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BTEC Higher National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering- VT720

BTEC Higher National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering- VT720

Learner name
Course title BTEC Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering- VT720
Assignment Designer name Dr. Asimakopoulos Antonios
Internal Verifier name Galaitsis Giorgos Date 25.11.2014
Unit number and title 62. Strengths of Materials – K/601/1409
Assignment title A02: ‘Loading on Columns and Struts. Behaviour of loaded structural members.’
Group work NO
Outcome number(s) and statement(s) 2. Be able to determine the behavioural characteristics of loaded beams, columns and struts

3. Be able to determine the behavioural characteristics of loaded structural members by the consideration of strain energy

Date set 26.11.2014 Hand-in date 30.01.2015
Review dates

BTEC Higher National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering- VT720

I confirm that the work submitted for this assignment is my own.
Learner signature Date


Purpose/aims This assignment provides the student with the opportunity to acquire knowledge on basic engineering problems. The student will investigate the effects of loading on columns and struts. Also he/she will investigate the behavior of loaded structural members by considering stain energy.
Background or scenario You want to spend six months of practice as a Mechanical Engineer in ABH Company, one of the biggest Engineering Structural Company in Croatia. The day of your interview, your potential supervisor asks you to solve the following tasks in order to find out what your level of knowledge is. She gives you a laptop connected to Internet to write your answers and she wants back your assignment report showing all intermediate steps to the solution. Click Here
Task # Task Assessment criteria
1 1.       The shown column is subjected to asymmetrical load 100kΝ on point K. Determine the stress distribution on the section.

2.       The shown wall is vertical and subjected to asymmetrical loads P1 = 0.8kN and  P2 = 6kN. If the wall’s height is 12cm, determine the stress distribution on the section HFGL.

BTEC Higher National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering- VT720



(task #1.1)


(task #1.2)


2 Determine:

1.       the critical load for the square strut.

2.       the radius of the round strut for which both struts have the same critical load.

3.       the cross sectional area of the square strut as a percentage of the cross sectional area of the round strut.


Given: E = 200GPa.

 BTEC Higher National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering- VT720 P2.4



In orded to determine the modulus of elasticity of metals, you carried out a set of tests, using the test machine of Mediterranean College Engineering Lab applying the critical load criterion. The metal struts used for the machine’s recalibration were 1.2m long and 16mm in diameter and once tested the samples had the shape that you can see in Figure B. 5 measurements were carried out, the results of which can be found in table A. If the machine is working perfectly, which metal from the Table B was used for the measurement?

Table A  Mechanical Engineering8 Table B
#1 18.4kN Magnesium 45GPa
#2 18.5kN Aluminium 69GPa
#3 18.8kN Brass 100GPa
#4 18.6kN Copper 117GPa
#5 18.4kN Steel 200GPa

Determine the strain energy of the steel rod ABC subjected to direct loading P = 25kN.

Use E = 200GPa

 Mechanical Engineering8 P3.1
Determine the strain energy of the beam, due to direct and shear loading, caused by bending.  Mechanical Engineering8
Rod AC is made of aluminum and subjected to a torque T applied at point C. Knowing that G = 73GPa and that portion BC of the rod hollow has an inner diameter of 16mm, determine the strain energy due to torsion of the rod for a maximum shearing stress of 120MPa.
5 Mechanical Engineering6 Determine the elastic deflection at point A, makin appropriate use of Castigliano’ s theorem.


EI is constant and known.


In order to validate deflection calculations, you carried out tests at TEI Piraeus (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Laboratory I) using 3 different loads (5tn, 8tn, 11tn) on point C. The results are shown on the table below. Compare the test results with your calculations!

ΕΙ=60000 tn.m2

 Mechanical Engineering8 Table
5tn 2.53mm
8tn 5.06mm
11tn 7.19mm
7 1.       A cube of weight W is fallen to the free bound of a cantilever strut of length L, left from height h. Predict the deflection of the bound of the strut due to the shock loading.

2.       A cube of weight 1kΝ is fallen to the middle of a simply supported tie of length 5m, left from height 100m. The diameter of the tie is 100mm and its elasticity is 200GPa. Predict the maximum deflection of the tie due to the shock loading.



8 In task #2, two different struts have been considered. Make effective judgements about the suitability of them, according to their cross-section surface. M1
9 Select an alternative method to solve the beam of task #5. Compare and evaluate both methods (Castigliano and proposed by you). M2
10 Coherently present and communicate work using technical language accurately. Provide the appropriate sketches for all tasks and prepare a 10 min oral presentation using PowerPoint (on solving the pass criteria). M3
11 In Task #4.1, criticise the approach of strain energy instead of conventional methods. D1
12 Provide evidence on how the assignment activities you have solved were planned, managed and organized. D2
13 In Task #2.4, think about two alternative materials, which could be used instead of the given one. Decide which is more suitable, in terms of dimension minimizing. D3
Distinction For a DISTINCTION grade ALL the MERIT criteria must be achieved together with ALL of the following:

D1. Self-criticism of approach has taken place


D2. Substantial activities, research projects or investigations have been planned, managed and organised.


D3. ideas have been generated and decisions taken


Merit For a MERIT grade ALL the PASS criteria must be achieved together with ALL of the following:

M1. an effective approach to study and research has been applied


M2. a range of methods and techniques have been applied


M3. A range of methods of presentation have been used and technical language has been accurately used


Pass For a PASS grade the following criteria must be achieved:
P2.3 Determine the stress distribution in columns and walls which are subjected to asymmetrical bending.


P2.4 Determine the appropriate critical load for axially loaded struts.


P2.5 Carry out tests to validate critical load calculations.


P3.1 Determine the strain energy stored in a member due to direct loading, shear loading, bending and torsion.


P3.2 Determine the elastic deflection of loaded members making appropriate use of Castigliano’s theorem.


P3.3 Carry out tests to validate deflection calculations.


P3.4 Predict the effects of shock loading on struts and ties.

(here you tic each criteria achieved by the student in the present assignment. When all assignments are marked, a similar summary table will be formed and used for the final grade. If there are only 2 assignments remove the line ‘ASS 3’. If there are 4 assignments, add a line named ASS 4, and so on).

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