2017 Advanced Experiments for Mechanical Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Akasaka Hiroki 
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Course description and aims

Students in this course will learn about advanced topics within mechanical engineering through experience. Students will come into actual contact with machines, conducting experiments on the mechanical properties of materials, the critical speed of a rotation shaft, boiling and condensation, flow visualization measurements, fracture toughness, robot manipulators, and combustion flame, thereby deepening their understanding of mechanical engineering. Specifically, students will conduct experiments on the microstructure and mechanical properties of heat-treated steel, the critical speed and balancing of rotation shafts, heat transfer involving a phase change, the visualization and velocity measurement of a Karman vortex street, energy release rate and fracture toughness, the analysis and motion measurement of robot manipulator mechanisms, and combustion.
The main aim of this course is both to deepen students' understanding of mechanical engineering and improve critical thinking skills, practical skills, and problem-solving skills by conducting progressive experiments in mechanical engineering. In addition, students learn teamwork, leadership, communication skills, data collection, processing, and organization methods, observation methods, and how to write reports through these experiments.

Student learning outcomes

Students will acquire the following skills from taking this course.
1) Skills for explaining developmental aspects of mechanical engineering that cannot be learned just from classroom lectures
2) How to run experiments on advanced topics in mechanical engineering
3) Critical thinking skills, practical skills, and problem-solving skills
4) Teamwork, leadership, and communication skills


Mechanical properties of materials, Critical speed of a rotating shaft, Phase change, Boiling and condensation, Flow Visualization, Vortex, Fracture toughness, Analysis and control of robot manipulator mechanism, Combustion, Laminar and turbulent flame

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

At orientation in the first class, the instructor will explain the frame of mind and suggestions for students' experiments, as well as composition guidelines for experiment reports. From the second class on, students will be divided into 7 groups, and each research topic will be worked through. Reports must be submitted by the deadline. In addition, students are required to carefully read the experiment manual in advance to ensure experiments are run safely and smoothly.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation Students will gain an understanding of course description and aims, methods for conducting experiments, and how to write reports.
Class 2 Microstructures and mechanical properties of heat-treated steel Learning relationships between microstructures and mechanical properties of metal.
Class 3 Critical speed of a rotating shaft and a rotor balancing method Studying a mechanism of a critical speed of a rotating shaft, and the influence coefficient method as a vibration suppression technique.
Class 4 Heat transfer with phase change Understanding heat transfer with phase change in a liquid-vapor medium (boiling or condensation).
Class 5 Visualization and velocity measurements of Karman vortex street Visualizing and measuring the flow field behind an object and discuss the relations with relevant nondimensional parameters.
Class 6 Energy release rate and fracture toughness Understanding the fracture toughness and conduct an experiment of crack propagation under mode-I condition.
Class 7 Analysis, motion control and measurement of robot manipulator mechanism Kinetostatic analysis and motion control, measurement and result evaluation of robot manipulator mechanism.
Class 8 Combustion experiments Students will calculate the laminar burning velocity using the fire's form, and gain an understanding of how the burning velocity changes under different conditions. In addition, students will examine the influence of turbulence on fires.


Experiment manual "Advanced Experiments for Mechanical Engineering" is distributed by the instructor.

Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Students are required to attend all classes and perform all experiments. Students will be comprehensively evaluated on the content of experiment reports, as well as activeness and seriousness when participating in experiments and exercises.

Related courses

  • MEC.P211 : Basic Experiments for Mechanical Engineering
  • MEC.P212 : Applied Experiments for Mechanical Engineering
  • MEC.P332 : Frontal Experiments for Mechanical Engineering
  • MEC.C201 : Mechanics of Materials
  • MEC.E201 : Thermodynamics (Mechanical Engineeirng)
  • MEC.F201 : Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
  • MEC.D201 : Mechanical Vibrations
  • MEC.G211 : Mechanical Materials
  • MEC.I211 : Robot Kinematics
  • MEC.E331 : Energy Conversion

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are required to have successfully completed Basic Experiments for Mechanical Engineering(MEC.P211.A), Advanced Experiments for Mechanical Engineering(MEC.P211.A), Mechanics of Materials (MEC.C201.R), Thermodynamics (MEC.E201.R), Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics(MEC.F201.R), Mechanical Vibrations(MEC.D201.R), Theory of Elasticity and Plasticity(MEC.C211.A), Practical Fluid Mechanics(MEC.F211.A), Fundamentals of Analytical Dynamics(MEC.D231.E), Mechanical Materials(MEC.G211.A), and Robot Kinematics(MEC.I211.A), or have equivalent knowledge.

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