Fringe tracking and fringe order assignment have become the central topics of current research in digital photoelasticity. Isotropic points (IPs) appearing in low fringe order zones are often either overlooked or entirely missed in conventional as well as digital photoelasticity. We aim to highlight image processing for characterizing IPs in an isochromatic fringe field. By resorting to a global analytical solution of a circular disk, sensitivity of IPs to small changes in far-field loading on the disk is highlighted. A local theory supplements the global closed-form solutions of three-, four-, and six-point loading configurations of circular disk. The local theoretical concepts developed in this paper are demonstrated through digital image analysis of isochromatics in circular disks subjected to three- and four-point loads.
Friction coefficient between a circular-disk periphery and V-block surface was determined by introducing the concept of isotropic point (IP) in isochromatic field of the disk under three-point symmetric loading. IP position on the symmetry axis depends on active coefficient of friction during experiment. We extend this work to asymmetric loading of circular disk in which case two frictional contact pairs out of three loading contacts, independently control the unconstrained IP location. Photoelastic experiment is conducted on particular case of asymmetric three-point loading of circular disk. Basics of digital image processing are used to extract few essential parameters from experimental image, particularly IP location. Analytical solution by Flamant for half plane with a concentrated load, is utilized to derive stress components for required loading configurations of the disk. IP is observed, in analytical simulations of three-point asymmetric normal loading, to move from vertical axis to the boundary along an ellipse-like curve. When friction is included in the analysis, IP approaches the center with increase in loading friction and it goes away with increase in support friction. With all these insights, using experimental IP information, friction angles at three contact pairs of circular disk under asymmetric loading, are determined.