Dynamic photoelastic study of the transient stress field in solids during shock wave lithotripsy.
Photoelastic and shadowgraph imaging techniques were used to visualize the propagation and evolution of stress waves, and the resultant transient stress fields in solids during shock wave lithotripsy. In parallel, theoretical analysis of the wavefront evolution inside the solids was performed using a ray-tracing method. Excellent agreement between the theoretical prediction and experimental results was observed. Both the sample size and geometry were found to have a significant influence on the wave evolution and associated stress field produced inside the solid. In particular, characteristic patterns of spalling damage (i.e., transverse and longitudinal crack formation) were observed using plaster-of-Paris cylindrical phantoms of rectangular and circular cross sections. It was found that the leading tensile pulse of the reflected longitudinal wave is responsible for the initiation of microcracks in regions inside the phantom where high tensile stresses are produced. In addition, the transmitted shear wave was found to play a critical role in facilitating the extension and propagation of the microcrack.
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