Asee peer logo

Design Project For Advanced Mechanics Of Materials

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Improving Mechanics of Materials Classes

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.374.1 - 7.374.9

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Nick Salamon

author page

Gautam Wagle

author page

Cliff Lissenden

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 2468

Design Project for Advanced Mechanics of Materials

C.J. Lissenden, G.S. Wagle, and N.J. Salamon

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State University

Abstract Advanced mechanics of materials is a broad subject encompassing many topics. However, often there is only room in the curriculum for a single course. Thus, there is a tendency to pack the course full of topics, in which case sufficient depth of coverage can be lost. Furthermore, design is at the heart of engineering and demands attention. Advanced mechanics of materials is a major part of many design problems. In this paper we describe the implementation of a team design project into an advanced mechanics of materials course. The project has been developed such that it can be initiated at the beginning of the course, but it builds on itself and students progressively apply principles learned in class. The design of a crank arm for a bicycle was chosen as the project because of the familiarity that students have with it, its simple function, it poses interesting and common design dilemmas, and because the analysis can range from being very simple to being very complicated. The project contains many parts: development of design specifications, material selection, analysis of a straight crank having a circular cross-section, design of a straight crank, validation of analysis with experimental results, design of an elliptical cross-section and a rectangular cross-section, and comparison of results from simple circular, elliptical, and rectangular cross-sections with finite element results from actual crank arms. The primary topics that this project covers are: design, combined stresses, prediction of yielding, fatigue, torsion of noncircular cross-sections, and finite element analysis. Student teams from a separate finite element class conducted the actual finite element analyses. A website is under development to assist students performing design in this and other mechanics courses. It was clear to the instructor that the project increased the students’ level of interest during the course.

Background The Engineering Science and Mechanics department at Penn State offers a technical elective entitled, “Advanced Strength of Materials and Design.” This course follows the elementary strength of materials course and introduces the field equations of mechanics, covering such topics as: principal stresses and maximum shear stress, failure criteria, energy methods, torsion of noncircular sections, shear flow, unsymmetrical bending, thick-walled cylinders and disks, plates, and shells. Other topics that could be included, but are not due to a lack of time are: beams on elastic foundations, curved beams, details of finite element analysis, plastic structural analysis, and buckling. In addition to learning these topics, engineering students need to learn how to design1, 2 . We have introduced design into a course traditionally laden with analysis by implementing a semester-long team design project.

This paper is subdivided into the following sections: objectives, project definition, basis for components of the project, evaluation, and student feedback.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

Main Menu

Salamon, N., & Wagle, G., & Lissenden, C. (2002, June), Design Project For Advanced Mechanics Of Materials Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015