U.K.’s Institute of Physics publishes IIT Madras Professors’ Digital book on ‘Photoelasticity’

Book passionately brings out re-emergence of Photoelasticity & its use in diverse fields & its invaluable importance in teaching concepts of stress analysis to students to understand the field nature of stress

CHENNAI: The U.K.’s Institute of Physics has published a digital book authored by IIT Madras Faculty Prof. K. Ramesh, who is the ‘Mahesh K. Chair Professor’ in the Department of Applied Mechanics. Titled ‘Developments in Photoelasticity – A Renaissance,’ the book is based on decades of active research by Prof. K. Ramesh and his students at IIT Madras.

This digital book brings out in one volume, the use of Photoelasticity to understand complex problems such as understanding biological systems through their locomotion, which can help develop flexible robots for disaster management, improve agricultural production by understanding the stresses developed in plant roots, and the role of needle shape in epidural injections, among other applications.

‘Developments in Photoelasticity – A Renaissance’ was released today (14th February 2022) in a virtual event by Mr. Krishna Mahesh, Managing Director of Sundaram Brake Linings Ltd. and Founder-CEO of Sundaram Medical Devices (P) Ltd, in the presence of Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, and other faculty and staff of the Institute.

Diverse applications of Photoelasticity from many key applications in mechanical sciences as well as neurobiology, plant biology, biomaterials, biomimetics, granular materials, soft matter, glass stress analysis, and rapid prototyping for complex model fabrication are also discussed in this book.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Rajpal Sirohi, a Padma Shri Recipient who is from Alabama A&M University, USA, and the Series Editor of Advances in Optics, Photonics and Optoelectronics highlighted the organisation of the book and said how it will be useful to both students and practising researchers in the field.

Addressing the Book Launch Event, Mr. Krishna Mahesh, Managing Director of Sundaram Brake Linings [SBL] and Founder-CEO of Sundaram Medical Devices (P) Ltd. [SMD], said, “Coming from the Industry, a common refrain was ‘how is this research applicable?’ Prof. K. Ramesh’s book deals with how the research is applicable in the industry. Everyone knows the industry is moving toward digital prototyping and this Book provides valuable inputs in this regard to the field. Thank you, Prof. Ramesh, for this wonderful book.”

Photoelasticity is an experimental technique to reveal the stress/strain fields in models/structures through fringe patterns, especially in colour, by exploiting the phenomenon of temporary double refraction induced by in-service loading. The book presents an authoritative treatment of transmission photoelasticity, reflection photoelasticity, three-dimensional photoelasticity, photoplasticity and digital Photoelasticity.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “What is really striking about this book is the applications of this research, which range from plant biology to semiconductor packaging. This can be a game changer, when implemented in the field. I am sure many students will take this up as a career and I look forward to many start-ups coming up in this field.”

With advancements in image processing, a detailed discussion of time-tested developments in automating the data acquisition and processing forms the initial part of the book. The book assumes significance as it brings out, through various case studies, the importance of photoelastic analysis in improving the numerical simulations ranging from precision glass lens moulding used in cell phone cameras to the study of widely used interference fits in industries.

Sharing the need for such books, Prof. K. Ramesh, Mahesh K Chair Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “The engineering colleges across the country need to restart their laboratory on Photoelasticity – in view of the great strides the technique has made in the last two decades and in offering hope for solving emerging problems in diverse fields. Instead of a real laboratory, many could benefit by setting up a virtual polariscope at a fraction of the cost of the actual setup.”

Participating virtually, Prof. Wei-Chung Wang, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), Taiwan, said, “I have admired Prof. K. Ramesh for his diligence and wisdom for his work on Photoelasticity. I read the book and I was so amazed by the content. Not only does it give a clear context for the younger generation but also introduces many new potential applications. I think the book will become a very important reference book for the experimental mechanics community. I have interacted with Prof. Ramesh and his students as we have common interests. I am a loyal reader of all his previous works including his e-books and have purchased the software P_Scope® recently available on the market.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Prof. Michael Mello, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA, said, “I had discovered Prof. K. Ramesh through his earlier books. We celebrate books like this because they celebrate the legacy of beautiful techniques like Photoelasticity. This will serve very well the next generation of students and researchers. I also liked and enjoyed reading the applications in infrared Photoelasticity.”

The book offers the necessary background on the use of virtual polariscope named P_Scope®, which could be an indispensable teaching tool to elucidate subtle concepts of solid mechanics through the online mode of delivery during this pandemic”, added Prof. Ramesh. This software is available at an affordable cost from IIT Madras for integration into the academic curriculum of various courses taught at Engineering Colleges as well as Polytechniques.

Prof. Arun Menon, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, highlighted the potential of the technique with modern developments in rapid prototyping to develop true heterogeneous models of concrete to promote fundamental research in Civil Engineering as well as for the study of metallic sponges. The visual understanding of the stress field through prototype study on granite masonry has indirectly contributed to the restoration of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand, that was done by an IIT Madras team led by Prof. Arun Menon.

The writing style is lucid and friendly for scientists and engineers across different domains enabling them to absorb and use the technique of photoelasticity innovatively in their respective disciplines.

The Mahesh K Chair professorship has been instituted by Mr. Krishna Mahesh and his family in 2020 and this book release signifies an excellent example of promoting academic excellence through instituting such Chair Professorships.

 

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