The method of caustics is applied to formulate the normal and tangential stresses developed in the contact zone of two elastic bodies, and also for one elastic and the other plastic. The stresses are represented by a cubic spline polynomial, its coefficients calculated by pseudocaustics from reflected light around the contact zone. The method is applied to determine the stresses along the boundary of a half-plane and the stresses along the contact area of two disks. The deviation of calculated stresses from the applied ones, in the first case was small, while in the second case it was found that the normal distribution of stresses was similar to a Hertzian distribution. This experimental method can be used to accurately obtain contact stresses.

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