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Strain Viewers – Polariscope for Qualitative Observation of Stress Patterns in Glass & Plastics

A polariscope is a qualitative tool that uses polarized light to reveal stress patterns in transparent or translucent objects. Strainoptics offers several standard models of polariscopes (strain viewers), ranging from a small, portable unit to large, modular instruments that may be free-standing, installed on a wall, on a tabletop, or even on a production line.

A polariscope operates on the proven optical property of birefringence. This phenomenon causes a stressed transparent or translucent material such as glass or plastic to display a characteristic range of colors when viewed in polarized light (the photoelastic effect). When properly interpreted, photoelastic colors can indicate both the magnitude and direction of residual stresses. They also indicate when stress is not present, which is useful for verification of annealing. The procedure is fast, nondestructive, and does not require a high level of operator skill.

Please click on the product photo to learn more about that specific polariscope (strain viewer).

SV-2000 Strain Viewer

SV-2000 Strain Viewer Polariscope

Polariscope with 20″x16″ Viewing Area – Now made with rigid, industrial 80/20® extruded aluminum!

SV-3000 Strain Viewer

SV-3000 Polariscope

Polariscope that is similar to the SV-2000 but with a larger, 22″x22″ viewing area.

SV-1011 Strain Viewer

PSV-100 Portable Strain Viewer

Large-field, vertical lightpath. Available with circular or plane polarization (Specify). Adjustable height analyzer for larger or taller samples. Viewing area: 250 x 280 mm (10 x 11 inches).

SV-1000 Strain Viewer

SV-2000 Strain Viewer

Also available with circular or plane polarization (Specify).
Separate vertically oriented analyzer and polarized illuminator for larger or deeper samples. Horizontal lightpath only.

Viewing area: 250 x 280 mm (10 x 11 inches).

PSV-100 Strain Viewer

PSV-100 Portable Polariscope

A small, portable instrument for viewing 3.5″x3.5″ stress patterns.
PSV-100 Portable Strain Viewer

Custom Strain Viewers!!


We have several larger Polariscopes available but we can also make you a custom Strain Viewer as large as you need! Call us today to find our more.