Enhancement of Mechanics Education by Photoelasticity and Finite Element Method
International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education
The goal of this project is to enhance mechanics education by incorporating experiments using photoelastic stress analysis and finite element analysis within the existing curricula. Specific instructional objectives for students are to: (a) increase conceptual understanding of stress distribution through photoelastic and finite element based visualization, (b) gain experience with photoelasticity and finite elements including their advantages/limitations, and (c) appreciate the synergism between experimental and numerical methods of stress analysis.
At UOP, one transmission polariscope set, one reflection polariscope set, and accompanying accessories have been purchased and installed for students' use. This equipment has also been used for in-class demonstrations and motivational presentations to high school students. Additional apparatus have been made in-house and/or purchased by departments at UOP and USAFA. All mechanical engineering students at UOP have benefited from this project. Several experiments have been introduced in the curriculum, and several student projects have been completed. A similar combination of photoelastsic demonstrations plus finite element results has been used at USAFA, which has exposed both engineering and non-engineering majors to this educational enhancement.
Jensen, D. D.
Enhancement of Mechanics Education by Photoelasticity and Finite Element Method.
International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, 29(4), 307–320.