What is Mechanical engineering: Definition and 537 Discussions

Mechanical engineering is an engineering branch that combines engineering physics and mathematics principles with materials science to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering branches.Mechanical engineering combines creativity, knowledge and analytical tools to complete the difficult task of shaping an idea into reality.
The mechanical engineering field requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. In addition to these core principles, mechanical engineers use tools such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery.Mechanical engineering emerged as a field during the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century; however, its development can be traced back several thousand years around the world. In the 19th century, developments in physics led to the development of mechanical engineering science. The field has continually evolved to incorporate advancements; today mechanical engineers are pursuing developments in such areas as composites, mechatronics, and nanotechnology. It also overlaps with aerospace engineering, metallurgical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and other engineering disciplines to varying amounts. Mechanical engineers may also work in the field of biomedical engineering, specifically with biomechanics, transport phenomena, biomechatronics, bionanotechnology, and modelling of biological systems.

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  1. F

    Solar Heat Gain Factor table for southern latitudes

    Hello! Despite being a mechanical engineer I'm fairly new to building science. I'm looking to compute for solar heat gains in a building somewhere down south. ASHRAE SHGF tables only lists data for north latitudes and there's no mention of the south latitude. May I ask why there isn't any on the...
  2. superfunnyshark

    Angular Acceleration when accounting n-reference frames

    Hello, I understand the equation that describes the angular accelerator when 3 reference frames are involved is: Now I would like to ask what is the resulting equation when accounting more than 3 reference frames, i.e. when n-reference frames are involved. Thank you.
  3. tetris

    Engineering Static Vs Dynamic Force Analysis in Mechanism

    My understanding is that : Static Force Analysis carried out on objects in static or dynamic equilibrium, that is rigid bodies that are not moving or moving with zero acceleration therefore, does not take into account the inertia of the object Dynamic Force Analysis carried out on objects in...
  4. Y

    Replacing Plastic Push Pin Clips With Rivnuts in Car

    I have a typical passenger sedan, and I see these little black plastic push pin fasteners holding my trunk liner to the trunk, splash apron underneath the car the subframe, the wheel well liners etc.. They are a pain to remove. I always have to pry on them really hard, and sometimes they brake...
  5. Juanda

    Turnbuckles and loss of preload

    Turnbuckles have a right hand thread and a left hand thread. That implies that if I pull from both ends, the turnbuckle will resist the tension because the inner body would need to twist both ways simultaneosly to become unscrewed. The same applies to the compression case. However, can they...
  6. A

    Weight Distribution Across Multiple Support Points (Load on Trailer)

    Hi All, Please note that I am looking for a methodology to calculate load distribution on multiple supports (3 and more)located underneath a heavy object at different spans/locations from the objects CoG, please see below example: I searched here in Physics Forums and found article gave...
  7. Y

    Specified Torque Specs on Automotive Fasteners -- Required or just suggestions?

    My academic background is in engineering, but not mechanical. Going back to school for automotive technology. Need to get the perspective on this from someone with a mechanical engineering background. Service information for automobiles specifies torque specifications for nearly every single...
  8. dis

    x,y,z new coordinate calculation for joint rotations in CoppeliaSimEdu

    I have created a 3D manipulator joint in CoppeliaSimEdu, I have the following joint rotation along the z axis, a second rotation joint raised in height and shifted along the x axis and further along the x axis is a directions joint. Or Rot(z,a1)Rot(z,a2)Trans(0,0,d) a1 and a2 angles d...
  9. ak3b

    Raising / Lowering a 40' aluminum antenna tower

    I have a 40' Universal aluminum tower, which will have antennas, cables, and a rotor installed. Dead weight on the ground will be 225 lbs. The base, which is three 4.5' legs, is set into 5'x5'x5' concrete. The fulcrum is ground level on the concrete base. The lifting cable will attach to the...
  10. C

    Thread Pressure - Thread Stripping

    Hello all, So I've attached two images, one is the spread-sheet that I'm working on and the other is an image of the formulas that I'm using. I'm a bit confused on how length of engagement works for those formulas. So for 3 1/4-8UN-2A threads, with a shear strength of 44.5 KSI, the minimum...
  11. B

    I need to know what A frame design is needed for this trailer

    Ok y'all, thanks for the assist. I am in the middle of building a dump trailer, mechanical lift with winch or a mounted lift points. For stability side to side I have elected to make the standing pole an A frame design. I need to know the best width at the base to use for load (comparing to a...
  12. S

    Motor Sizing for Wheel Endurance Testing

    I am working with a wheel endurance testing application. I am trying to size a motor for the system. Basically, I have a drum which has to be rotated by the motor. I have different size wheels that I have to test. The motor is supposed to rotate the drum and then the wheel is pushed onto the...
  13. Twellmann

    Energy transfer/loss in catapult

    TL;DR Summary: In a classic catapult the arm usually meets a cross brace that stops it and helps define the exit angle. This seems a bit wasteful. I have been thinking about making a small catapult for my sons class. In a classic catapult the arm usually meets a cross brace that stops it and...
  14. Juanda

    Trying to understand welding recommendations

    Recently I found these notes with recommendations for welded joints and something is not sitting right with me. It's in Spanish but I'll translate it as close to technical English as I can. I have checked a few sources on the internet and they all say basically the same thing. I couldn't find...
  15. S

    How much force is required to excite a vibrating machine with a load?

    I have been given a formula at work to use for calculating how much force is required to excite a vibrating machine with load. Only a proportion of material load on a vibrating machine is considered. The formula is F = 2*S / (K*M) Where: S = stroke (mm) K = (140/w)^2 w = angular velocity...
  16. Juanda

    I Statics: When the reactions depend on the displacements

    In some problems, there is a dependency between the reactions at the supports and the displacements due to the deformations. In such cases, typical tools from statics and resistance of materials cannot be used. I believe that is because one of the main assumptions is that only very small...
  17. Ranger Mike

    Everything that they teach a M.E. major in university

    Upon completion you will know why cow magnets taped to your automobiles fuel line will add 2 to 5 miles per gallon fuel milage to any automobile! https://www.magnetsource.com/collections/cow-magnets-l1 but I digress!! this was a thing in the oil embargo in 1970s no shi#!
  18. TonyCross

    Kinetic-Potential energy of moving Ice

    Hi, Am i correct in thinking that if we take a block of ice, moving at a constant velocity, it's then exposed to a heat source which melts the ice and turns it into water vapour, that we have simply removed any Kinetic energy, by Sublimation or converting it into heat. My question is does the...
  19. K

    Degrees of freedom (question based on an interview I attended)

    I was asked by an interviewer the number of degrees of freedom (in both translation and rotational senses) this part has with respect to each axis. Indeed I can share what I think of here, but I want to start it fresh and correct. If you were the interviewee, what would have been your answer and...
  20. enigmaticbacon

    How many capybaras does it take to move a Stonehenge rock?

    I’m writing a presentation for younger students explaining how science can help them satiate their curiosity in a fun way. This presentation’s goal is to apply as much science as possible to a ridiculous question in hopes of promoting STEM fields. My example is, how many capybaras --the world’s...
  21. H

    Advanced Hydrodynamic Problem - University level

    TL;DR Summary: Advanced hydrodynamic calculation- University Level Calculate the necessary force of the hydraulic piston to empty the tank located at the bottom in the indicated time. Hi all guys I'm new on this forum, and I write this post to ask you for help on a mechanical engineering...
  22. Al-Layth

    How do Engineers Calculate the Dimensions of their Design Ideas?

    You have a design problem statement, which gives you numerical specifications for performance, spatial constraints etc, and you have finally come up with some mechanism ideas you synthesised into a machine concept. You’ve sketched your design’s parts and the final assembly. So: How do you now...
  23. T

    Engineering Should I study Engineering Physics or Mechanical Engineering?

    I am unsure of what career to choose. I really like Physics and Math, and I have this desire to know more about things, which is what EP has to offer. I think that EP is mainly theoretical and does not teach many practice, but I believe that I can complement this by entering groups in my...
  24. Z

    Exploring the Benefits of Planar Multibody Dynamics in Mechanical Engineering

    Hello I am reading the book : " Planar Multybody dynamics, Formulation, Programming and Application" An interesting lecture , however is it worthwhile studying these methods for kinematic and dynamic analysis of mechanical mechanisms? I mean There are many softwares on the market which make...
  25. Franklie001

    Engineering Fluid mechanics question and the Bernoulli Equation

    Good afternoon, I am struggling to find the solution at Q2 and Q3. For Q2 the absolute pressure at point 1 is at the bottom of the tank, so do i need to use the formula P=Patm+qgh ? If using this formula I've got a bigger number than 100Pa. Same issue for Q3, isn't the pressure at point 2...
  26. AJSayad

    Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Undergrad Senior Design Project

    Hi everyone, This semester I'm enrolled in a senior design course where the students must fully design and fabricate a project from scratch that solves a problem. I've been struggling to think of ideas, so far I have some ideas on a windmill/turbine and a few electricity generation device ideas...
  27. Nickf_Zar

    Agitator Torque Calculation

    Hi All, I must calculate the torque and for an agitator motor. An anchor type agitator/scraper, removing crust off the edge of a tank. My instinct is the max or startup torque will be = (Moment of Inertia) x (Angular Acceleration) + (Drag force of the submerged impeller)* Max radius +...
  28. D

    Mechanical Engineering Problem sets for a problem member

    I got my last post locked due to insulting a member here. I do apologize I'm under a lot of stress and was nothing personal. The post was about the level of difficulty of engineering courses compared to those of mathematics at the undergraduate level. I am just curious if anyone would be kind...
  29. D

    Mechanical engineering degree

    How hard is an engineering degree compared with a mathematics or physics degree? I am considering going back to university for a master's program that is 30 credits. How hard will the transition be from someone with a bachelor's degree in math with some physics and a few courses in engineering...
  30. O

    Gear Train Design Assistance

    Hello, I'm after some advice/ clarification on some gear train design. This may just be a simple clarification Requirements I have a lead screw which needs to be supplied power by a Motor. This Lead screw must have 140Nm Torque to raise and lower the load, and must turn at 200RPM. The motors I...
  31. Shankar Das

    Practicing Mechanical Engineering Dynamics Problems

    Hello, I hope you all are doing fine and healthy. For my mechanical engineering dynamics I want to practice related problems taught in my class, here is a preview of some problems. Can anyone tell me from which book or solution manual are these problems from? I want to practice as much problems...
  32. E

    Designing a 600 kg Lifter: Calculating Power Needs

    I have a platform which can lift 600 kg (the platform itself weighs 95 kg so their combined mass is actually 695 kg) at 0.75 m/s up to around 37 m in height at a maximum angle of inclination of 87 degrees. The issue I'm coming across is determining the power required to lift said mass as the...
  33. C

    Determine the force in the bar CB

    I solved this with two methods as you can see down below in the picture. Which is the correct way? I remember I learned in class you could use both ways but why am I getting different results?
  34. B

    Insights for a Mechanical Engineering student

    Hello everyone, I'm a mechanical engineering student, I'm italian, so, sorry for my bad english. In this moment i am studying the following subjects: Mathematical Analysis II (multivariable calculus), Physics II (eletctromagnetism), Mechanical design and fundamentals of structural mechanics...
  35. dejan95

    Help with designing a tool to hold a work piece (work piece jig)

    I have just started my first job (mechanical engineering design) after graduation. As my first "big" project I need to design a work station. On this station i need to create a tool which will hold my work piece (a motor) in place. I would love to hear your insight. Because the bottom part of...
  36. M

    Engineering Fluids mechanics homework, feel like I have messed up the equations

    Edit: So I have written out equation 3 again and taken a picture to show my working out, the 2 things that I am confused about is how do I find the coefficient of viscosity? I know that syrup is high viscosity and water is low viscosity but I don't know the equation to get the actual value. The...
  37. N

    Mechanical engineering: Maximum Power Transmitted by a V-Belt Assembly

    Summary:: Hi I’m in second year mechanical engineering and I really need help with this question! Sorry about my handwriting in the attachment I’ve put in, I've written the question out but there is an image of figure one on the file attached. Many thanks! [Mentor Note -- Thread moved from a...
  38. R

    Engineering Want to study mechanical engineering.... but failing physics exams?

    Hi, I'm feeling pretty disheartened after failing my second college physics exam in a row (I have about a low C in the class with homework and labs). I'm a freshman in physics 1, my first college physics class, where we are learning mechanics. I took physics in high school but my teacher was...
  39. S

    Job Skills Future Mechanical Engineering Domains

    Hi, Which technology specializations within the mechanical engineering domain will be most demanded in the future? (I am looking for different technologies rather than for applications enabled by the technology. For example not 'robotics', but rather the technologies used for robotics) Thanks...
  40. J

    Heat transfer through a MultiLayer Cylinder (find the Temperature inside)

    Hello, I am a Mechanical Engineer a little out of practice on Heat transfer. I am trying to solve this problem. It must be solvable but i have yet to find right equations online. I have a multi Layer Cylinder made up of C350 marraging Steel,Zinc Alloy-12 , then 6061 Aluminum T6. All that is...
  41. S

    Online Mechanical Engineering program

    Summary:: From Physics to Mechanical Engineering Hi All, I am in search of some guidance to start my education/career in Mechanical Engineering. I have an undergraduate degree in Physic and would like to go for Master’s in Mechanical Engineering if possible. Does anyone have an experience...
  42. amelune

    Schools Universität Leipzig - Mechanical Engineering

    Hello everyone, This year I'm planning to apply for the bachelor program of IPSP. Since my high school is not qualified by DAAD, I have to complete at least one year in any other university and apply through uni-assist. I'm already in my second undergraduate year of Mechanical Engineering and...
  43. S

    Engineering Calculate consumption, displacement and speed using given standards

    I calculated the value of kgf/cm^2 from given values. In the second table (Force exerted by the pneumatic cylinders) I see my value 5.6 exactly but how do I then read the table to get the diameter of the cylinder and then the rod? I then am stuck on how to calculate the total consumption...
  44. C

    Calculating the force from a pump + nozzle system

    I am attempting to calculate the force (in KgF) of a water pump + nozzle system. I have the pump curve (head vs. flow rate) for the pump, the diameter of the connection hose (2 inches) and the nozzle diameter (1 inch). The connection hose between the pump and nozzle is very short (approx 10 cm)...
  45. M

    Calculating Shear Force between a Moving Film and a Cylinder

    If I have a catheter covered in a thin sheathe (think a cylinder, covered by a thin plastic film), how should I go about calculating the shear force it takes to unsheathe the catheter from the sheath (no torque here, just the catheter moving in and out)? I've thought about strain gauges (but...
  46. V

    EE or ME -- which do you find more difficult?

    I seem to be in a minority for thinking that mechanical engineering is more difficult than electrical engineering. Difficult for me, I mean. To me, mechanical engineering is more difficult largely because in mechanics your intuition and common sense are often trying to mislead you. With...
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