The variation of stress field around an oscillating crack tip in a quenched thin glass plate is observed using instantaneous phase-stepping photoelasticity. The successive images around the propagating crack are recorded by a CCD camera that is equipped with a pixelated micro-retarder array. Then, the phase maps of the principal stress difference and the principal direction are easily obtained even though the photoelastic fringes cannot be visualized. The path of the crack growth as well as the stress intensity factors and the crack tip constraint are obtained from these phase distributions. Results show that the mode I stress intensity factor and the crack tip constraint vary remarkably with the crack growth. In addition, the results show that the mode-II stress intensity factor exists even though the crack propagates smoothly.
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