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Mechanical Engineer's Data Handbook
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This text provides the student and professional mechanical engineer with a reference text of an essentially practical nature. It is uncluttered by text, and extensive use of illustrations and tables provide quick and clear access to information. It also
includes examples of detailed calculations on many of the applications of technology used by mechanical and production engineers, draughtsmen and engineering designers.

Although mainly intended for those studying and practising mechanical engineering, a glance at the contents will show that it is also useful to those in related branches of engineering such as production, marine, offshore, mining, mineral and in
particular that of design. This reference book provides engineers with a wealth of useful material in a very compact and quickly accessible form.
Clear presentation and quick access to information Very practical material, readily applied Highly illustrated to aid understanding
Published: Elsevier Science an imprint of Elsevier Books Reference on
ISBN: 9780080511351
List price: $72.95
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Mechanical Engineer’s Data Handbook

J. Carvill

Table of Contents

Cover image

Title page




Symbols used in text

Chapter 1: Strengths of materials

1.1 Types of stress

1.2 Strength of fasteners

1.3 Fatigue and stress concentration

1.4 Bending of beams

1.5 Springs

1.6 Shafts

1.7 Struts

1.8 Cylinders and hollow spheres

1.9 Contact stresses

1.10 Loaded flat plates

Chapter 2: Applied mechanics

2.1 Basic mechanics

2.2 Belt drives

2.3 Balancing

2.4 Miscellaneous machine elements

2.5 Automobile mechanics

2.6 Vibrations

2.7 Friction

2.8 Brakes, clutches and dynamometers

2.9 Bearings

2.10 Gears

Chapter 3: Thermodynamics and heat transfer

3.1 Heat

3.2 Perfect gases

3.2 Gas laws

3.3 Vapours

3.4 Data tables

3.5 Flow through nozzles

3.6 Steam plant

3.7 Steam turbines

3.8 Gas turbines

3.9 Heat engine cycles

3.10 Reciprocating spark ignition internal combustion engines

3.11 Air compressors

3.12 Reciprocating air motor

3.13 Refrigerators

3.14 Heat transfer

3.15 Heat exchangers

3.16 Combustion of fuels

Chapter 4: Fluid mechanics

4.1. Hydrostatics

4.2 Flow of liquids in pipes and ducts

4.3 Flow of liquids through various devices

4.4 Viscosity and laminar flow

4.5 Fluid jets

4.6 Flow of gases

4.7 Fluid machines

Chapter 5: Manufacturing technology

5.1 Metal processes

5.2 Turning

5.3 Drilling and reaming

5.4 Milling

5.5 Grinding

5.6 Cutting-tool materials

5.7 General information on metal cutting

5.8 Casting

5.9 Metal forming processes

5.10 Soldering and brazing

5.11 Gas welding

5.12 Arc welding

5.13 Limits and fits

Chapter 6: Engineering materials

6.1 Cast irons

6.2 Carbon steels

6.3 Alloy steels

6.4 Stainless steels

6.5 British Standard specification of steels

6.6 Non-ferrous metals

6.7 Miscellaneous metals

6.8 Spring materials

6.9 Powdered metals

6.10 Low-melting-point alloys

6.11 Miscellaneous information on metals

6.12 Corrosion of metals

6.13 Plastics

6.14 Elastomers

6.15 Wood

6.16 Adhesives

6.17 Composites

6.18 Ceramics

6.19 Cermets

6.20 Materials for special requirements

6.21 Miscellaneous information

Chapter 7: Engineering measurements

7.1 Length measurement

7.2 Angle measurement

7.3 Strain measurement

7.4 Temperature measurement

7.5 Pressure measurement

7.6 Flow measurement

7.7 Velocity measurement

7.8 Rotational-speed measurement

7.9 Materials-testing measurements

Chapter 8: General data

8.1 Units and Symbols

8.2 Fasteners

8.3 Engineering Stock

8.4 Miscellaneous Data

Glossary of terms



To my daughters, Helen and Sarah


Butterworth-Heinemann is an imprint of Elsevier

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, 0X5 1GB

30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA

First edition 1993

Paperback edition 1994

Reprinted 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 (twice), 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Copyright © 1993, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher

Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier’s Science & Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK: phone: (+44) (0) 1865 843830; fax: (+44) (0) 1865 853333; email: Alternatively you can submit your request online by visiting the Elsevier web site at, and selecting Obtaining permission to use Elsevier material


No responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, in particular, independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosages should be made

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Carvill, James

Mechanical Engineer’s Data Handbook

I. Title


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Carvill, James

Mechanical engineer’s data handbook / James Carvill.

p. cm.

Includes index

1. Mechanical engineering – Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Title


621–dc20     92-19069


ISBN: 978-0-7506-1960-8

For information on all Butterworth-Heinemann publications visit our website at

Transferred to Digital Printing 2009


There are several good mechanical engineering data books on the market but these tend to be very bulky and expensive, and are usually only available in libraries as reference books.

The Mechnical Engineer’s Data Handbook has been compiled with the express intention of providing a compact but comprehensive source of information of particular value to the engineer whether in the design office, drawing office, research and development department or on site. It should also prove to be of use to production, chemical, mining, mineral, electrical and building services engineers, and lecturers and students in universities, polytechnics and colleges. Although intended as a personal handbook it should also find its way into the libraries of engineering establishments and teaching institutions.

The Mechanical Engineer’s Data Handbook covers the main disciplines of mechanical engineering and incorporates basic principles, formulae for easy substitution, tables of physical properties and much descriptive matter backed by numerous illustrations. It also contains a comprehensive glossary of technical terms and a full index for easy cross-reference.

I would like to thank my colleagues at the University of Northumbria, at Newcastle, for their constructive suggestions and useful criticisms, and my wife Anne for her assistance and patience in helping me to prepare this book.

J. Carvill

Symbols used in text


Strengths of materials

1.1 Types of stress

Engineering design involves the correct determination of the sizes of components to withstand the maximum stress due to combinations of direct, bending and shear loads. The following deals with the different types of stress and their combinations. Only the case of two-dimensional stress is dealt with, although many cases of three-dimensional stress combinations occur. The theory is applied to the special case of shafts under both torsion and bending.

1.1.1 Direct, shear and bending stress

Tensile and compressive stress (direct stresses)

Poisson’s ratio

Note: if eL is positive, eB is negative.

Shear stress

Note: A is parallel to the direction of P.

Bending stress


M = bending moment

I = second moment of area of section

y = distance from centroid to the point considered

where ym = maximum value of y for tensile and compressive stress.

Bending modulus Z = I/ym and σm = M/Z

Combined bending and direct stresses

σc = P/A±M/Z

Hydrostatic (three-dimensional) stress

Bulk modulus K = p/ev

where p = pressure and V = volume.

Relationship between elastic constants

Compound stress

For normal stresses σx and σy with shear stress τ:

Maximum principal stress σ1 = (σx + σy)/2 + τmax

Minimum principal stress σ2 = (σx + σy)/2 – τmax

Combined bending and torsion

For solid and hollow circular shafts the following can be derived from the theory for two-dimensional (Compound) stress. If the shaft is subject to bending moment M and torque T, the maximum direct and shear stresses, σm and τm are equal to those produced by ‘equivalent’ moments Me and Te where

τm = Te/Zp and σm = Me/Z

where Zp = polar modulus

and Me = (M + Te)/2

(hollow shaft)

(hollow shaft)

See section 1.1.7.

1.1.2 Impact stress

In many components the load may be suddenly applied to give stresses much higher than the steady stress. An example of stress due to a falling mass is given.

Maximum tensile stress in bar


σs = steady stress = mg/A

xs = steady extension = mgL/AE

h = height fallen by mass m.

Stress due to a ‘suddenly applied’ load (h = 0)

σm = 2σs

Stress due to a mass M moving at velocity v

1.1.3 Compound bar in tension

A compound bar is one composed of two or more bars of different materials rigidly joined. The stress when loaded depends on the cross-sectional areas (Aa and Ab) areas and Young’s moduli (Ea and Eb) of the components.



ea = σa/Ea; eb = σb/Eb (note that ea = eb)

1.1.4 Stresses in knuckle joint

The knuckle joint is a good example of the application of simple stress calculations. The various stresses which occur are given.

Symbols used:

P = load

σt = tensile stress

σb = bending stress

σc = crushing stress

τ = shear stress

D = rod diameter

Dp = pin diameter

Do = eye outer diameter

a = thickness of the fork

b = the thickness of the eye

Failure may be due to any one of the following stresses.

(1) Tensile in rod σt = 4PD²

(2) Tensile in eye σt = P/(Do – Dp)b

(3) Shear in eye τ = P/(Do – Dp)b

(4) Tensile in fork σt = P/(Do – Dp)2a

(5) Shear in fork τ = P/(Do – Dp)2a

(6) Crushing in eye σc = P/bDp

(7) Crushing in fork σc = P/2Dpa

(10) Crushing in pin due to eye σc = P/bDp

(11) Crushing in pin due to fork σc = P/2aDp

1.1.5 Theories of failure

For one-dimensional stress the factor of safety (FS) based on the elastic limit is simply given by

When a two- or three-dimensional stress system exists, determination of FS is more complicated and depends on the type of failure assumed and on the material used.

Symbols used:

σel = elastic limit in simple tension

σ1, σ2, σ3 = maximum principal stresses in a three-dimensional system

FS = factor of safety based on σel

v = Poisson’s ratio

Maximum principal stress theory (used for brittle metals)

FS = smallest of σel/σ1, σel/σ2 and σel/σ3

Maximum shear stress theory (used for ductile metals)

FS = smallest of σel/(σ1 – σ2), σel/(σ1 – σ3) and σel/(σ2 – σ3)

Strain energy theory (used for ductile metals)

Shear strain energy theory (best theory for ductile metals)

Maximum principal strain theory (used for special cases)

FS = smallest of σel/(σ1 – vσ2 – vσ3), σel/(σ2 – vσ1 – vσ3) and σel/(σ3 – vσ2 – vσ1)


In a three-dimensional stress system, the stresses are σ1 = MN m−2, σ2 = 20MN m−2 and σ3 = − 10 MN m−2. σel = 200 MN m−2 and v = 0.3. Calculate the factors of safety for each theory.

Answer: (a) 5.0; (b) 4.0; (c) 4.5; (d) 4.6; (e) 5.4.

1.1.6 Strain energy (Resilience)

Strain energy U is the energy stored in the material of a component due to the application of a load. Resilience u is the strain energy per unit volume of material.

Tension and compression


The units for U and u are joules and joules per cubic metre.

1.1.7 Torsion of various sections

Formulae are given for stress and angle of twist for a solid or hollow circular shaft, a rectangular bar, a thin tubular section, and a thin open section. The hollow shaft size equivalent in strength to a solid shaft is given for various ratios of bore to outside diameter.

Solid circular shaft

where: D = diameter, T = torque.

where: N = the number of revolutions per second.

where: G = shear modulus, L = length

Hollow circular shaft

where: D = outer diameter, d = inner diameter.

Rectangular section bar

For d > b:

(at middle of side d)

Thin tubular section

τm = T/2t A; θ = TpL/4A²tG


t = thickness

A = area enclosed by mean perimeter

p = mean perimeter

Thin rectangular bar and thin open section

τm = 3T/dt²; θ = 3TL/Gdt³ (rectangle)

τm = 3Tdt²; θ = 3TL/GΣdt³ (general case)

Strain energy in torsion

Strain energy U = ½Tθ

Torsion of hollow shaft

For a hollow shaft to have the same strength as an equivalent solid shaft:



Ds, Do, Di = solid, outer and inner diameters

Wh, Ws = weights of hollow and solid shafts

θh, θs = angles of twist of hollow and solid shafts

1.2 Strength of fasteners

1.2.1 Bolts and bolted joints

Bolts, usually in conjunction with nuts, are the most widely used non-permanent fastening. The bolt head is usually hexagonal but may be square or round. The shank is screwed with a vee thread for all or part of its length.

In the UK, metric (ISOM) threads have replaced Whitworth (BSW) and British Standard Fine (BSF) threads. British Association BA threads are used for small sizes and British Standard Pipe BSP threads for pipes and pipe fittings. In the USA the most common threads are designated ‘unified fine’ (UNF) and ‘unified coarse’ (UNC).


Most bolts are made of low or medium carbon steel by forging or machining and the threads are formed by cutting or rolling. Forged bolts are called ‘black’ and machined bolts are called ‘bright’. They are also made in high tensile steel (HT bolts), alloy steel, stainless steel, brass and other metals.

Nuts are usually hexagonal and may be bright or black. Typical proportions and several methods of locking nuts are shown.

Bolted joints

A bolted joint may use a ‘through bolt’, a ‘tap bolt’ or a ‘stud’.

Socket head bolts

Many types of bolt with a hexagonal socket head are used. They are made of high tensile steel and require a special wrench.

Symbols used:

D = outside or major diameter of thread

L = Length of shank

T = Length of thread

H = height of head

F = distance across flats

C = distance across corners

R = radius of fillet under head

B = bearing diameter

Extract from table of metric bolt sizes (mm)

Approximate dimensions of bolt heads and nuts (ISO metric precision)

Exact sizes are obtained from tables.

Bolted joint in tension

The bolt shown is under tensile load plus an initial tightening load. Three members are shown bolted together but the method can be applied to any number of members.

Symbols used:

Pe = external load

Pt = tightening load

P = total load

A = area of a member (A1, A2, etc.)

Ab = bolt cross-sectional area

t = thickness of a member (t1, t2, etc.)

L = length of bolt

E = Youngs modulus (Eb, E1, etc.)

x = deflection of member per unit load

xb = deflection of bolt per unit load

D = bolt diameter

Dr = bolt thread root diameter

Ar = area at thread root

T = bolt tightening torque

Tightening load

(a) Hand tightening:

Pt = kD


k = 1500 to 3000; Pt is in newtons and D is in millimetres.

(b) Torque-wrench tightening:

Pt = T/0.2D

Shear stress in bolt

1.2.2 Bolted or riveted brackets – stress in bolts

Bracket in torsion

Vertical force on each bolt Pv = P/n

where: n = number of bolts.

Total force on a bolt Pt = vector sum of P1 and Pv

Shear stress in bolt τ = Pt/A

where: A = bolt area. This is repeated for each bolt and the greatest value of τ is noted.

Bracket under bending moment

(a) Vertical load:

Tensile force on bolt at a1 from pivot point

Tensile stress σ1 = P1/A

where: A = bolt area.

, etc.

Shear stress τ = P/(nA)

where: n = number of bolts.

(b) Horizontal load:

Maximum tensile stress σm = σ1 + P/(nA) for bolt at a1

1.2.3 Bolts in shear

This deals with bolts in single and double shear. The crushing stress is also important.

Single shear

Shear stress τ = 4PD²

Double shear

Shear stress τ = 2PD²

Crushing stress

σc = P/Dt

1.2.4 Rivets and riveted joints in shear

Lap joint

Symbols used:

t = plate thickness

D = diameter of rivets

L = distance from rivet centre to edge of plate

p = pitch of rivets

σp = allowable tensile stress in plate

σb = allowable bearing pressure on rivet

τr = allowable shear stress in rivet

τp = allowable shear stress in plate

P = load

Allowable load per rivet:

Shearing of rivet P1 = τrπD²/4

Shearing of plate P2 = τp2Lt

Tearing of plate P3 = σp(p D)t

Crushing of rivet P4 = σbDt

Efficiency of joint:

Butt joint

The rivet is in ‘double shear’, therefore P1 = τrπD²/2 per row.

In practice, P

Several rows of rivets

The load which can be taken is proportional to the number of rows.

1.2.5 Strength of welds

A well-made ‘butt weld’ has a strength at least equal to that of the plates joined. In the case of a ‘fillet weld’ in shear the weld cross section is assumed to be a 45° right-angle triangle with the shear area at 45° to the plates. For transverse loading an angle of 67.5° is assumed as shown.

For brackets it is assumed that the weld area is flattened and behaves like a thin section in bending. For ease of computation the welds are treated as thin lines. Section 1.2.6 gives the properties of typical weld groups.

Since fillet welds result in discontinuities and hence stress concentration, it is necessary to use stress concentration factors when fluctuating stress is present.

Butt weld

The strength of the weld is assumed equal to that of the plates themselves.

Fillet weld

Parallel loading:

Shear stress τ = F/tL

Weld throat t 0.7w

where w = weld leg size.

Transverse loading:

Shear stress τ = F/tL

Throat t = 0.77w

Welded bracket with bending moment

Symbols used:

I = second moment of area of weld group (treated as lines) = constant × t

Z = I/ymax = bending modulus

Maximum shear stress due to moment τb = M/Z (an assumption)

where: M = bending moment.

Direct shear stress τd = F/A

where: A = total area of weld at throat, F = load.

from which

t is found.

Welded bracket subject to torsion

Maximum shear stress due to torque (T) τt = Tr/J (T = Fa) Polar second moment of area J = Ix + Iy

where: r = distance from centroid of weld group to any point on weld.

Direct shear stress τd = F/A

Resultant stress (τr) is the vector sum of τd and τt; r is chosen to give highest value of τr. From τr the value of t is found, and hence w.

1.2.6 Properties of weld groups – welds treated as lines

Symbols used:

Z = bending modulus about axis XX

J = polar second moment of area

t = weld throat size

(1) Z = d²t/3; J = dt(3b² + d²)/6

(2) Z = bdt; J = bt(3d² + b²)/6




(6) Z = (bd + d²/3)t; J = t(b + d)³/6


(8) Z = (2bd + d²/3)t; J = (2b³ + 6bd² + d³)t/6

(9) Z = πD²t/4; J = πD³t/4

1.2.7 Stresses due to rotation

Flywheels are used to store large amounts of energy and are therefore usually very highly stressed. It is necessary to be able to calculate the stresses accurately. Formulae are given for the thin ring, solid disk, annular wheel and spoked wheel, and also the rotating thick cylinder.

Thin ring

Symbols used:

ρ = density

r = mean radius

ν = tangential velocity = rω

Tangential stress σt = ρν² = ρr²ω²

Solid disk

Maximum tangential and radial stress (σr)

σt = σr = ρv²(3 + ν)/8