasticity. Whereas photoelasticity ordinarily employs models of structural and machine parts under simulated loading conditions, the photoelastic coating method employs the prototype part itself, usually under actual operating conditions. When a part is coated with a photoelastic resin of high strain-optical sensitivity and subjected to its working loads, the coating follows the surface deformations of the part. The deformed coating then behaves as a photoelastic specimen and reveals the distribution of surface strains throughout the part.
Instruments Division, The Budd Co., Phoenixville, Pa.