A new experimental technique based on the optical method of caustics for the determination of bending moments in laterally loaded plates is developed. The method involves the direct by the experiment calculation of the partial slopes of the flexed plate or the deflection of the plate in a power series form. Two particular cases were considered to show the potentialities of the method: the simply supported triangular plate bent by moments uniformly distributed along its boundary and the axisymmetric plates. In the latter case the method leads to the direct determination of the curvatures of the plate.

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