Author Archives: jakob.bruhl

Bending moment by discovery: measuring strains on an aluminum beam


 OVERVIEW This inquiry-based learning activity (IBLA) is completed by students in class before elastic bending theory is presented. PRINCIPLES By completing this scripted exercise, students are exposed to the varying strain profile through the depth of a beam. From this strain profile, students apply Hooke’s law to develop the stress profile, then calculate equivalent tension […]

From Strain to Weight … of an engine block!


 OVERVIEW This exercise uses an engine hoist, an engine block, and an aluminum “dog bone” to measure the weight of the engine block. The dog bone has strain gages attached. With the measured strain, students calculate the associated weight. PRINCIPLES Reinforces the relationship between strain and stress; and between stress and force. This exercise also […]

Real life reactions … and an engine block!


 OVERVIEW This series of exercises uses an engine hoist, four scales, and an engine block to allow students to predict (calculate) reactions and then measure them. This develops students’ confidence in their ability to calculate reactions and provides a great opportunity for “what if?” exercises. PRINCIPLE Reinforces static equilibrium and moment of a force. We […]