ENSC3004 Solid Mechanics

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
This unit focuses on the relationship between stress and strain in solid, deformable, load-carrying structural and mechanical elements. Various types of loading such as tension, compression, bending, shear and torsion is considered as well as common failure modes and models. Design of structural and mechanical elements to withstand defined static loads is also covered. The objective of the unit is to develop an understanding of equilibrium, stress, strain, deformation and stability of 2D and 3D statically determinate and indeterminate structures, and to provide an introduction to the methods of analysis for design of structural and mechanical elements. The following major topics are covered: (1) concept of stress—tension, compression and shear; (2) stress and strain in 3D, generalised Hooke's law; (3) axially loaded members; (4) torsion; (5) shear forces and bending moments; (6) stresses in beams; (7) analysis of stress and strain; (8) applications of plane stress (pressure vessels, beams and combined loadings); (9) statically indeterminate beams; and (10) column buckling and stability.
Students are able to (1) choose references and sources of information relevant to the unit activities and use them to find relevant examples/information; (2) understand equilibrium conditions as applied to the analysis of structural and mechanical elements; (3) calculate reaction forces on a loaded element and draw normal force, shear force, torque and bending moment diagrams; (4) understand the relationship between stress and strain (Generalised Hooke's Law) in two dimensions and three dimensions; understand the relationship between Poisson's ratio, Young's modulus, shear modulus and bulk modulus; (5) calculate the normal stress and shear stress in structural elements induced by multidirectional loading; (6) understand the effects of different boundary conditions on the stress distribution in a loaded element; (7) understand the concept of stress concentration and its application to design; (8) assess cross-sectional properties and their effect on structural response to loading; (9) understand the stress/strain transformation, represent it using Mohr's circles and apply these and understand (including the mathematical bases) the concept of principal stress/strain and determine principal stress/strain in simple components under various types of loading; (10) understand the difference between ductile and brittle materials, and the choice of appropriate failure models; (11) understand and apply ideal (Euler's) column buckling model and stability criteria; and (12) apply the above to analyse the stress/strain state in simple mechanical components and interpret the results in terms of risk of the component failure.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) lab reports; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Elena Pasternak
Unit rules
(ENSC1002 Material Behaviour from Atoms to Bridges or ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics) and [MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2 or (MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus and MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods)].
Contact hours
in-class lectures (including continuous assessment): 3 hours a week (total 39 hours); practical classes: 24 hours (total)
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Enrolled students can access unit materials via the LMS (Learning Management System).

Beer, F. P. et al. Mechanics of Materials, 6th edn: McGraw-Hill 2012

Gere, J. M. and Goodno, B. J. Mechanics of Materials, 7th SI edn: Cengage Learning 2009


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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.