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11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the mechanical element that holds a worm gear shaft in place called?

Here is an image of a worm gear. What is english word for mechanical element (two of them will be necessary for a worm gear) in which the worm shaft will "lie" and rotate? Here is one photo of the ...
11
votes
2answers
907 views

Would a “lifting body” design be useful for a train car?

Lifting Body The idea of a lifting body design is to shape a vehicle's body in such a way as to produce lift without wings. Research has shown that this can be an efficient method of reducing drag ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Why do we even use engineering stress?

Surprisingly this hasn't been asked before, so I must be missing something simple. We use engineering stress and engineering strain in this eq. Stress = (Young's modulus) × (strain). This eq. is ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

How is lift related to airspeed?

Lift produced by an airplane wing is related to airspeed - this much is clear; a plane moving too slowly will stall. But what is that relation? Linear? Quadratic? Exponential? I don't need the exact ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What makes the material travel through Archimedes' Screw?

...or in other words, why doesn't the material just stick to the screw, rotating in place, without progressing along its length? In the simplest case, the answer is obvious: gravity. If it's a ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Thermoelectric Technology to Harvest Energy from Internal Combustions Engines

Background: In an automobile, only 1/3 of the potential energy in the fuel is converted into mechanical energy and significant portion of the energy is lost as heat. There have been previous ...
11
votes
3answers
869 views

At what temperature do I risk altering the structure of steel?

If I have structural or tool steel that has been treated to some standard (ASTM, SAE, ISO -- e.g., for hardness) but I don't know the details of the treatment, is there a "safe" temperature below ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

How different are dc motor designs from dc generator designs?

Some dc motors can be used as generators as well by applying mechanical torque to the output shaft to induce a current. However, even if a dc motor can do this, I imagine they were not designed for ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Buckling: Do buckling mode shapes of n > 1 occur in reality?

In the buckling of columns we know that: $$P = \dfrac{n^2\pi^2EI}{L^2}$$ The smallest value of P occurs when $n=1$ which gives a simple buckling shape (one wave): $$P_{cr} = \dfrac{\pi^2EI}{L^2}$$ ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are tremors of an earthquake felt more on upper floors?

Why are tremors of an earthquake felt most on the upper floors of a building in comparison to lower floors? Does this have something to do with a third class lever?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do beverage can tabs break when bent?

Most people have had the experience of moving the tab of an aluminum can back and forth until it breaks off. It usually only takes a few complete back and forth motions before the tab breaks off. ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Do structural engineers carry insurance for catastrophic errors?

A friend of mine is a structural engineer and he often complains to me about how little sleep he gets at night worrying over whether or not he accounted for all the little details involved in his ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the steel grade “11SMn30” mean?

I am starting to use steel in some of my designs, and while trying to learn more about this material and its properties I have realized that there is so much more to it than I thought. How does the ...
11
votes
2answers
213 views

Is a chair with N+1 wheels ever less stable than a chair with N wheels?

My workplace has a policy to provide standing desks upon request, but no policy to provide chairs of matching height. (I work for the government...) We can buy our own, or build our own. However ...
11
votes
3answers
491 views

How different is using styrofoam rather than empty cans when pouring concrete?

In the recent 6.4 earthquake that hit Taiwan, it was seen in a newswire photograph of rubble that metal cans were embedded in the concrete. The quote from an official regarding this practice: For ...
11
votes
1answer
584 views

Avoid snapping an electric cable from too much rotation

I recently built the basic construction for a crane out of lightweight material. Basically the head of the crane contains an electric servo motor which spins the head of the crane by pushing itself ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Which turbulence models are suitable for CFD analysis on a streamlined vehicle body?

Many commercial and open-source CFD codes implement several closure methods for the non-linear convective acceleration term of the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. Common methods (...
11
votes
1answer
915 views

How does a microbolometer (IR camera) work?

I am currently doing a project which has led me to my first encounter with IR cameras, and I am therefore quite curious as to how they operate. Specifically, I would like to know the following How is ...
11
votes
2answers
193 views

How accurately are moveable span bridges balanced?

Movable span bridges (bascule and lift) typically employ a counterweight to help reduce the amount of energy and size of motor required to move the span. Due to variations in the the construction of ...
11
votes
3answers
393 views

Why are mass-produced metal parts machined by rotating the part against a stationary tool?

There's a TV programme called "How It's Made" which often shows automation of mass-produced machined parts. Very often, it seems that metal parts are machined (especially drilled) by rotating the part ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Would an object at the bottom of the sea still experience buoyancy? [closed]

So I understand that buoyancy happens because the fluid exerts larger amounts of pressure from beneath an object compared to above, like in this picture So my question is, what if the object is ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I reject a concrete mix design for having too high of a compressive strength?

I usually design precast concrete members for the common concrete strength of f'c=4,000 psi at 28 days. Occasionally, a mix design will be submitted that has a very high strength. In one case, the mix ...
11
votes
1answer
838 views

How to determine the lateral earth pressure in a double-walled cofferdam?

The design of a retaining wall commonly involves determining the lateral earth pressure using either Rankine theory or Coulomb theory. Both theories involve mobilising the shear resistance of a ...
11
votes
2answers
786 views

How are wind tunnel models used when designing supersonic aircraft?

There are two things involved: wave drag and boundary layer separation. The wave drag depends on the Mach number while the latter depends on the Reynolds number of the flow. It's easy to maintain the ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I calculate the forces on a desk and its legs?

I have a design for a desk, and I'd like to not just guess at how strong it'll be, but I can't find an explanation on how to figure out all the forces involved that doesn't assume I already know a lot ...
11
votes
2answers
398 views

Does a Faraday cage effectively act as a notch filter?

In reading about Faraday cages, I have found that most "real world" designs incorporate multiple layers of mesh. For example, this article from the National High Magnetic Field Lab discusses several ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Detailed dimensions of an aircraft engine compressor blade

I am working on rub-induced vibrations in compressor stages of aircraft engines. The work is carried out in partnership with a company, therefore there is a limited amount of it that could be ...
11
votes
2answers
368 views

Foiling vortex traps around buildings

I have had three houses with right angles in the layout, and in each one that configuration causes vortices to form that suck in leaves, snow, and any debris blowing by and keep it in the nook of the ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate Power of motor when used as a generator?

How can you calculate how much power can be generated by a motor when used as a generator (like a motor used in a wind turbine)? Does the power depend on how fast the magnet is rotated? If so, is ...
11
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the difference between “Crushed Stone” and “Crushed Gravel” aggregate?

Crushing Question While reading a material specification for crushed aggregate, the text mentions both "crushed stone" and "crushed gravel" are acceptable. These materials sound very similar, but ...
11
votes
1answer
142 views

How do the bubble oscillations in two-phase flows affect the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy?

I am investigating the effects of bubble oscillations (calculated using the Rayleigh-Plesset equation for bubble dynamics) on the turbulence in two-phase flows. Since I am using cryogenic fluids, the ...
11
votes
1answer
286 views

Determining RTK parameters for runoff analysis

I am examining a watershed and determining runoff using the RTK method. I basically use a 'guess and check the hydrograph' method right now. I've seen calibrators that use a mutation and convergence ...
11
votes
4answers
954 views

Preventing condensate backup at startup with orifice (venturi) steam traps on medium pressure batch process mains?

I am working with 1" medium pressure steam mains (45 psig) for a batch process. Time between batches is usually short (to the order of minutes) but depending on the day the delay can be hours, and ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Strength of a welded steel gate with vertical bars vs. crossed diagonal bars

Looking for some hints on how to create a rough estimate for the following problem. Given two steel gates with the same dimensions, same material - e.g. everything is the same. The only difference ...
10
votes
5answers
16k views

How to calculate lever force when lever has uniformed distributed load?

We have a simple class 1 lever: $$\begin {array}{c} \text {5,000 kg} \\ \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \downarrow \, \...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there different solar panels for recapturing energy from household lighting?

I have been investigating recapturing energy from house lighting using solar panels. Are there solar panels specifically designed to capture indoor lighting with a higher efficiency? If so, what are ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is it unwise to choose cylindrical horizontal beam

I heard that it is unwise to choose cylindrical horizontal beam. My question is why?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Could a gold/{second metal} crown be created that would pass the Archimedes test cost effectively?

Many people are familiar with the story of Archimedes submerging a crown in water to identify if the volume of the crown was consistent with the volume of the same amount of gold. The test was to see ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why were engineers negligent in the 1981 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse?

I was recently reading up on the 1981 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse. It was a tragic loss of life and haunts many to this day. The linked article does a better job of summarizing things, but here's ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why was a coil chosen over a straight for this overbridge?

I saw this meme on Facebook showing a coiled railway overbridge and an alternative plan. I replied that straightening that overbridge will force it to start at the other side of the road, and you need ...
10
votes
3answers
836 views

Does good electrical conductivity imply good thermal conductivity?

Typically materials which are good conductor of electricity are also good conductor of heat, and vice versa. Are there notable exceptions?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is an engineer's liability for code changes that occur after submitting a design?

What if any liability would an engineer have in the following situation? This is specifically in reference to engineering within the USA. An engineer produces a design and plans that meet the ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a permanent platform that is hanging and moving a dead load or a live load?

If a permanent room or platform is suspended from a larger structure (say, on a cable that is attached to a hook on a track in a ceiling) and designed to be in constant but not necessarily repetitive ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does column buckling occur when the load is parallel to the column?

I'm studying Euler's work on structural engineering from a book out of curiosity and it is mentioned that he developed a mathematical theory describing the buckling of columns under a parallel load (...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How does one go about building an underground structure without concrete?

I was reading an article that was linked on another site I frequent on "India's forgotten stepwells", which are basically elaborate wells with stairs to go down to the water level, sometimes 10 m or ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

How would adding a wind deflector in front of roof-mounted solar panels affect drag on an RV?

I am mounting solar panels on top of a recreational vehicle (RV). To reduce drag, I was planning on building a small ramp in front of the panels to deflect wind before it hits the flat panel and ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are small car engines designed to tolerate a higher duty cycle than large car engines?

For simplicity we're going to ignore aerodynamics and vehicle mass for a moment... Are small (around 1 litre) car engines designed to tolerate a higher duty cycle than large (2+ litre) car engines? ...
10
votes
3answers
34k views

How to determine the characteristic length in reynolds number calculations in general?

I understand that the reynolds number is given by the expression $Re=\frac{\rho v L}{\mu}$, where $\rho$ is the density, $v$ is the fluid velocity and $\mu$ is the dynamic viscosity. For any given ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How is a mechanical system designed and tested without building a physical model?

I am new to mechanical engineering, although I have a scientific background (postgrad in Mathematics), and I (mostly) code for a living. I have an idea about creating a mechanical device; I envisage ...
10
votes
1answer
724 views

How can Pareto Analysis help solve engineering problems?

Attach is a Pareto Diagram with Number of Defects in Y-axis vs Causes in X-axis for an engine overheating problem. How can this Pareto diagram help an engineer solve the engine overheating problem? ...

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