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Stress Analysis Experiments For Mechanical Engineering Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1032.1 - 8.1032.11



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Paper Authors

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Nashwan Younis

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

Session 1566


Nashwan Younis Department of Engineering Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499


This paper examines the experimental determination of assembly stresses in members utilizing the optical method of reflected photoeleasticity. It is essential that students understand the basic concepts in Mechanics of Materials; the paper discusses experiments that can be used by advanced undergraduate students to visualize and understand the development of stresses in structural members. The experiments and design projects outlined, combined contact, bearing, and axial stresses; the experiments were designed and constructed for the use of mechanical engineering undergraduate courses. The suggested experiments and design projects for these non-traditional combined structural stresses are included to improve the students’ comprehension in upper-level Experimental Mechanics course or Machine Design course.


The ever-increasing demand from industry for more sophisticated structural and machine components requires a solid understanding of the concepts of stress, strain, and the behavior of materials. At the sophomore level, students in a mechanical engineering (ME) program are introduced to the concepts of stress and strain in a solid body through the Mechanics of Materials course. In the first Machine Design course, junior mechanical engineering, the students learn to calculate the bolt/rivet and joint members stresses. Due to the time constraints of a first Mechanics of Materials course there is generally insufficient time to verify the assumptions made in developing the theories with experimental verification. Experimental validation allows the student to delve into the corresponding approximate nature of these theories.

The Stress Analysis Laboratory practice improves the students’ comprehension of the stress theory learned in lecture. The literature that was examined used many different experimental stress analysis methods and experimental designs to enhance the learning of the mechanics concepts. One paper proposed the optical method of caustics to study the effects of the presence of a crack in machine components and structural members1; experiments were included to visually demonstrate to the students the state of stress at a crack tip. The use and importance of numerical methods in designing and dimensioning of machine components is increasing. However, Franz et. al showed the benefits to students of using photoelastic experiments beside numerical calculation2. Many cases used the electrical-resistance strain gages to interest the students in learning Mechanics of Materials. The design, construction, and calibration of a

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Younis, N. (2003, June), Stress Analysis Experiments For Mechanical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12411

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: © 2003 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