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Engineering mechanics: solids

Introduction and contents

The materials listed below are presented on the following pages of this unit in pdf format.

  • Block 1: Geometry of mechanisms

    • Unit 1: Mechanisms

    • Unit 2: Mechanisms 2

  • Block 2: Statics

    • Unit 3: Forced and moments

    • Unit 4: Modelling with free-body diagrams

  • Block 3: Kinematics

    • Unit 5: Motion

    • Unit 6: Velocity diagrams

  • Block 4: Dynamics

    • Unit 7/8: Dynamics

  • Block 5: Acceleration

    • Unit 9A: Compensation forces

    • Unit 9B: Acceleration diagrams

  • Block 6: Structures

    • Unit 10: Stress analysis

    • Unit 11: Structural components

  • Block 7: Energy and momentum

    • Unit 12/13: Energy and momentum

  • Block 8: Vibration

    • Unit 14: Vibration

  • Block 9: Design study

    • Unit 15: The mechanics of an electric lift

Learning outcomes

  • This material is taken from a discontinued Open University course. It is intended for re-purposing and re-use by educators rather than for use directly by learners. Learning outcomes appropriate to the original course may be provided within the material, but it is intended that educators will construct new learning outcomes appropriate to the re-use they make of this material.

Engineering mechanics: solids

About this course

This course introduces the subject areas of Kinematics, Statics and Dynamics, in the context of Engineering Mechanics. The course is mainly concerned with the application of these topics to the analysis and design of solid bodies, as distinct from the closely related areas of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics.

Kinematics is the study of motion. Statics is the study of forces on stationary objects. Dynamics is the study of forces on moving bodies. These are the analytical tools used by the design engineer.

The aims of the course are therefore two fold. Firstly, it aims to teach the basic analytical methods, that is, the fundamental concepts and techniques of solid engineering mechanics. Secondly, it aims, in a limited way, to show the implementation of these methods in engineering design. The limited time available to study the course has meant that the Course Team have had to lay the emphasis on the analytical methods. The underlying assumption has been that, if students acquired a solid foundation in analysis from this course, then its implementation in design would become apparent both in future courses and in the mechanical engineering that surrounds them every day.

Suggested study hours 135

Format pdf for 9 books

Where is this from?

These materials comprise the core teaching text of T235, which is an introductory course to mechanical/aeronautical/materials engineering. Engineering mechanics: solids was last presented in 2003.

What is included?

On the basis that ‘it is better to do a few things well’ the Course Team adopted a policy of simplification of course components. Their watchword was ‘if in doubt, leave it out’. The course as a whole, thus, comprised:

  • nine blocks covering fifteen unit texts, some bound in pairs;

  • supplementary notes with assignments;

  • eight television programmes;

  • audio-cassettes;

  • residential school;

Each unit contains its own set of aims and learning outcomes.

The course does not include: supplementary notes, television programmes, audio-cassettes, residential school.

A note on answers

In breaking this course down to the unit level in order to provide pdfs with a manageable file size we have separated some self-assessment questions and exercises from their back-of-the-book answers. In order to locate these answers, return to the page containing the links to the pdfs and select the final 'view document' link on the page. The answers will be found towards the end of this file.

Course materials

Block 1 Geometry of Mechanisms

Unit 1 Mechanisms 1; Unit 2 Mechanisms 2 - these units introduce some simple mechanisms and show how combinations of mechanisms are use to form complex machines. The fundamental concepts of motion, such as position, velocity, acceleration and jerk, are explained along with the idea of scalar and vector quantities. Methods are given for the analysis of machines.

Unit 1 Mechanisms 1

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Unit 2 Mechanisms 2

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Block 2 Statics

Unit 3 Forced and moments - this unit introduces the ideas of forces, moments and strength, and employs these quantities in static analysis – the analysis of forces and moments on stationary bodies. The unit also teaches about Newton’s laws of motion and, in particular, the application of Newton’s first law to statics problems.

Unit 4 Modelling with free-body diagrams - this unit is devoted to explaining how to select free bodies in static analysis and how to draw the related free-body diagrams. A procedure for using free-body diagrams to solve statics problems is set out.

Unit 3 Forced and moments

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Unit 4 Modelling with free-body diagrams

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Block 3 Kinematics: Motion/ Velocity diagrams

Unit 5 Motion - introduces methods of representing and analysing motion in mechanisms: the kinematics of mechanisms.

Unit 6 Velocity diagrams - extends the kinematic explanation and analysis of Unit 5 to the construction of velocity diagrams for mechanisms and for components of mechanisms.

Unit 5 Motion

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Unit 6 Velocity diagrams

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Block 4 Dynamics

Units 7/8 Dynamics - these are used to introduce the fundamentals of dynamic analysis – the analysis of forces (and moments) on moving bodie3s – using Newton’s laws of motion, especially the second and third laws. Procedures are presented for dynamic analysis of both particles and rigid bodies, where appropriate in both translational and rotational motion. The analysis concerns the relationships between acceleration (including angular acceleration) and the forces and moments applied to a rigid body.

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Block 5 Acceleration

Unit 9 is concerned with two topics, namely compensation forces, centrifugal force, for example, in analysis relative to moving axes, and the construction of acceleration diagrams for simple mechanisms.

Unit 9A Compensation forces

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Acceleration diagrams

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Block 6 Structures

Unit 10 Stress analysis - explains the concepts of stress and strain and the use of stress analysis to predict the performance of components.

Unit 11 Structural components - introduces simple structural components, such as ties, beams and struts, together with the static analysis of such components under load.

Stress analysis

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Structural components

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Block 7 Energy and momentum

Units 12/13 Energy and momentum - these units introduces the ideas of work, energy, power, momentum and impulse, and present procedures for using these concepts in dynamic analysis.

Units 12/13 Energy and momentum

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Block 8 Vibration

Unit 14 Vibration - explains the basic concepts of free and forced vibration for simple spring-mass systems (with or without damping), including natural frequency, amplitude, phase and resonance. The principles of vibration isolation are also illustrated.

Unit 14 Vibration

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Block 9 Design and Study

Unit 15 The mechanics of an electric lift - this unit is a case study, based on the mechanical design of an electric lift, intended to show the application of many of the concepts and procedures which are given in the preceding Units to a practical engineering design.

Unit 15 The mechanics of an electric lift

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