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Strain and Motion Measurement

"Without measurement there can be no science and therefore no engineering."

3 semester credits

Spring semester 2004

Scheduled meeting times:

MWF 11:30-12:20;but the time can be changed to accommodate the needs of participants; Room 1314 EB
Approx. 10 laboratory experiments at average of 2 hours each; by arrangement.

Note on enrollment process:

Because the course is open to students from other fields, such as physics, enrollment might involve an extra step. The computerized enrollment system might not allow you to enroll directly. In this case, obtain an "over-ride" form from the secretary in the Mechanical Engineering Department. This is a nuisance, but it is routine and takes only a few minutes. In the meantime, we are trying to fix the problem.


Prof. Gary Cloud
Materials Science and Mechanics Dept.
College of Engineering
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
email Prof. Cloud

phone: 517-355-9574


Experimental Stress Analysis 3rd Edition
J.W. Dally and W.F. Riley
College House Enterprises, LLC, 1991
5713 Clen Cove Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919-8611


Grading basis:


Perform quantitive observations of the responses of an object or objects (structure) to a system of forces (loads).

Ancillary purpose:

Learn how to utilize sensors and measurement technologies to obtain valid data that are useful in science and engineering.


Experimental mechanics is of fundamental importance in engineering, since it deals with the actual responses of objects in the real world. It is important in support of design and manufacturing, first in determining service loads and secondly in establishing the performance of components and structures. With increasing involvment of complex materials, including biomaterials and semiconductors, and interest in ever-smaller sensors and actuators, including MEMS devices, obtaining valid experimental data is critical. Nondestructive evaluation, another component of experimental mechanics, is increasingly required to measure the integrity of structures before and after service.


This course should be of interest to persons who are interested in experimental mechanics, sensors, physics, stress analysis, motion measurement, engineering design, structural testing, metrology, nondestructive inspection , and similar fields.

Coverage and approach:

The syllabus will follow the textbook quite closely. Supplemental reading material on motion measurement and optical methods will be provided.

Topics and approximate hours are:
	topic					hours
basic measurements, experimental mechanics      4 
resistance strain gages	                       10
transducers and sensors                         5
motion measurement                             10
photoelasticity                                 5
moire introduction                              2
holography introduction                         2
speckle methods introduction                    3

Laboratory experiments:

Laboratory experience with all the methods is included in the course. Laboratory experiments and demonstrations are listed below. The approach is specifically designed to accommodate students of various backgrounds, including but not limited to physics and engineering.

Note: Typically, the class meets periodically in the lab for demonstrations related to the experiments. The experiment stations are left set up, so that students can perform the experiments singly or in pairs at any time.
Some flexibility in choice of experiments is provided to accommodate students from areas other than solid mechanics.

Prof. Cloud assists Derek Polzien, Mike Gerard, and Rod Prior in modal analysis of the 1997 Formula SAE race car frame.

Created: 6 April 1998 by Gary Cloud
Last Update: 12 Jan. 2004