In this paper a new full-field method for the automatic analysis of isochromatic fringes in white light is presented. The method, named RGB photoelasticity, eliminates the typical drawbacks of the classical approach to photoelasticity in white light which requires a subjective analysis of colors and an experienced analyst to acquire and interpret the results. The proposed method makes it possible to determine retardations uniquely in the range of 0-3 fringe orders. For this purpose the isochromatics are acquired by means of a color video camera and the colors are decomposed in the three primary colors (red, green and blue) and compared to those stored in a calibration array in the system. Furthermore, the influence of various spurious effects on the accuracy of the proposed method is experimentally evaluated.
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