Photoelastic stress analysis is a full-field optical technique for experimental stress analysis whose automation has received considerable research attention over the last 15 years. The latest developments have been made possible largely due to the availability of powerful calculators with large memory capacity and colour, high resolution, cameras. A further stimulus is provided by the photoelastic resins now used for rapid prototyping. However, one critical aspect which still deserves attention is phase unwrapping. The algorithms most commonly used for this purpose have been developed in other scientific areas (classical interferometry, profilometry, moire´ , etc.) for solving different problems. In this article a new algorithm is proposed for temporal phase unwrapping, which offers several advantages over those used today.
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