Mechanical engineering Definition and 165 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. enigmaticbacon

    Capybaras and Stonehenge

    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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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 +...
  8. Y

    Rolling pendulum angular acceleration

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  9. 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...
  10. Shankar Das

    What textbook are these Mechanical Engineering dynamics practice problems from?

    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...
  11. E

    Designing a Lifter

    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...
  12. S

    Engineering McCauley's Beam Problem

    Can you help me answer this question please?
  13. 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?
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. 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)...
  20. ramadhankd

    Engineering Kinematics Problem

  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. C

    How do I gain creative experience in engineering?

    Summary: (undergrad student) What is something I can do this summer to develop my creative instinct in engineering? Hey everyone! I am currently an undergrad freshman studying mechanical engineering. I love the courses and I understand the scientific concepts, but I know that engineering is a...
  24. G

    Pendulum Hammer Impact Force Calculation

    Hi all, I'm a bit embarrassed but I'm extremely rusty with a lot of engineering principles. I've mainly been working in automation and controls within a manufacturing setting and have not done anything like this in ages. Anyways, I have a problem I need to solve and I need to determine the...
  25. C

    Automotive Mechanism needed

    Hello, for my current physics-project i am searching a mechanism: When there is to much friction on a rotating axle, it should reverse the direction and go on, till the mechanism starts all over again. I would love to solve this with pure mechanical parts, like springs gears etc... If you have...
  26. K

    Engineering Getting Bored of my Engineering job

    My apologies if the question is in the wrong forum or section. Anyway, I'm a mechanical engineer with 2 years of work experience and have just recently moved to a new company. And just like in my previous job, fatigue seems to be kicking in. The job is basically a mountain of documentation...
  27. R

    Balancing a shaft using mrL and mr vectors

    Homework Statement Homework Equations Trigonometry equations, p=m/v, A = pi * d^2 / 4 The Attempt at a Solution i) mass calculated is 9.318kg at 150° from A ii) diameter = 0.235m I apologize for the messy working, I am just wondering if I have followed the correct procedure or not...
  28. E

    Engineering Recommendations for Books [HNC in mech eng]

    Hi Everyone, I'm currently working toward a HNC in Mechanical Engineering and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for books to help me out. Ideally what I would like is something that actually breaks the formulas down to their components and explains everything in plain English. If...
  29. D

    Programs Change of Major from Mechanical Engineering to Material Science

    Hello guys, I received an admit to grad school for Mechanical Engineering, where my focus was initially Thermo-Fluids . I've also enquired about the Material Science department at the University(in the USA), and they are willing to let me transfer to the Material Science department provided I...
  30. B

    How to calculate the torque for a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT)

    For my senior design project we are designing a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) and trying to increase efficiency by adding flexible parts to the blades. We are currently in the process of ordering a motor/generator where we can test our new model against the same model but with standard...
  31. NimzCr7

    Rising of a liquid during rotataion in a cylinder

    Homework Statement [/B] A 25-cm-diameter, 100-cm-high cylindrical container, (as shown), is partially filled with 75-cm-high liquid (density = 900 kg/m3). Determine the rotational speed at which the liquid will start spilling. Calculate the gauge pressure at the centre of the bottom of the tank...
  32. E

    Confusion about relation of entropy with temperature.

    Why can sometimes entropy remain constant with increase of temperature and vice versa?Entropy implies transfer of heat and heat must increase with temperature.I am unable to intuitively understand.
  33. tito agiffaz efata

    Steam heating system transfers heat to a room (Thermodynamics)

    Homework Statement A steam heating system is used in winter season, The radiator of a steam heating system has a volume of 25 liters and is filled with superheated water vapor at 200 kPa and 200C. At this moment both the inlet and the exit valves to the radiator are closed. After a while it is...
  34. claraberner

    Mohr's Circle does y-axis = max strain or max strain/2?

    This isn't a problem assignment per-say, but for a lab calculation. In my mechanics of material's class, we learned that the radius of Mohr's circle is the maximum strain, but now in my application lab-based class, the video is saying the radius is equal to the maximum strain divided by 2. So...
  35. thepikminman

    Fluid Mechanics - Why? How? Why?

    Hi, I've been studying fluid mechanics for my mech. engineering degree for the past few months. Unlike my other subjects (mechanical analysis, thermodynamics, automated systems, mechanical vibrations), I can't seem to grasp the problem-solving technique. The annoying thing is, I find the...
  36. A

    How to calculate the force to cut a log?

    Good morning guys, So i want to make mechanism to cut log with diameter 5 cm and 120 cm length. So how i can calculate the force to cut this log perpendicular and paralel. What is tbe formula i can use? And how i can determine the saw thickness and rpm needed to cut this log? Thanks guys for...
  37. E

    Molecular Dynamics Simulation - How Do You Find Parameters?

    Hi all, I'm doing a bit of material science research at my university. I'm running molecular dynamics simulation programs like Lammps and Amber as part of it, and I'm pretty new to the whole thing (just like I'm pretty new to this forum). I'd like to ask, has anyone here used Amber to find their...
  38. thepikminman

    Vibrations - Modeling system, equation of motion

    Vibrations - Modelling system, equation of motion Hi, In the first question (question 4) in the attached file, how would you go about modelling the system and finding the equation of motion? All those masses are confusing me, I don't even know where to start. I don't know whether the angle...
  39. D

    Coupling two mechanical pieces for a telescope mount

    Hello PF community! Quick introduction: I'm a fresh-out-university mechanical engineer working on a telescope altitude-azimuth mount hobby project. The mount will be designed using rotary platforms (powered by internal motors) to move the mount structure in the altitude and azimuth directions...
  40. Kaura

    Advice for Upcoming Classes

    Sophomore Intended Mechanical Engineering here. I have a pretty nice schedule this time around, all STEM classes. Most are easy but I have Differential Equations, Physics II, and Statics which are the hard ones. I have a lot of free time to study over the next few weeks and wanted to try to...
  41. ramzerimar

    Engineering MechE working with software?

    I'm at the third year of my MechE course, and in those three years I've developed a keen interest in software/coding. I still like my degree, things like fluid dynamics/aerodynamics fascinate me, but more and more I see myself working with software and coding. One of the things that I like about...
  42. ramzerimar

    Courses Is CFD fluid mechanics + computer science?

    I'm having fluid dynamics classes right now and I'm enjoying it very much (much more than my solid mechanics classes, by the way). Also, I do like programming and computer science, and CFD looks like a very interesting field. I'm developing a real interest for it. One question for those who are...
  43. rfranceschetti

    Engineering The relationship of a mechanical engineer with electricity

    Hi all, I have in mind that an engineering project tends to be quite "integrated", as in, it envolves different engineers. So, for instance, in order to build an aircraft, you need not only a mechanical engineer, but also an EE, Materials, managers, etc etc. So lots of teamwork. However, I'd...
  44. S

    Understanding FEA Results

    Hello, I have a fairly simple question but I guess I am having a hard time trying to understand it. I have a plastic connection of two different geometries (see attachment). When I hold end of the front portion (of the uniform diameter) and apply torque at the bigger cylinder geometry, there...
  45. Sanchayan Ghosh

    How to further metrology study from machine design approach?

    Hello, I have metrology in my 4 semester in Bachelor's of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. However, the books that we get (Engineering Metrology, R.K Jain,) give only a brief principle of how the instruments work. I want to further my study of this subject with an intention to design...
  46. D

    Engineering Chemical vs Mechanical Engineering

    I am a high school senior caught between these two fields. they both seem very exciting and I am not sure which would be better suited for my interests. In high school, my favorite subjects have been Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science. I am interested in working to develop: -more...
  47. B

    Can someone explain the theory of impact of jets?

    So I did this lab on momentum on jets and the theory is that "a force is applied on the plate due to change of momentum" the jet both impacted on a flat plate and on a hemispherical plate; now i understand that the greater the angle of deflection of the water jet, the greater the change of...
  48. UMath1

    Engineering Engineering Degrees and Job Prospects

    I have been accepted to the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering for Mechanical Engineering in Fall 2017. I'll be starting as a sophomore because I have finished all my general education requirements. However, I am not entirely sure I want to stick to MechE. I have been considering Chemical...
  49. S

    Programs Physics Minor - Course Selection for ME

    Hello! I'm a Mechanical Engineering major considering a minor in Applied Physics; however, there are so many choices and I like all of them. I was hoping someone could give me some feedback. Perhaps, what physics courses are most relevant for a Mechanical Engineer. In my university, New Jersey...
  50. hdp12

    Trying to saw a 1/2 in Al rod in half with only 4 AA batteries as the power source

    Hi there So we have a group design project in my mechanical systems 2 class and it basically goes as follows: design a mechanism to cut a half inch aluminum bar in half using a standard hacksaw blade and 4 AA batteries. You have to use a motor w/ input > 5000 rpm for the 'main' component we...
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