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Development of Plane Stress-Strain Analysis Software for Mechanics of Material

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Mechanics Division Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Hirohito Kobayashi University of Wisconsin - Platteville

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S.
Waseda University, Tokyo, JAPAN, B.S.

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Active learning is a model of instruction that focuses the responsibility of learning on the learners. It is widely believed that the active learning improves students’ learning. In the education of mechanics of material, active learning can be fostered by implementing hands-on experience through in-class activity, such as the material mechanical testing. However, mechanical testing often requires significant financial investment in laboratory space, testing machine, and material acquisition. Furthermore, even a simple mechanical testing can become time-consuming and disrupt the class progression. Hence, frequent hands-on mechanical testing cannot be achieved easily in courses such as mechanics of material. As a substitute for hands-on mechanical testing, a numerical simulation method such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) may be employed in a “virtual” mechanics testing laboratory. Currently, a wide range of high-end commercial FEA software, such as ANSYS® and STIMULIA® (formerly known as ABAQUSR®) are readily available. A simpler format of FEA can be conducted through the CAD (computer-Aid-design) software such as Solidworks and AutoCad. Nevertheless, “virtual” mechanics testing via FEA software still cannot provide the hands-on experience because it lacks the data measurement and data error assessment, which are often required in the real-world engineering.

The aim of this project is to develop a virtual mechanics laboratory (software) using digital camera and digital image pixel tracking analysis algorithm (Digital Image Correlation), which have matured and are available at very low cost nowadays. The setup of this virtual mechanics laboratory includes: first, for the instructor/students to capture digital video images of a test sample subjected to deformation under mechanical testing system. Subsequently, the strains and stresses of the tested sample will be assessed by students using the virtual mechanics laboratory, coded in Matlab®, that conducts 1) digital image processing, 2) deformation analysis via digital image pixel tracking, and 3) data presentation via easy to understand color map. The major aim of this software is to provide a pseudo-hands-on virtual mechanics analysis experience to assist the mechanics of material course. To test the efficiency of the concept, the software is currently tested through a mini-project in one of two Mechanics of Material classes instructed this semester for comparison. The effectiveness of the virtual hands-on experience through software will be assessed through 1) in-class survey, 2) in-class quiz and 3) the exam score at the end of the semester.

Kobayashi, H. (2016, June), Development of Plane Stress-Strain Analysis Software for Mechanics of Material Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26825

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