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Introducing Stress Transformation and Mohr’s Circle

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Novel Teaching Methods In Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Philip A Jones P.E. Pennsylvania State University, Erie

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Mr. Philip Jones is a lecturer in engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He received the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University in 1986. Mr. Jones also earned the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1990. In addition, Mr. Jones graduated from the General Electric Advanced Course (A, B, and C courses) in Engineering as part of the Edison Engineering Program in 1989. Mr. Jones is a Licensed Professional Engineer, PE 054155E, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Jones began his engineering career in 1986 with General Electric Company in Erie, Pennsylvania. Subsequent to that time he worked for Morrison Knudsen Co. in Boise, ID, and Atchison Steel Castings Co. in Atchison, KS. He then returned to General Electric Company as Engineering Manager of Locomotive Truck Design Group. His most current industrial experience began with LORD Corporation in 1998 as Product Engineer and Engineering Manager.

Mr. Jones is an Associate Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers with specific interests in vehicle suspension design, vibrations, structural design, and manufacturing.

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Edward R Evans Jr. Pennsylvania State University, Erie

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Edward Evans is a senior lecture and chairs the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He teaches engineering mechanics, engineering graphics, computer applications and machine design.

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Engineering technology students tend to be concrete thinkers and they appear to learn better from realistic example problems. The concept of stress transformation using stress elements and differential areas is often a difficult concept to convey to these students. Because of this, they often struggle with relating stress at any angle to a Mohr’s circle representation of stress. This paper discusses an interactive example problem used to illustrate Mohr’s circle and the concept of stress transformation to engineering technology students. An axially loaded rectangular bar is presented and the normal stress is determined. The bar is then sliced at an angle and the internal reactions parallel and perpendicular to the cut surface are determined. The area of the inclined surface is determined so that the normal and shear stress can be determined for that angle. Pairs of students are then asked to perform the same task for a unique assigned angle ranging from -85 to 85 degrees. The students then enter their solutions into a spreadsheet which plots them as coordinates on a graph displayed on an overhead projector screen. At the end of the exercise, all of the entered coordinates plot Mohr’s circle representing the stresses at a typical cross-section. Students clearly relate to what each point on the circle represents which, hopefully leads to a greater understanding of Mohr’s circle’s role in determining stress transformations.

Jones, P. A., & Evans, E. R. (2016, June), Introducing Stress Transformation and Mohr’s Circle Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27321

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