Mechanical Lab Project



Question Description

Spring 2020 Project


Design a brief lab session and write the lab manual. You will A written document (pdf) in the form of a lab manual: no more than 4 pages.

What to do:

Think of a physical variable/material property that is typically measured in mechanical engineering and design a brief laboratory session that shows how to conduct measurement(s) for such variable.

IMPORTANT: you cannot choose a physical variable that can be directly measured with an instrument. It has to be an indirect measurement. For example, you cannot choose mass as the physical variable since a scale can directly provide that measurement. Instead you could choose density and measure mass and volume in order to find density.

Once you pick a physical variable/material property you will:

  • Choose real measuring devices/instruments/sensors to carry out the measurement you picked.
  • Explain how the measuring devices/instruments/sensors work.
  • Describe in detail step by step how to use the measuring devices/instruments/sensors to eventually obtain the desired measurement.

Written document structure

The written document you submit should have the following sections:

  • - Introduction: goal of the lab session and context for the measurement. Relate it to real applications. Where does this measurement occur? What is it used for? Why is it important?
  • - Theory: here you will present the measuring devices/instruments/sensors needed to conduct your measurement and the fundamental principles behind such devices. Choose real existing measuring devices/instruments/sensors and provide the manufacturer/seller and model numbers. Also, include any equations required for your measurement and explain them briefly and clearly.
  • - Procedure: explain in full detail, step by step, how to use the measuring devices/instruments/sensors to conduct your measurement. Use a bulleted list for the procedure.
  • - Uncertainty: list the sources of uncertainty for the measuring devices/instruments/sensors you decided to use.
  • Ideas
  • (here are some ideas that you can borrow)
    • Measuring the drag coefficient of spherical objects.
    • Measuring the flow coefficient (Ko) of a differential pressure flow meter.
    • Measuring the Young’s Modulus of a metal.
    • Measuring material hardness with the Vickers and Brinell methods.
    • Measuring distance with optical techniques.
    • Measuring sound wave attenuation through a solid material.
    • Measuring the thermal conductivity of a material.
    • Measuring the specific heat of a material.
    • Measuring the density of an ideal gas.
    • Measuring solar irradiance on a flat surface.
    • Measuring the Poisson’s ratio of a solid material.
    • Measuring the resistivity of a material.
    • Measuring the electrical conductivity of a metal.
    • Measuring corrosion.
    • Measuring surface tension in a liquid.
    • Measuring the Seebeck coefficient of a thermoelectric material.
    • Measuring the Shear Modulus.
    • Measuring material toughness.
    • Measuring the thermal expansion coefficient of a metal.
    • Measuring fracture toughness against surface cracks.
    • Measuring magnetic permeability.
    • Measuring the speed of sound in liquids with ultrasonic transducers.

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