Asee peer logo

Photoelasticity And Its Syngergism With Finite Element Method

Download Paper |


1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.419.1 - 4.419.11

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Said Shakerin

author page

Daniel Jensen

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2526


Said Shakerin, Daniel D. Jensen Department of Mechanical Engineering / Department of Engineering Mechanics University of the Pacific / U.S. Air Force Academy


The goal of this project is to enhance mechanical engineering education by incorporating experiments in photoelastic stress analysis within the existing curriculum. Photoelasticity is a visual, full-field technique for determining stresses in parts and structures. In addition to its traditional use in industry, there is a renewed interest in using photoelasticity to test objects made by stereolithography.

Specific instructional objectives are to: (a) increase conceptual understanding of stress distribution through photoelastic and finite element based visualization, (b) gain experience with photoelasticity and its advantages/limitations, and (c) appreciate the synergism between experimental and numerical methods of stress analysis.

Through a National Scieence Foundation matching grant, one transmission polariscope set, one reflection polariscope set, and accompanying accessories have been purchased and installed for students’ use. The equipment has also been used for in-class demonstrations and motivational presentations to K-12 students.

All mechanical engineering students at the University of the Pacific have benefited from this project. Several experiments have been introduced in the curriculum, and several student projects have been completed utilizing the equipment purchased with this grant. A similar combination of photoelastic demonstration plus finite element results is being used at the U.S. Air Force Academy to enhance mechanics education there.

Overall, students have experienced that in solving engineering problems one has to choose the appropriate tool of analysis, and recognize that quite often several tools must be utilized to validate the results, e.g., validation of numerical solutions by experimental means. Although the project duration is not completed yet, some of developments made possible by this grant have been disseminated.

I. Introduction

Stress analysis plays a significant role in the design of parts and structures that must carry load. With the proper knowledge and tools, a designer identifies areas with high stresses

Shakerin, S., & Jensen, D. (1999, June), Photoelasticity And Its Syngergism With Finite Element Method Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1999 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015