College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 05:43:45


Civil Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


The research being conducted within this project is to observe force chains in different samples of soil media with varying shapes. The method for observing the force chains is a process called photoelasticity. Photoelasticity uses two polarizing sheets, with the clear media being tested placed between, and light is directed through the sheets to observe how the light is refracted as force is applied to the tested media. Through our research, we are coming up with a method of casting soil particles through the utilization of resin, silicone, and 3D printing. Once the clear particles have been cast, we will continue by constructing a small testing chamber that will have the ability to hold the particles and then use the process of photoelasticity for testing. Once the particles have been cast and the chamber has been made, we will be able to test the soil particles of varying shapes under a multitude of loading conditions to see how these force chains differ due to soil particle shape. These results will help real world scenarios where soil makeup is known and design can be adjusted accordingly.

Research Sponsor

Nariman Mahabdi

First Reader

Ala Abbas

Second Reader

Christopher Miller

Honors Faculty Advisor

Ping Yi



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