Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook

 Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook

Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook

The first volume of the fourth edition of the Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook is comprised of two major parts. The first part, Materials, has 15 chapters. All of them appeared in the third edition; 10 have been updated for this new edition. They cover metals, plastics, composites, ceramics, smart materials, and electronic materials and packaging. The metals covered are carbon, alloy, and stainless steels; aluminum and aluminum alloys; copper and copper alloys; titanium alloys; nickel and its alloys; magnesium and its alloys; and superalloys. The intent in all of the materials chapters is to provide readers with expert advice on how particular materials are typically used and what criteria make them suitable for specific purposes.

This part of Volume I concludes with a chapter on sources of materials data, the intent being to provide readers with guidance on finding reliable information on materials properties, in addition to those that can be found in this volume, and a chapter on analytical methods of materials selection, which is intended to give readers techniques for specifying which materials might be suitable for particular applications.

The second part of Volume 1, Engineering Mechanics, has 12 chapters, half of them new to the handbook. They cover a broad range of topics, including the fundamentals of stress analysis (this chapter, in the handbook since the first edition in 1986, has been updated for the first time), force measurement (new), strain measurement (new), the finite-element method, viscosity measurement (new), tribology measurements (new), vibration and shock (updated from the third edition), acoustics (new), and acoustics measurements (new).

There is a three-chapter section on methodologies that engineers use to predict failures with three major classes of materials—metals, plastics, and ceramics (all three chapters have been updated). I have removed the chapter on lubrication of machine elements, which had been unchanged since the first edition in 1986. I was unable through the years and handbook editions to get anyone to update the chapter. The material is too old by now and many of the references can no longer be accessed (some of the organizations that developed referenced materials have simply disappeared).

The chapters on viscosity and tribology measurements serve as replacements. The chapters on acoustics and acoustics measurements replace the chapter, Noise Measurements and Control, which had been unchanged since the first edition. Chapters from the mechanical design section, formerly in this volume, have been moved to Volumes 2 and 3, with the exception of the chapter on electronic materials and packaging. Prefaces to those volumes provide further details on the move. Contributors of the chapters in Volume 1 include professors, engineers working in industry, and consultants, mainly from North America, but also from Egypt, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, and India. I would like to thank all of them for the considerable time and effort they put into preparing their chapters. Steel is the most common and widely used metallic material in today’s society. It can be cast or wrought into numerous forms and can be produced with tensile strengths exceeding 5 GPa.
A prime example of the versatility of steel is in the Automobile where it is the material of choice and accounts for over 60% of the weight of the vehicle. Steel is highly formable as seen in the contours of the automobile outerbody. Steel is strong and is used in the body frame, motor brackets, driveshaft, and door impact beams of the vehicle. Steel is corrosion resistant when coated with the various zinc-based coatings available today. Steel is dent resistant when compared with other materials and provides exceptional energy absorption in a vehicle collision. Steel is recycled and easily separated from other materials by a magnet. Steel is inexpensive compared with other competing materials such as aluminum and various polymeric materials.

In the past, steel has been described as an alloy of iron and carbon. Today, this description is no longer applicable since in some very important steels, e.g., interstitial-free (IF) steels and type 409 ferritic stainless steels, carbon is considered an impurity and is present in quantities of only a few parts per million. By definition, steel must be at least 50% iron and must contain one or more alloying elements. These elements generally include carbon, manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, titanium, niobium, and aluminum. Each chemical element has a specific role to play in the steelmaking process or in achieving particular properties or characteristics, e.g., strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, magnetic permeability, and machinability.

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