Experimental Methods in Mechanical Engineering


It is intended that the students contact with various experimental techniques that allow knowing or predict the responses exhibited by various mechanical systems or structures loaded statically and dynamically. In the presence of these responses, the student is asked to compare them with those obtained by theoretical models that students already have enough knowledge to develop. The explanation of the differences between the results obtained by both routes is one of the important tasks that the student should be able to accomplish. As the various studies are carried out in the group, it is important that the student can promote all their development work and criticism in a group environement.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Paulo Vale Urgueira


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Available soon


Encyclopedie VISHAY d''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''Analyse des Contraintes" Ed da VISHAY Micromesures.

"Fundamentos de Extensometria Eléctrica" - A.P. Vale Urgueira FCT- 2003

"The Strain Gage Primer",  CC Perry , HR Lissner, McGraw Hill

"Dinâmica - Mecânica Vectorial para Engenheiros",  Beer and Johnston Mc Graw Hill 1998

RS Figliola, DE Beasley; "Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements", John Wiley Sons

KG McConnell "Vibration Testing - Theory and Practice" ,John Wiley Sons

Maia et all, "Theoretical and Experimental Modal Analysis", RSP

JH Ginsberg "Mechanical and Structural Vibrations - Theory and Applications", JWS

Teaching method

The course consists of several modules that are taught in lectures, each dealing with new material in the course and others making an interconnection of various materials however learned throughout the course. Essentially, the first group discuss the techniques for measuring gage response by the second group considers the effect of the uncertainties of the equipment and the measurement chain in the final value to be obtained by using experimental and third-models are associated with various practical matters of the dynamics of rigid bodies and mechanical vibrations thus giving the opportunity to develop a critical spirit

Evaluation method

The evaluation implies the realization of all laboratory work and their reports are subject to discussion with each group of students. There is also the realization of a final test which assesses the level of knowledge and ability to approach new situations

Subject matter

Experimental stress analysis: Basic principles of electrical strain gages and photoelasticity. Placement of strain gauges. Wheatstone bridge. Stress concentration. Dynamic: Determination of moments of inertia of rigid bodies from the use of compound and bifilar pendulum. Mechanical Vibrations: Introduction to Experimental Modal Analysis of vibrating systems. Experimental      balancing of rotors with and without phase, use of stroboscopic lamp and laser sensor. Balancing in one and two planes. Data Acquisition Systems: Fundamentals of the theory of signals. Processing and signal conditioning. Transducers: Measurement of force, pressure, displacement, velocity, acceleration, flow rate. 


Programs where the course is taught: