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ME 532 Experimental Stress Analysis

Catalog Description

ME 532 Experimental Stress Analysis (3). Prerequisites: ME 314, ME 323, and ME 421. Fundamentals of experimental stress analysis. Brittle coating methods, photoelastic coating and electrical strain gage techniques, strain measurements under static and dynamic loading.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Mechanics of materials
  2. Mechanical measurements
  3. Machine design


J.W. Dally and W.F. Riley, Experimental Stress Analysis, 4th edition, College House Enterprises, 2005.


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W.P. Hnat, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to provide practical knowledge and applications in experimental stress analysis. Students utilize current techniques to measure and analyze stress magnitudes and distributions.

Topics Covered

  1. Stress (3 classes)
  2. Stress-strain relations (3 classes)
  3. Brittle coating methods (3 classes)
  4. Theory of photoelasticity (5 classes)
  5. Two-dimensional photoelasticity (5 classes)
  6. Three-dimensional photoelasticity (4 classes)
  7. Birefringent methods (4 classes)
  8. Strain measurements (5 classes)
  9. Strain gage circuits (4 classes)
  10. Rosette analysis (4 classes)
  11. Examinations (2 classes and 2½ hours)

Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, experimentation, and problem solving.

Laboratory Projects

  1. Strain gage installation and calibration
  2. Rosette use
  3. Photoelastic analysis
  4. Polariscope operation

Computer Use

Spreadsheets are used for data analysis and word processing software for report writing. A data acquisition system is used to acquire some dynamic experimental data.


Experiments: 40%, midterm exams: 40%, final exam: 20%.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 2 credits, engineering design: 1 credit.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering Department B.Sc. program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by W.P. Hnat, June 2009

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