Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Exact solutions of the stress distribution in elastic bodies are confined to a selected group of geometric configuration. The nature of irregular-shape problems prohibits a solution by closed formula or even by a general form of solution. All experimental techniques have weaknesses which limit their usage. Strain gauges give a numerical solution but only at a surface. Stress coating are materials which will fail when a prescribed stress value is reached. Such brittle coatings will show the direction, magnitude, and distribution of tensile stresses over an entire surface but they are restricted to some designated level of failure. Two dimensional photo elastic studies require a model of the prototype and a polariscope. Photo elasticity is an experimental technique which will effectively measure the stresses in a cross-sectional areal. Irregularities such as connectors, holes, notches, and other shape complexities cause stress concentrations which are impossible to evaluate. Actual machine parts which have stress-concentrations in three dimensions can be analyzed by three dimensional photo elastic methods. Severe changes in the stress-optic constants and mechanical properties of photoelastic material are observed at the critical temperatures of stress-freezing. This thesis will be concerned with the establishment of a fundamental laboratory procedure and the calibration of the equipment for a complete photoelastic analysis.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Strains and stresses


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University