Books on the field of Mech. Engineering

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Are there books which could introduce me to the field of Mechanical Mngineering? or am I being too ambitious?

Thank you.
may i know your background? perhaps i can help.


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dekoi said:
Are there books which could introduce me to the field of Mechanical Mngineering? or am I being too ambitious?

Thank you.
The problem is that there are a variety of topics covered in mechanical engineering. One can do thermodynamics and heat transfer, fluid mechanics, structural engineering (statics and dynamics), mechanics of materials (related to materials science and engineering), corrosion (involves chemistry and materials), electro-mechanics (involves mechanics and electrical engineering). Then there are combinations, such as thermal-hydaulics or power conversion.

Structural engineering is sort of a hybrid of civil and mechanical engineering, and is recognized as a discipline in itself.

In what areas are you interested?
You can start with a book called Mechanics by JP Den Hartog. It's a Dover book and it run about $15. It's actually a very good book IMO and you'd be hardpressed to find a modern text that is better. Modern texts are printed on better paper and have more pictures but the concepts presented are the same and Hartog does a good job presenting the subject material. Hartog's mechanics covers statics and dynamics beginning with statics and then moving to the various approaches for dynamics.

The followon book in the series is called strength of materials and deals more with internal forces, moment balances, and a few other advanced 'mechanics' topics.

As Astronuc said there are different disciplines one must touch upon in order to become an ME.

One must touch on the topic of systems in order to become an ME. You have to know how a simple spring mass system will react to impulse forces or sinusoidal forces or step forces. A good book to help you on your way with understanding how simple systems operate and interact is called Dynamis of Physical Systems by Robert Cannon. Again, this too is a Dover book---My school used this book the first time I went through years and years ago and still uses it: it's a good book.

Thermo/fluid flow. Your on your own here. I hated thermo with a passion which is kind of odd because the transfer of heat from a hot rock into flowing water was what I did for six years.

Another topic central to becoming an ME is that of gear trains. Understanding how forces applied to a gear effect a system and which gear material to select and what gear shape to use and so on is very imortant. This subject falls under a catagory called machine design and includes 3,4, and 6 bar mechanism design, gear train, planetary gear systems, cam design, bearing design and selection, and a few other topics. Essentially one must learn how to find the forces acting on a machine and then determine if those forces will break the machine. I can't think of a single entry-level text that covers these topics off the top of my head unfortunetly. You could try the standard handbook of machine design by Joseph Shigley and Charles Mischke.

IMO you cannot be an ME without knowing how a lathe and mill work. The very best reference for this is Machinery's Handbook AKA the machine shop bible. This book has more information crammed inside than almost anyother book on the market IMO. There is a lot of very good information between the covers in this text.

A good little book to have around is: Mechanical Engineering Formulas Pocket Reference

Well, I've pratteled on long enough. Make sure you know your Calculus and Diff Eq before diving into these topics. Statics can be done with a minimal knowledge of Calc---simple derivatives and integrals, but dynamics requires that you understand a little bit of Diff Eq especially when first dealing with spring mass systems.

Have fun.

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