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Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Engineering Application Module 1 - Civil Structures

Historical and Societal Influences
Historical Developments in Civil Structures
Bridges are very important, without them transport would not have developed as much. Bridges can be grouped according to their
design and their development. There is an immense variety of bridges around the world.

Beam Bridges
A beam is simple a member that is supported in such a way that it does not carry any longitudinal forces. They may be loosely
grouped into 2 types: simply supported beam (2 supports) and cantilever (1 support). They may be made of wood, metal or
stone. A beam does not have to be solid, it may be a tube and a truss is a type of beam. Thus a variety of truss bridges fall
under the category of beam bridges.
Herodotus (Greek) wrote of a multi-span beam bridge in Babylon (present day Iraq) in the 5th Century. Each span was only
1.52m long but a total length of 200m was attained by having 100 stone piers, each linked to a separate beam.
Early beam bridges often used timber, but because timber rots and is attacked by borers and termites there are a few left.
In 55C Julius Caesar built a 550m long wooden beam bridge that incorporated 50 spans, construction took 10 days.
By 1570 Italian Architect Palladio had developed a truss girder bridge. The idea had come from timber roof trusses used in
Gothic churches. One of his timber trusses was used to span the River Cismone and it was approximately 30m long.
Early in the 19th Century English engineer James Warren developed a truss girder that was used for railways.
In America the truss girder was developed to its modern day form. Ithiel Town developed a girder bridge with criss-cross
diagonals (1820), it was only sturdy enough for railways. Trusses by William Howe (1840) and Caleb and Thomas Pratt (1844)
used triangles.
In 1847 Squire Whipple developed the iron truss a design which carried over to the 20 th Century. He also developed a way to
determine the force in each member. Through maths it is easier to build safer and cost effective bridges.
Robert Stephenson developed the Bowstring girder in 1849. It consists of an arch (bow) and a horizontal tie (the string) that
constrains the bow from spreading. It is a beam and is used with a support at either end. The abutments of the bridge carry no
lateral thrust only vertical forces (unlike arch bridges).

In 1850 Stephenson, Eaton Hodgkinson, Sir William Fairburn developed the Brittania Bridge. It carried railway over the Menai
Strait in North Wales and consisted of wrought iron tubes or tunnels so the trains could run through them. The bridge
consisted of 2 end spans 70m each and 2 central spans 140m each. The tubes were joined as they passed through he pylons,
creating two tunnels one for each track. One of the greatest problems with this structure was that the wrought iron plates that
made the tunnels tended to buckle. The cellular box bridge was developed to alleviate this problem.
In 1867 Heinrich Gerber built the first balanced cantilever bridge over the river main in Germany. It consisted of side spans
that extend past a central pylon to form cantilevers.
The 1st large scale cantilever bridge for rail was the Forth Bridge in Scotland. It had 2 main spans 521m long and is 3.2km long
overall. Completed in 1890 it took 8 years. It has 51,000 tonnes of steel. The main spans are constructed as simply supported
steel truss 106m long, connecting the cantilevers.
In 1879 the Tay Bridge was built. This consisted of 85 support lattice girder spans creating a bridge over 3km in length. The
girders were supported by slender cast iron columns. The 13 central spans where termed high girders because they were
mounted above the railway to provide clearance to shipping. However the girder and a train was blown into the river below
because Sir Thomas Bouch had not allowed enough tolerance for wind and the columns had been filled with substitutes to
save on recasting.
1948 the box girder bridge was developed. This is a tube with rectangular cross sections stiffened by a series of internal walls
creating a box. Bridges may use a box girder on each of the roadway or there may be a central girder forming cantilever on
either side. They were made of steel but are now also made from reinforced/pre-stressed concrete. After WW2 most of the

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
medium span (150m-300m) in Germany and Austria were destroyed. The box girder was a solution to the vast rebuilding
project. Most road and freeway bridges seen today utilise the box girder design.

Arch Bridges
The use of an arch for bridge construction dates back thousands of years. Nowadays this bridge type comes in much variety of
Masonry Arch Bridges: The Stone Arch bridge was extensively used by Roman engineers from 200BC to 400AD. The Romans
built bridges that were to last for many years and many still exist today.
The oldest Roman bridge is the Ponte Rotto in Rome, it was first built in 179BC and has been rebuilt and altered since then.
Another old Roman bridge is Ponte de Augusto at Rimini over the River Marecchia built in 20AD. The piers are squat. As the
bridge was built, a pier would have an arch on one side only, to stop the pier from following over it was enlarged in cross
section. This problem was solved by building an arch on either side of the pier at the same time. For aqueducts Romans learned
to use lighter piers using this method.
The biggest Roman bridge span was 42m on a four span viaduct in Narni on the Via Flaminia. The river was dammed to make
construction easier.
After the fall of the Roman empire in 400AD Europe entered the dark ages a period of little learning. Much of the information
on Roman technology was lost and medieval bridges were not up to the standard of Roman bridges. London bridge was typical
of these. Built to replace a small timber bridge over the river Thames, it was completed in 1209 after 30 years of work. It was
276m and had 20 small spans of differing shapes and sizes ranging from 7.5 to 10.4m in length. The bridge actually had houses
built on it and it blocked of the width of the river Thames. The blockage was s big that a high tide there was difference of 1.5m
in water level on either side.
During the Renaissance learning and technology developed again. Older bridged used poined arched which resulted in lots of
material. Renaissance engineers used lower-arches to alleviate this. One example is the Rialto Bridge in Venice completed in
1591 after 3 years work.
Renaissance engineers further developed the low arch to incorporate narrow piers and a small rise. Jean Perronet designed the
Pont de la Concorde, completed in 1791 which has 5 31m arches 4m high. It still stands. Low arch bridges place large loads on
the bridge but this is offset by the adjacent pier pushing in the opposite direction, but the load on the abutments is very high.
This bridge only obscures 35% of the river.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed a brick arch bridge at Maidenhead to carry the Great Western Railway over the River
Thames in 1837. Because of the low banks the bridge was built with 2 39m span with a rise of only 7.3m.
Cast Iron Arch Bridges: Societies entered the Iron age in 1500BC but couldnt melt and cast it until 14th Century in Europe
(600BC for Chinese). It was not widely used until the Industrial Revolution which commenced around 1750.
Cast iron has similar properties to stone: strong in compression and weak in tension but can be cast as an open frame thus
reducing weight over a similar size stone block. It is also cheaper to cast than carve stone.
The first cast iron bridge was Coalbrookdale Bridge built over the River Severn at Shropshire in 1779. It consists of 5 cast iron
ribs forming a 30m semicircular arch. Steel was not used as it was expensive to produce.
Thomas Telford built a cast iron bridge over the same river at Buildwas I 1796. It had a span of 40m and used a segmental arch
and used half the iron of the Coalbrookdale bridge.

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Steel Arch Bridges: The St Louis Bridge was designed by James Eads was completed in 1874 and crosses the Mississippi River.
Steel was viable thanks to Henry Bessemers converter developed in 1856 which produced cheap steel in large quantities. The
bridge consisted of 3 arched each 152m with a railway running over the arches and a roadway running over the railway.
The Hells Gate Bridge completed in 1917 crosses the East River in New York. It has a suspended roadway which means that the
roadway does not travel over the arch but is suspended under it. It looks similar to bowstring girder bridges but differs as it
pushes horizontally as well as vertically. The bridge carries 4 railway lines over a span of 298m.
Sydney Harbour Bridge commenced in 1924 and finished in 1932 links the North Shore with Sydney City. The span of the bridge
is 503m long and 49m wide (longer and wider that Hells Gate Bridge) and carries 8 traffic lanes, 2 railway lines and 2 footpaths.
It was built from either side of the harbour while anchored to the shore and meeting at a middle pin joint.
The Bayonne Bridge in New York is the longest span steel arch bridge and is 503.6m long and carries on traffic lanes.
Concrete Arch Bridges:
Concrete is used as it is strong in compression and ideal for an arch. With steel reinforcing it is suitable for beam or cantilever
use. However it is subject to shrinkage and if this is not accounted for the concrete may crack and fail. A solution is a 3rd hinge in
the middle. Robert Maillart a Swiss engineer was the first to use the third hinge in his Bridge over the Riven Inn in Switzerland in
In 1904 Eugene Freyssinet came up with the idea of pre-stressed concrete but could not manufacture it until the development
of high tensile steel after WW2. He then designed 5 74m flat arch bridges over the river Marne.
To achieve the required strength, pre-stressed, concrete ducts were run through the lower arches. These had wires through
them which were pulled tight after the arch was constructed. The compression greatly enhanced the strength of the bridge and
reduced the chance of tensile failure.
The Gladesville Bridge built in 1966 in Sydney is a good example of a concrete arch bridge.

Suspension Bridges
Suspension bridges support the deck (roadway, railway) on steel cables strung between towers. The cables are in tension. Since
tension members do not buckle they can be thin and light, offering lightweight and longer spans than other types of bridges.
In the stone age before 4000BC suspension bridges were simply built by having tension members, vines or creepers, slung
across a river with wooden slats connecting the two o form a walkway.
The oldest suspension bridges were in China. One in Yunnan Province built in 1470 with a span of 69m uses wrought iron chains.
In Europe wrought iron was not available in commercial quantities until the 19th Century when the modern suspention bridge
started to develop.
Early suspension bridges suffered from lateral instability. So a stiffened deck with wire ropes where made. To make the deck the
cables ran over two towers and were anchored at their ends. The Austrian Bishop, Fausto Veranzio proposed the design in 1595.
James Finlay built such a bridge in 1801. It was 21.3m long.
Thomas Telford produced the first successful large scale suspension bridge; the Menai Strait Bridge in Nsw completed in 1826.
The towers were 47m high and the 16 chains that comprised the suspension members were made of wrought iron. These chains
were 3m bars linked by 75mm diameter pins. The chains were dipped in linseed oil to preserve them. The 9m roadway was
timber, 176.5m long and hung from chains by iron rods 1.5m apart. In 1896 the roadway was replaced by metal and the chains
with steel in 1936.
In 1829 a committee called for submissions for a bridge across the Avon Gorge at Clifton. Brunels design for a 214m suspension
bridge with Egyptian style piers and an abutment on one side was successful. The design set Brunel on a prosperous path but
the bridge was built in 1864 eight years after Brunels death.
John Roebling was primarily responsible for the introduction of wire cables for suspension bridges instead of chains. He
designed suspension bridges over the Niagara Gorge in 1855 and over the Ohio River at Cincinnati in 1867 but this true
masterpiece was the Brooklyn Bridge. It had a span of 486m and was the first to use steel cables. Work on the bridge began in
1869. His son took over when he died. By 1876 the 82.5m masonry towers were complete and they set about producing the
four 400mm diameter cables which housed 1932 km of wire. Large masonry gravity anchorages were built (mass of 44,000)
tonnes as there were no rocks to anchor to. In opened in 1883.
Bridges began to get longer and narrower. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge over Puget Sound in Washington State went just too far.
At the time it was the 3rd longest bridge with a span of 853m yet it was only 11.8m wide and was stiffened by 2.4m plates along
the side. It was designed to withstand loads of up to 200km/m yet on November 7 th four months after it opened a wind of
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67km/h occurred. The deck began to oscillate in vertical waves 9m high. After 3 hours the waves stopped and the deck began to
twist eventually several suspension cable spanned and the bridge fell into the river.
Since then engineers returned to their previous practise of building heavier and more rigid suspension bridges. The rigidity was
achieved by adding a thick layer of concrete to the deck and placing deep stiffening trusses on either side.
26 years later British Engineers came up with the idea a fin-shaped deck rather than a rectangular deck. This shape proved less
susceptible to side loads from wind so the deck could be made lighter without the stiffness previously required. The Severn
suspension bridge uses this deck, it is 988m long and was designed by Gilbert Roberts. A 30% saving was made in the amount of
steel used. The only fault was a vibration at low wind speeds. This was alleviated by alternately inclining the suspension cables.

Another suspension style bridge is the cable-stayed bridge. This differs from true suspension bridges in that the roadway is
supported by cables attached directly to the vertical columns. In Australia one of the most recognisable cable stayed bridges is
the Anzac Bridge (originally called the Glebe Island Bridge). Made from reinforced concrete and steel cables, with the 2 tall
concrete towers at each end, it dominates the Sydney skyline.

Opening Bridges
It is often inconvenient or excessively costly to build over a waterway high enough not to impede the flow of water traffic. In
England during the 19th Century, the Admiralty often set the height so that the shipping would not be impeded. In Sydney there
are three different types of opening bridges.
A) The Pyrmont Bridge at Darling Harbour used to be a roadway but now carries a footpath and monorail. It opens by rotating
on a turntable to turn though 90 and allows ships with high masts to pass. It uses a DC motor to open.
B) The Spit Bridge in the northern suburbs of Sydney opens by raising a cantilevered opening section of the bridge through an
angle of 90 to allow watercraft through. Since it is on a busy arterial road route it is only allowed to open at certain times.
C) Ryde Bridge in the mid-western suburbs of Sydney, opens by the centre section being raised up by a gear system on a set of
All of these bridges are variations on beam bridges. The Pyrmont Bridge is a type of balanced cantilever. Opening bridges tend
to slow up road and waterway traffic and are only used when there is no other option.

Engineering Innovations in Civil Structures and Their Effect on Peoples Lives

Invention is the development of something entirely new. Innovation means making an alteration to something that has already been
invented, and improving upon it.

Innovation is an important part of design and engineering, for through it engineers improve on an original concept. Prior to the
Industrial Revolution water transport was the most important form of transport so keeping rivers open to water traffic was essential.
Only with the advent of railways did this start to change.

From 10,000 BC - primitive beam and suspension bridges - transport across rivers and ravines.
Greeks perfect beam bridges - improve transport for human and animal drawn traffic.
Roman engineers - arch bridges - revolutionary design - more stable and secure - improved transport - arch did not impede
water traffic as much as early beams.
The fall of the Roman Empire, 5th century - backward step - medieval arch bridges, not as efficient in design and impede water
traffic, e.g. London Bridge.

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16th century - the truss girder improves beam bridge design - longer spans - greater safety - less pylons.
The Renaissance - improvement in arch bridge design - back to Roman standard improved clearance for water traffic - lower
James Finlay, early 19th century - modern suspension bridge - long spans - little impediment to water traffic.
The bow-string girder, 19th century - embraced by railway engineers - cheap and, simple.
20th Century - first box girder - useful design for freeway construction - freeways improve road transport especially for road
freight - contributes to railway decline.
First modern balanced cantilever bridges - limited impediment to water vehicles-effective use of materials.
The Brooklyn Bridge first suspension bridge to use steel cables improved safety.
Concrete used as a building material for arch bridges. After WW2 most used building alters bridge design significantly.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge completed in 1932 - cuts travel times from the north to the city speeds development, northern
Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure shows danger of poor design leads to safer suspension bridges.
Severn Suspension Bridge streamlined cross section to deal with wind.
Akashi Kaiky suspension bridge, opened in 1998, becomes the longest span bridge in the world with a span of 1991m.

Construction and Processing Materials Used In Civil Structure Over Time

Bridge development of time has been facilitated by the development of different materials that have proved suitable in bridge
construction. The following materials are used in bridges:
Timber was used in the earliest bridges, which may have been as simple as a log between two banks. Originally used in its
natural state (a tree), it has been developed to having pieces of timber cut and fabricated into a truss to form a beam bridge.
Timber was also used as the deck in early suspension bridges. Many old bridges in country NSW are timber. Timber offered ease
of manufacture and was a readily available resource. Its main disadvantage is that it rots away.
Rope was used, by early cultures, on early suspension bridges. Just like timber, rotted away and could only carry small loads.
Stone is a far more permanent building material than timber or rope. Many Roman arches were made from stone and still stand
today. Stone is strong in compression yet weak in tension, so it is perfect for use in arch bridges. Not until cast iron and steel
were developed was stone replaced for arch bridge construction.
Bricks are sometimes used in bridge manufacture. Although they have similar properties to stone they are manufactured from
clay and not chiselled to shape from natural stone. Often bricks were used in making viaducts that led to a bridge.
Cast iron became readily available during the Industrial revolution, and by the late 1 8' century it was used in bridges. Like
stone, it is weak in tension but strong in compression. Unlike stone it can be melted and cast, thus saving on time and also
introducing the concept of pre-fabrication. Cast iron bridges could be made of frames which provided strength equal to stone
but with reduced weight.
Wrought Iron was used in early suspension bridges for the chains. It was unreliable due to the fibrous structure present in the
ferrite, which tended to weaken it and make it difficult to tell if this affected the whole wrought iron. This lack of reliability
(compared to steel) was the reason suspension bridges were limited in length. After steel was introduced suspension bridges
could be made much longer.
Steel Was mass-produced in 1856 by Henry Bessemer and it changed bridge design. The steel arch became a viable option. Steel
is equally strong both in compression and tension compared to stone and cast iron; so steels arches differ in construction to
masonry arches. Steel cables proved valuable in suspension bridges as greater spans could be achieved, and at the turn of the
century steel was used to create reinforced concrete. Eventually, with the development of high tensile steel, it was possible to
produce pre-stressed and post-stressed concrete.
Concrete was not used in bridge construction until shrinkage problem was addressed by the third hinge, and due to its weakness
in tension it was only used when reinforced with steel. Reinforced concrete has been developed into pre-stressed/post-stressed
concrete to improve strength and performance. Concrete is the bridge construction material of the 20th century with most new
bridges using concrete of some type.
Stainless Steel is now being used in certain bridges, often pedestrian bridges. The Marina Bay Bridge in Singapore uses 2205
duplex stainless steel for its tubular spiral stainless steel members. It is 280m long and 6m wide.

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Environmental Implications of Material used in Civil Structures

Since all building materials are derived, at some stage, from the earth, there will always be some impact when the raw material is
gathered. The following information describes the environmental impact of the use of some bridge construction materials:
Timber's use as a source of heat for steam power, and as a building material, resulted in deforestation of the surrounding area.
As that area ran out of trees they were sought elsewhere. Trees take centuries to grow and old growth forests have never
recovered from the onslaught.
Stone does not magically appear in the shapes needed. Ancient and medieval cultures had to mine stone and they did this by
digging large quarries. These scarred the landscape and had a severe impact on natural fauna and flora.
Bricks require vast amounts of clay and shale to manufacture, so large pits were dug to find these materials. Often the brick
works were alongside the pit. The environmental impact of such pits was similar to that caused by stone quarries. When the pit
was no longer used it was filled in and then reclaimed. Subsidence is often a problem on old brick pit sights.
Cast and wrought iron were true products of the Industrial Revolution. They were one of many products requiring the
combustion of fossil fuels. Before the industrial revolution our impact on the environment was relatively small, so in the 300
years since, humans have had a greater impact than our predecessors had over 100,000 years. Cast and wrought iron required
iron to be mined and smelted. This required not just a mine, but also processing plants and transport facilities, which involved
railways. All these associated industries had a huge impact on the landscape, and we are starting to feel the legacy of such
impacts today.
Steel falls into a similar category to cast and wrought iron. However its impact is even greater due to its proliferation through
more industries. Steel has allowed longer bridges to be built, using more steel and greater processing. Steel has allowed longer
bridges to be built, using more steel and greater processing. Steel helped to open access to other areas and reduce transport
times so it was possible to gain resources from places that previously would have been unviable. Steel is also required for
locomotives and motor vehicles so the demands have increased exponentially over time.
Longer bridges with fewer piers have less impact on waterways, so by comparison with earlier bridges, are less likely to
interrupt the delicate marine ecosystem that lives in the waterway.
Concrete is another popular material. Like other materials it requires vast amounts of minerals to manufacture it, and obtaining
these has an adverse environmental impact. Also, you could say it is visually unappealing. Like steel it has resulted in bridges
which have a reduced impact on waterways, compared with earlier bridges.

Engineering Mechanics
Truss Analysis
Since the development of the truss it has been one of the most important engineered structures. Trusses are based on the triangle.
Trusses take advantage of this rigidity by taking any shape and triangulating it to maximise strength.

A truss is essentially a form of simply supported beam and is usually supported at either end on supports which can provide
reactions to the applied loads acting on the truss.

Reactions at the Supports

1. Draw a Free Body Diagram showing the loads and the dimensions.
2. Determine the horizontal and vertical components of any angled forces.
3. Take moments about the pin/hinge first to find the reaction at the roller.
4. Sum forces vertical and horizontal to find the reaction at the pin/hinge support.
5. Find the total reaction at the pin/hinge support.

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Analysing the Truss Members

Although the truss is considered a beam to determine the supports, the frame that is the truss also contains forces. The framework
makes the bridge stronger and allows it to span greater distances.
There are 2 methods for finding the reactions at the supports of a truss, the Method of Joints and the Method of Sections.

The Method of Joints: This is a process used to find the forces in truss members by analysing each joint as a concurrent force
system. You have to begin from one end and work your way to the other side.
Use the reactions at the supported to find the forces in the triangle. Then use the calculated forces to calculate others etc.
The Method of Sections: Often it will not be necessary to find the force in all members of a truss, perhaps only one or two. If
these members are on the ends, Method of Joints will be fine, but if they are in the middle of the truss, the Method is slow. The
Method of Sections allows us to find the force in a member in the centre of a truss directly.
The principle of this method is based on the fact that if the whole truss is in equilibrium, then any part or component will also be
in equilibrium. If we cut the truss through at least 2 members and remove a portion, the system that remains must also be in
To solve; pass a section plane through the truss that cuts through the members we are trying to find. We then consider the ut
members as external forces of one half of the truss.

Bending Stresses Induced by Point Loads

Whenever a non-axial (eccentric or transvers) force acts on a beam there will usually be some bending that takes place. This
force tends to create a bending stress that is a measure of the beams internal resistance to bending. Shear force and bending
moment can be graphed and bending stress (or internal resistance to bending) of the beam can be determined.

Concept of Shear Force and Bending Moment

In order for us to understand the behaviour of a loaded beam we must introduce the concept of shear force and bending
moment. Shear force at any point on a beam may be defined as the algebraic sum of all external forces to one side of the beam.
The shear force is actually the reaction, at a given point along a beam of the material to being sheared apart by the external
Bending moment at a given point along a beam is equal to the total moment developed at the point by the external force
system. If we sum moments at a given point along a beam that is in equilibrium, the value will be zero. Therefore to fine the
bending stresses we have to only find the moment set up in any on section of the beam.

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Sign Convention
The following sign convention is used for positive shear forces and bending moments.

Calculating Shear Forces

This involves progressively working your way along a beam summing the external forces to determine the shear force.
Example 1

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Engineers are concerned to fine the maximum shear force and bending moment, because that is where the stresses will be the
greatest. In this case the maximum bending moment occurs at the 40kN Force.

I.e. the bending moment rises from zero at one end of the beam up to 40kNm at the centre ten back to zero at the other end. The SF
is 20kN from the left end to the centre and -20kN from the centre to the right end.

Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams

It is often useful to graph shear force and bending moments to show the nature of these values across the beam. It is here
that sign convention is important.
Shear Force Diagrams: This is a graphical representation of the distribution of shear forces across a beam. There are 2 ways
of determining the shear force diagram the long way and the short way. The long way never fails, while the short way works
best with point loads.
Example 2

Long Method:
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Short Method (Follow the Force Rule):

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Bending Moment Diagrams: Like SF Diagrams there are 2 methods to determine the diagram. One method is simpler than
the other but requires the SF diagram to be drawn already.
The following example shows how to graph the bending moment from the beam in Example 2.

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Method 1 (long):

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Method 2(short but requires the SF diagram to be drawn):

The Neutral Axis and Outer Fibre Stress

When a beam is subjected to bending, not all of the beam undergoes the same types of stress. For a beam shown below
the top is under compression and the bottom is under tension.

Since the stress in the beam reverses from top to the bottom there must be a portion of the beam with zero stress. This is
called the neutral axis.

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The greater the distance from the neutral axis the greater the stress present. In the case of concrete failure occurs on the
lower side as it is in tension.
It follows that there must be some relationship between stress due to bending, the bending moment present and the
distance of the section in consideration from the neutral axis.

= =

M = bending moment at section (Nm)
I = Second moment of area (m4)
E = Youngs modulus for the material (Pa)
r = radius of curvature (m)
b = bending stress at section (Pa)
y = sections distance from the neutral axis (m)
The most used form of this relationship is the formula:


Radius of curvature (r) is a measure of the curve the beam takes on when loaded. The smaller the value the more bowed
the beam is. It is not constant along the beam and is affected by the bending moment at that point of the beam.
The second moment of area is a measure of the resistance the beams cross-section offers to bending. The formula to
calculate this is too complex and will be given to you.

Uniformly Distributed Loads

Unlike a point load, a uniformly distributed load (UDL) is uniformly distributed across the beam. It you stand on a foot on a
beam then all your weight is on a single point. However if you lie down then your weight will be evenly distributed.
Examples of UDLs are: wind on a building, a fish tank on a shelf, the weight of a beam.
If a beam is uniform it means that its mass is evenly distributed along its length.

A UDL will tend to produce a different shape in the SF and Bending moment diagrams as well. In a shear force diagram the
angled lines replace the horizontal lines of a point load SF diagram. In the SF diagram the UDL is represented by the slope of
lines, if the UDL is large the SF diagram will have a large gradient.
In a BM diagram point loads create angled lines, with a UDL the lines will be curves. This curve will be at times parabolic in
nature and a simple UDL with no point loads will bring about pure parabolic curve for the BM diagram.
In most UDL situations there will be a mix of point loads and UDL, meaning which the key feature to check for in the UDL
regions are angled lines in the SF diagram and curves in the BM diagram.

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Stress and Strain

Stress is a measure of the internal reaction that occurs in response to an externally applied load. The internal reaction is related
to the cross-sectional area.


= the Stress in Pascals (Pa). 1 Pascal is equal to 1 Newton per metre squared
P = the Load in Newtons (N)
A = the Cross Sectional Area in metres squared (m2)

Strain is the proportional change in length caused when a specimen is under an axial load.


= Strain
e = Extension in metres (m)
L = Original length in metres (m)

In mechanically elastic structures such as bridges and buildings, stress is directly proportional to strain.

Shear Stress
Shear stress differs slightly from normal stress in that the area used is different. In shear stress the shear area is used.

s = shear stress (Pa).
P = the Load (N)

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A = shear area (m2)

Engineering and Working Stress

In stress/strain diagrams the stress falls away at the end of the diagram because engineers use engineering stress. It is
calculated by the load divided by the original cross-sectional area, even though in reality the cross-sectional area reduces before
failure. This calculation does not take into account the new area and is done for ease of calculation. True stress takes into
account the changing cross-sectional area.

Maximum allowable stress or safe working stress may be defined as the maximum permissible stress that a material or object
will be subjected to when in service. Working stress is usually less than the yield stress and the UTS. The ratio of working stress
to 1 of the 2 values is called factor of safety and is important is design. Safe working stress is always less than the elastic limit for
a given material.

Related Terms and Definitions

Elastic Limit: Up to this point the strain is elastic and the material will return to original shape and size after the load is removed.
Beyond this point there is permanent deformation.
Yield Stress: where there is a marked increase in strain without a corresponding increase in stress. In mild steel there are
definite yield points but most materials shows progressive yield. The yield stress is slightly 0greater than the elastic limit but less
than the UTS.
Proof Stress: the amount of stress necessary to bring about a certain amount of permanent strain in a material. Proof stress is
used as a measure of yield on materials that do not shows a marked yield point. Usually a set amount of strain (e.g. 2%) is given
and the amount of stress necessary to get this strain value is calculated.
Resilience: the ability to absorb energy up to the elastic limit. The area under the curve in the elastic deformation region
represents the resilience of a material. The resilience represents the amount of strain energy that is stored in the deformed

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Toughness: is a measure of the ability of a material to absorb energy. Tough materials are those capable of absorbing strain
energy or the energy of an impact and are opposite of brittle materials. The toughness found by the area under the stress/strain
curve is different to the value of toughness calculated during impact testing.
Hookes Law: may be stated as follows: Stress is proportional to strain up to the elastic limit. This means that any increase in
stress will bring about a proportional increase up to a given point. English Physicist Robert Hooke studied materials and found
this law.


E = constant
= Strain
= Stress (Pa)
This constant is a measure of the materials resistance to stretching up to the elastic limit and is sometimes called the youngs
modulus or modulus of stiffness.
Youngs modulus is the more common name represented by the constant in Hookes law. Young determined this modulud and it
was named Youngs modulus of elasticity in his honour.

= = =

E = Youngs modulus of elasticity (Pa)
P = axial force (N) L = original gauge length (m)
A = cross-sectional area (m2) = Strain
= deformation (m) = Stress (Pa)

Factor of Safety (FofS)

Factor of safety is the ration of safe working stress to either yield stress or UTS depending on the type of material.
For Ductile Materials For Brittle Materials

= =

The FofS has a large impact on the design of an object. In buildings and bridges the FofS is usually large to ensure that there
is no chance of failure whereas in aircraft it is low to avoid problems related to the extra weight. FofS is decided by both th
application and the material.

Stress/Strain Diagrams

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Stress/strain curves are graphs used to compare the stress and strain of a material loaded in a test. Originally a
load/extension (deformation) curve will be produced, but these values are converted to stress and strain respectively. They
are very useful for determining the performance of different types of materials and different sized pieces. The main
features of the graph are shown above.

Engineering Materials
Testing of Materials

In civil structures X-ray, dye penetration and ultrasonic testing are of primary importance.
X-ray Testing: X-rays are passed through the object and expose a photographic film on the opposite side. If there is a cavity
then more x-rays will pass through and that region will show up darker on the film. Nowadays x-rays are linked to computer
systems that allow 3D imaging of fractures and imperfections. The x-rays are generated from an anode. Gamma rays are
used in areas where access is limited and for thick sections where higher penetrating energy is necessary.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Dye Penetrant Testing: This works to shows cracks in metallic items. The surface is prepared to remove oils/contaminants.
The area is heated and a dye is placed over the surface area and the object is cooled. If a crack is present then the cooling of
the metal will cause the dye to be squeezed out thus revealing the crack. UV light may be used to maximise the chances of
detecting the crack.
Ultrasonic Testing: This is similar to x-ray testing but high frequency radio waves are used instead. A transmitter sends
ultrasonic waves through the component and which are reflected back to the sender (echo). The vibrations are sent
through a coupling medium (e.g. water, oil, gel). In the pulse-echo method the operation of transmitting and receiving are
undertaken using one probe. Flaws are detected by measuring the amplitude of signals reflected back and the time taken
for the signals to travel between specific surfaces and the discontinuity. The signals are recorded and shown on a display.
The height on the display is proportional to the thickness. If a cavity is present the sound wave will be reflected early and
the display will show a lower reading.

Transverse Test: This is useful for determining how a material will perform when bent. Good for materials which are
difficult to tensile test. The material is supported at either end and a load is applied on the side in the centre of the 2
supports, or at positions a third and two-thirds between the supports. In both cases a measure is taken of the bending load
and the total deflection at rupture. The data is converted into stress and strain for analysis.

Testing of Concrete
Slump Test: The slump test is used to check that the concrete is of appropriate fluidity for casting. The concrete is cast into
a conical mould, open at the top and bottom. The mould is placed on a board then the concrete is poured in. Upon removal
of the mould the conical wet concrete is left behind, slumping slightly according to set specifications. If it collapses it is too
wet and if it breaks in half and crumbles then it is too dry. If the consistency is not right then there may be difficulties in
Compressive Test: Concrete is strong in compression and after casting various specimens will be taken and subjected to
compression tests after specified intervals. If the concrete fails any of the tests, then the material was a faulty mix and may
need to be removed, re-cast which a expensive and time consuming option.

Crack Theory
Stress concentration can have a large impact on the behaviour of a material or object in service. At the turn of the century
much effort was put into trying to explain why some ships broke in half in heavy seas, when theoretically they were capable
of the loading. Professor Inglis, in 1913 showed that the reason for this was that certain parts of the ship's structure tended
to concentrate stress at a much higher level than if the irregularity had not been there.
In 1920, a gentleman by the name of A. A. Griffith published a paper that explained that the reason that the practical,
mechanical strength of a material is lower than its theoretical mechanical strength is due to irregularities in the surface that
cause stress concentrations and then cracks. Essentially it is the same concept that Inglis proposed, but on a much wider
scale, because it was not just confined to ships.
The way cracks form and grow is closely linked to the applied stress, the Young's Modulus of the material and the strain
energy present.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Strain Energy: Work and energy are important concepts. Now let us suppose you compress some metal in a vice. You have
done work but where has it gone? The metal doesn't have potential energy, as it is still at the same height as before and no
kinetic energy as it isn't moving; instead it has gained strain energy.
Strain energy is a close relative of potential energy and is a measure of the amount of energy stored in a material that has
undergone some strain whether it be compressive, tensile, shear, bending or torsion.
= 2
SE = strain energy/unit volume (J/m3)
= stress (Pa)
= strain
In terms of Youns modulus the formula becomes: (note that = E)
So strain energy is proportional to the square of the stress and inversely proportional to Youngs Modulus. i.e. If E is high
then SE is lower and if 2 increases then so does SE.
SE is important for cracks. When cracks grow they release strain energy thus the SE present has a large impact on the
propagation of cracks in the material. The greater the SE the more energy to release and the greater change of crack

Crack Formation and Growth

A material has two methods of failure, brittle or ductile failure, and the structure of the material determines how it will fail.
Metal alloys such as mild steel undergo ductile failure up to a point, so they extend in length until brittle failure takes over.
Brittle materials like concrete and glass do not undergo ductile failure; they undergo immediate brittle failure. Crack
formation and growth is a method of brittle failure.
Theoretically glass and other ceramics should be very strong in tension. Unfortunately they never achieve this good tensile
performance because there are tiny micro cracks, micro gas bubbles and minute crystallites on the surface that concentrate
stress at one point and from this grows a crack. Since these are brittle materials it is a healthy breeding ground for the crack
to propagate through the material.
Fig 1.20 (a) shows a set of atoms in a material with a perfect linking of the atomic planes, however (b) shows that an
imperfection is present in the top layer. This will tend to concentrate twice the stress at the next bond, as it must do the
work of two bonds. By (c) the crack is travelling through the bonds as they break and the remaining bonds become more
and more highly stressed (d). As this continues the likelihood of the crack growing increases and eventually the crack will
travel right through the material.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

SE is closely linked to the growth of cracks. When a crack forms, the SE held in the entire object is retained but is released
from the area adjacent to the crack. This released SE is now concentrated at the bottom of the crack, thus increasing the SE
at the tip, so when cracks get larger they grow faster and faster.

Critical Crack Length

There is a critical crack length that a crack must get to before it proceeds through a material. This is a particularly important
factor in design of components in civil structures that use brittle materials. Once this crack length is exceeded then the
crack will travel through until failure occurs (even if the stress is lower than the theoretical limit the material will still fail).
The crack length is directly proportional to Youngs Modulus and inversely proportional to applied stress. This means for a
given stress a material will a high Youngs Modulus should have a longer critical crack length.
The longer the critical crack length the less likely that the material will fail. As stress increase the critical crack length
decreases so we compensate we have a material with high stiffness.

Failure Due to Cracking

Some materials are more likely to crack than others. In accordance a materials propensity to crack is its critical length; the
more brittle a material the shorter its critical crack length will be. Once the critical crack length is exceeded the failure is
inevitable if stress levels are maintained.
One material that is greatly affected by cracking in bridges is concrete. Being a brittle material it has a far shorter critical
crack length than steel, so engineers must take account of this in relation to stress levels that are placed on the material.
Reinforced concrete has been developed in an attempt to overcome the fact that when a beam bends, its lower surface is
placed in tension and thus risks cracking. By placing steel rods in the concrete, in this area, the danger of a crack forming
and growing is greatly reduced.
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Repair and/or Elimination of Failure Due to Cracking
The next step is how to prevent cracking, and if it does occur, to repair it and stop it from occurring again.
Stress plays a big role in crack formation. Once a crack grows, the stress concentration increases so if a crack forms, what
can be done?
If the material in question is metallic then one option to repair a crack is through welding. This solution has problems,
however, because although it will repair the crack, microstructural changes will appear around the weld that may further
weaken the material, and the weld may be a point of stress concentration. After welding, it may be necessary to heat treat
the area to avoid microstructural problems. In polymeric materials it may be possible to use adhesive technology to repair
cracking. If the failure is in a thermoset and adhesives are not available, replacement is the answer. However, for
thermoplastic polymers, adhesives are not the only solution. Another option is polymer welding, which offers strengths
close to the parent material. Ceramic materials such as stone and concrete are more difficult to repair and often need to be
replaced in the event of crack formation.
A method to eliminate cracks is to design the item without sharp corners which can concentrate stress. Another solution is
to put interfaces within the material. An interface is an area within the material, weaker than the surrounding area that
runs perpendicularly to the expected growth of the crack. When a crack travels through it reaches the interface and is
blocked. By strategically placing the interface it is possible to stop the crack from ever reaching critical length.

Structure and Property/Applications
Ceramics are a diverse field of materials that are used extensively in civil structures. The structure that the ceramic takes
tends to has e a considerable effect on its appearance and behaviour.
Stone may come in various forms. In Sydney many civil structures used sandstone in the early days of European settlement
because of its availability. Sandstone is a sedimentary, rock that forms by the build-up of layers of sediment over millions of
years. The pyIons at either end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are not sandstone but granodiorite. Granodiorite is a rock
with a structure between that of granite and diorite. These three are examples of igneous rocks which form by the cooling
of lava from volcanic activity. Slate was used on many early buildings for roof tiles. It is a metamorphic rock which is either
an igneous or sedimentary rock that has metamorphosed into another form because of heat and pressure.
Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone characteristically tend to have a grainy"' appearance. While igneous rocks tend to
have greater cohesion. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are dense because of their formation from the liquid state or
compaction under pressure.
All stone exhibits similar mechanical properties; it is weak in tension, strong in compression and loss in toughness. i.e.
brittle. This brittleness made it easy to chisel but meant that the stone structure had to be made so it was loaded in

Glass has immense use in civil structures. It was originally used sparingly in stone buildings but now dominates the
architecture of many modern buildings. It is an amorphous solid meaning that it does not have a crystalline structure. This
structure makes it transparent which is its primary function. This feature is a cost as the amorphous structure makes it
unfavourable to shaping by force as slip of the atoms cannot occur. So shaping is done at elevated temperatures where the
viscosity of glass is reduced. Glass has no brittleness meaning that it is weak in tension and explains why windows shatter
on impact.
Common window glass is a mixture of silica (SiO2), soda (Na2O) and lime (CaO). The soda overcomes devitrification (where
the glass crystallises) and the lime makes the glass non-water soluble). It softens above 850C and is relatively cheap to
make. As they are brittle and weak in tension it can be a problem for civil structures where windows may be subjected to
shock loads. To overcome this inherent weakness in tension toughened glass was developed.
Toughened glass is a heat treated glass that increases the toughness of a glass pane. The glass pane is heated and then the
outer surface is cooled by blasts of cold air. As the interior cools it contracts and places the outer surfaces in compression,
so to cause a tension failure on of the surfaces the compressive force must be overcome.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Cement is another ceramic material formed by complex reactions which alumina, soda and lime are reacted at high
temperatures. Cement can come in 2 forms hydraulic (which will harden underwater) and non-hydraulic (which wont).
Portland cement (hydraulic) is a common cement used is civil structures. Like most ceramics it is strong is compression,
weak in tension and not tough. It has similar properties to stone but has an advantage as it can be set in any shape.
Cement and concrete are different. Cement is a ceramic material while concrete is a composite that has cement.
Steps to make cement powder:
1. Limestone and shale are both crushed then mixed together, then pass through grinding mills into a kiln.
2. In the kiln the mix fuses (1480C approx.) and forms clicker. The clinker is ground and stored.
3. The clinker is mixed with gypsum (up to 5%) which sols down the setting time once water is added.
4. The clinker/gypsum mix is reground and mixed to a very fine cement power and stored in a dry environment ready
for use.
Setting of Cement: When Portland cement is mixed with water a complex set of chemical reactions occur that tend to form
a silicate gel. Essentially the setting involves both the evaporation of water and the formation of these silicates. This silicate
gel accounts for about half the mass of the set cement and binds the other constituents together. The gel provides the
strength of the set cement. These chemical reactions are exothermic which means they give off heat. This is the reason why
setting cement is often hosed down during curing. Cement (and concrete) dry hardens with a day or two, but does not
reach full bond strength for many years.

Bricks were traditionally made of clay, but nowadays may be made from concrete. Very early construction in Sydney used
sandstone blocks, but it is significantly more cost effective to manufacture bricks from clay. The clay is formed into the brick
shape and then fired to set the clay to that permanent shape. Bricks may be pressed, recognised by being solid, or extruded
where upon they will have a number of holes through them. Bricks are still used extensively in housing construction either
as brick veneer or as double brick construction. Many large brick wall sections now user "besser" blocks, which are large
concrete blocks, with two hollow channels in them.

Composites are materials where two or more materials are mixed or used together to take advantage of the best properties in each.
Timber is a composite in that the cellulose fibres or tracheids are held together by lignin a natural resin ie tracheids in a
lignin matrix. Humans only started using fibreglass and carbon fibre since the 1940s.
Timber can come in softwood (non-pored) or hardwood (pored). Structurally hey differ in that the pored timbers have
pores or vessels running through the structure between the tracheids to carry nutrients, while non-pored timbers have a
neater, more uniform structure without pores, just the tracheids.
Although there are competing materials timber still has some favourable properties. It has a good strength to weight ratio
and reasonable performance in bending. It also has a high Youngs Modulus. However it can be affected by weather,
termites etc. Many older timber structures have not lasted for this reason.

Mortar is the material used between bricks in buildings. Before Portland cement, mortar consisted of slaked lime (Ca(OH) 2),
sand and water. This creates a slow hardening paste that hardens, with the lime reacting with the carbon dioxide to
produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which replaces the sand/slaked lime paste with a nard solid. Now cement contains
Portland cement, sand, lime in the ratio (3:2:1).

Concrete is a composite of cement, sand and aggregate (basalt usually or blast furnace slag). The sand fills in the gaps
between the aggregate and the cement acts as a binder or matrix that holds everything together. The sand and aggregate
bulk out the cement and contribute most to the final strength. It is stronger and cheaper than cement thus is used
extensively. Newer concretes have glass fibre added to improve strength. Normal ratio for concrete is 4:2:1 (aggregate:
sand: cement).
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Concrete is strong in compression, weak in tension and has low toughness. It is also fireproof and does not corrode.
The ratio of water to cement depends on workability and final strength. Too little water and the concrete will not flow, too
much and the concrete will flow but final strength will be low and shrinkage may be a problem. The ration of water to
cement is usually 0.45-0.55.

Reinforced Concrete
Concrete is weak in tension and this may be a problem. So concrete may be reinforced with rods or steel mesh that takes
the tensile load and makes the concrete more resistant to failure.

Pre-stressed reinforced concrete is created to improve the performance of reinforced concrete. This puts the concrete in
tension making it harder for tensile failure to occur as compressive stress has to be overcome first.
Pre-tensioned (Pre-stressed) Concrete: is created when the concrete is cast over a series of cabled that have been
tensioned prior to pouring. Once the concrete sets the cables are released. As they try to return to their original position
they set up compressive stress in the concrete.

Post-tensioned (Post-stressed) Concrete: is formed when concrete is cast with tubes running through the slab. After curing,
wires are pulled through the slab and anchored to plates at one end and tensioned at the other. The causes the concrete
slab to be under compressive stress. After tensioning the wires are anchored to the other end. Then cement slurry is
injected into the tubes to stop the corrosion of steel.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Spalling (Concrete Cancer): In reinforced concrete splaying can occur. This happens when the steel corrodes and expands
causing the concrete to crack which makes the structure unstable and dangerous. Thus steel has to be placed away from
the surface to prevent spalling. Steel can corrode due to salt, air and water. Thus it is essential to use the correct water ratio
and to vibrate the concrete to reduce porosity.

Asphalt or tarmacadam (or tarmac) is the most widely used surface for roads in Australia. It is a composite with hard
aggregate (often crushed blast furnace slag or basalt) and bitumen as the matrix. It is advantageous because it is tough and
crack resistant (due to bitumen) and hard wearing (due to aggregate). It is also impervious to contamination by oil. It is laid
hot and when it cools the bitumen solidifies. It can deal with slight movements in the road better than concrete because of
its toughness.

Laminates consist of varying materials sandwiched together.
Plywood: is a laminate that is useful where the grain structure of timber causes weakness. It consists of layers of timber
where the grain is arranged 90 to each successive layer.
Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL): is similar to plywood in appearance except the veneers are not arranged 90 to each
other. The veneer runs along the beam. LVLs have become popular in construction as they are stronger than the equivalent
piece of timber and less susceptible to shrinkage or warping.
Laminated Glass: is used where a shatter-resistant glass is needed. Two layers of glass are passed through rollers that
compress a polymer sheet (usually polyvinyl butyral) lying between them. This creates a glass that will not shatter, making it
more resistant to breaking into shards after impact.
Bimetallic Strips: These use 2 metals back to back. One metal has a different thermal expansion rate to the other so when it
heats up the strip will deflect from its neutral position. This makes it useful in thermostats and protection circuits in gas

These are woven polymers (usually polypropylene or polyester) or ceramic fibres that are used for a variety of purposes in
civil construction. E.g. stabilising road base. Asphalt is laid on a crushed material on road base. Over time this road base can
becomes contaminated by the clay, rock or soil it is resting on. Geotextile sheet is placed between the subsoil and road base
thus stabilising the road base and making it less likely to form potholes.
They are also used as filters for drainage systems. NSW railways use geotextiles in draining systems so the drains under the
tracks do not fill up with slit and then clog. Geotextiles are also used to stop the road base around the drainage pipes from
contaminating the ballast upon which the tracks rest. They are also used on construction sites to stop dirt in water runoff
from getting into storm water drains.

Corrosion may be defined as the chemical deterioration of a material. Corrosion occurs in metals, ceramics and polymers. It
usually involves the breaking down of the material by chemical means such as the ultraviolet deterioration of a polymer.
Metallic corrosion involves the deterioration of metals or metal alloys, and is basically the reverse of the refining process. In
nature, most metals exist as chemical compounds. Refining them produces the pure metal, while corrosion progressively
returns them to the combined state.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Oxidation and Reduction: Oxidation is loss of electrons, it occurs at the anode. Reduction is the gain of electrons and
occurs at the cathode (OIL RIG). Some metals are more likely to be anodic while others are likely to cathodic. Cathodic
metals tend to be more stable and less affected by corrosion.

Dry Corrosion
Dry corrosion occurs through chemical reactions of metals or alloys with gases in furnaces at high temperatures. E.g. fir
tubes in steam train boilers, water pipes in power station boilers and metal components in heat treatment furnace. A
principal cause is reaction of the metal with oxygen and other molecules in flue gases.

Wet Corrosion
Wet corrosion occurs when a metal is placed into a fluid usually an electrolyte (a solution containing ions which can carry
electric charges).
Uniform Attack: If a metal is placed in an electrolyte, some parts will be anodic and others cathodic. The locations of the
cathode and anode will constantly change resulting in uniform corrosion. Steel, under circumstances, will form a uniform
layer of rust as it corrodes.
Galvanic Attack: This type of corrosion comes in three forms, Galvanic corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals are placed
together in the presence of a corrosive environment. Different metals have a greater affinity to corrode than others; so one
metal will become cathodic, while the other becomes anodic. Consider a steel pipe with a copper sleeve over it. The steel
pipe under the sleeve will corrode as copper is more cathodic than steel. Composition cells also occur microstructurally, for
example ferrite in steel will become the anode, while cementite will become the cathode.
Concentration cells occur when there is a difference in concentration of the electrolyte.

In the car door shown below, the trapped water will become stagnant and the bottom of the pool will become low in
oxygen (O2), while the surface will have higher levels of oxygen. This differential in oxygen levels sets up a concentration cell
and corrosion will occur. High 02 will create a cathode while the area of low 0 2 will become the anode. So the lower part of
the door will lose electrons and deteriorate, while the cathode gains electrons and rust layers will build up. The result will
be the eventual destruction of the door from the inside out. This is why a plastic coating on the outside does not stop the
rust problem.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Concentration cells take a particularly damaging form as crevice corrosion in structures. Like the car door example above,
crevice corrosion is where an electrolyte fills a crevice and we get different oxygen levels between the top and bottom of
the crevice. Crevice corrosion can be problematic on any metal structure where joints may crate crevices.
Stress cells are the result of high residual stress in parts of a metal object. These areas of high stress tend to become anodic
while the lower stress areas become cathodic.
Often a stressed material will corrode when an unstressed piece in similar conditions will not corrode.
Grain boundaries in metals tend to be a location of high stress and thus a metal with a fine grain is more liable to corrode
internally than a coarse grained metal. This situation differs from a composition cell in the microstructure of steel, as stress
corrosion at grain boundaries can occur in a pure metal where all grains have the same composition.

Corrosion - Good or Bad

Corrosion is always going to occur in metals. The effect corrosion has can be horrendous and so a lot of time and money is
spent combating it. "Corrosion" is most often associated with steel and rust, and it is a problem that engineers have not yet
overcome. Some metals like steel will form a porous layer (rust) that allows corrosion to continue. Others, like aluminium,
form a protective film that makes the metal passive and inert. Metals in this situation display a condition called passivity.
Passivity is a condition where a metal that should be quite reactive appears inert. Metals exhibiting passivity have a
corrosion product that is a non-porous tenacious film that protects the underlying metal from further corrosion. The film is
self-healing, so when scratched it immediately reforms. Examples of passive metals are aluminium, titanium and chromium,
while a passive alloy is stainless steel.
Rust is simply the name given to the corrosion product of steel. It is the antithesis of the corrosion products on passive
metals. It is porous and flaky and as it grows and flakes it continually exposes fresh corrodible metal beneath. This is why
most steel structures must be protected from the atmosphere or corrosive environments to ensure longevity.

Protecting Civil Structures

Most steel civil structures such as bridges use one of two protective mechanisms to stop corrosion. One is paint on the
surface, e.g. The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Another method is to galvanise the steel pieces. Galvanising involves dipping the
steel part into molten zinc, which then covers the steel and protects it from corrosion. To be technically correct the zinc
coating is not passive, but very slowly corrodes away. Once it has corroded away after many years, the steel will then rust,
but until that time it is readily protected.
To enhance the corrosion resistance of galvanised steel, other products like Zincalume have been developed. Zincalume
coats the steel in a zinc/aluminium alloy which offers improved protection. Colorbond steel uses a Zincalume base and
adds a polyester coating and then baked on colour top coat, to produce a decorative and durable steel sheeting product.
Some sheet aluminium alloy applications use AlcladTM, which is duralumin (aluminium/copper alloy) coated with pure
aluminium. The passive aluminium protects the more corrosive-susceptible alloy. Aluminium alloy window frames are
normally anodised which involves creating a thick oxide layer to further enhance the oxide aluminium naturally forms.
Cathodic Protection: It is possible to protect civil structures and other objects by a process called cathodic protection. Here
the object to be protected is made the cathode and hence protection from corroding.
Sacrificial Anodes: these are blocks bolted to a metal such as steel which would normally corrode, but by using more
reactive materials for the sacrificial anodes such as zinc, aluminium or magnesium, the steel becomes cathodic to the
anode. Sacrificial anodes find extensive use in boat hulls to stop the steel hull corroding in the harsh marine environment.
Impressed Current Protection Systems (ICCP): These use a current to reverse the standard electrical flow associated with
corrosion, and by reversing the current flow the structure or object, usually steel, becomes the cathode. It finds use in
pipelines and long structures where sacrificial anodes would be ineffective over such a large surface.

Engineering Materials
Engineering Reports
Title Page: This should list the title of the report and you or your groups name. A title page should be visually appealing.
Synopsis: This is a summary of the content and aim or reporting. It should provide enough info to give an overview, or
outline, of the primary points of the report.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Introduction: The introduction sets the scene for the report by giving the subject, purpose and parameters of the report.
You may also include a background for the report such as some history of the topic.
Methodology: This is the description of the method or process used to carry out the work required for the report.
Experiment procedure and equipment is outlined here.
Results: Here the outcome of the investigation or experiment is recorded. It should include figures, graphs and perhaps
tables that have allowed you to gain the results. It should have minimal calculation/pictures/drawings. These should be
placed in the appendix.
Conclusion: This is the resolution of the report, the judgement made from the evidence in the results section. It may be the
choice of which alloy steel is best for reinforcing concrete, or which metal tube is best for bicycle manufacture.
Recommendation: After the report is concluded a recommendation may be made as to the final choice, such as, "The most
appropriate tubing for the bicycle is an air hardening steel, such as Reynolds 853."
Acknowledgements: If somebody has helped you in any way in the preparation of your report, their names should be
included here. This section is a good place to add names of people who have helped you obtain information from
companies you contacted.
References: If you gain any information from books or journals then they should be included here. At university this will
become an exceedingly important task, as to claim work that is not yours, is academic misconduct and may result in
expulsion. Use a similar style for referencing to the method below, which is used by many tertiary institutions,
Author Name/s. (Year), Title of Book, Location, Publisher. For example,
Copeland, Paul L. (2011), Engineering Studies The Definitive Guide. Sydney, Anno Domini 2000
Appendix: Finally, at the very end, include any appendices, with calculations, drawings etc. This means that the readers do
not have to read this information but it is there if required.

Engineering Application Module 2 Personal and Public Transport

Historical and Societal Influences
Historical Developments in Transport Systems

Cycle Development
Prior to it nothing existed that operated on the principle of balanced travel and it has only extended to the motorcycle. The
bicycle marked the beginning of a new style of transport.
Early Machines: The invention of the bicycle has been credited to a Frenchman, le Comte de Sivrac, who introduced his
machine, the clrifre, at the Palais Royal Gardens (Jardin du Palais Royale), in Paris, in 1791. He put wheels on what had
been a child's toy, the rocking horse.
The clrifre was renamed the velocipede or dandy-horse and efforts were made to improve the appearance by making it
resemble animals such as lions, horses or even dragons. In 1816, a German, Baron Karl von Drais von Sauerbron improved
the original velocipede by fitting a steerable front wheel, armrests, a padded seat and even a primitive rear wheel brake.
His machine was called a draisienne and was still propelled by walking it along the ground. The draisienne became popular,
especially in England, where it became known as the hobby-horse.
The method of human propulsion on the early machines was hardly ideal. The introduction of mechanical propulsion was
sure to come. In 1821 an Englishman, Lewis Compertz, designed a rack and pinion (a cog meshing with a toothed rack)
system so the arms could be used to assist the feet pushing along the ground. It was not a perfect solution but definitely an
Pedal Power: A Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpartick Macmillan, developed a pedal drive in 1839. He used a pair of hanging
stirrup pedals, attached to long arms, that connected to cranks on the rear wheel. It was similar in principle to the
locomotive drive, with the backwards and forwards motion of the pedals converted into rotation by the cranks on the back
wheel. Gearing was determined by the size of the rear wheel; the larger the wheel, the higher the gear. Macmillan's
machine, sometimes called Macmillan's Velocipede, weighed just over 30 kg. It was archaic in concept and construction but
it now enabled a rider to travel without having to push with his feet on the ground.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Rear wheel drive was not to become popular on bikes for a long time. The next stage of bicycle development was front
wheel drive. In I861 Monsieur Brunel took his draisienne for repairs to a coach maker Pierre Michaux. Michaux suggested
that the machine could be improved by fitting cranks, with pedals on the ends, to the front wheel so that it could be
pedalled. By 1867, at the Paris Exhibition, this new bicycle, the velocipede (the cynics called it boneshaker) had become,
an established mode of transport. Michaux opened a factory and employed 300 workers to produce these bicycles. Soon
three-wheeled, four-wheeled, tandem and even triplet versions of the velocipede appeared. Schools for riding sprang up,
and organised races were introduced. In 1874 Englishman James Starley, famous in the cycling world, patented the first
"lady's' bicycle. It was ridden side-saddle with one pedal. Starley also invented the spoke radiating at an angle from the
wheel hub.
The "Old Ordinary (Penny-Farthing): As with the car the speed of bicycles has been something that has motivated new
designs. Before gears, the solution was to increase the front wheel diameter so that, for each rotation of the wheel, the
bike went further. Wheels became larger and larger with the only limitation being the length of the rider's leg. The new
bicycle had a large front wheel up to 1.52 m (5 feet) in diameter and a small rear wheel. Released in 1870, it became known
as the Old Ordinary or Penny Farthing (two British coins). It was unstable and when braking heavily it usually sent the rider
over the handlebars. Descending hills was a thrilling, if not dangerous, experience as the pedals span wildly. To counter this
final problem, footrests were fitted high on the front forks so that the rider could free his/her feet from the pedals. They
were tricky to ride, they were the fastest things on two wheels until the chain driven safety bicycle appeared.

The Safety Bicycle: Attempts to make the front wheel smaller, and therefore the bicycle safer, were defeated by the lack of
a feasible solution at the time. A reliable bicycle chain was a major invention needed to develop a safe successor to the Old
Ordinary. James Starley gave us the makings of the modern bicycle when he developed the Rover 'safety" bicycle of 1885.
Starley had already designed a chain-driven bike for Rover in 1880. It had linkage steering of the front wheel, which was still
larger than the rear wheel. His new design brought together some of the main elements of the modern machine: geared
chain drive, wheels of equal size, direct steering, inclined forks, and the diamond-shaped frame. These safety bicycles were
a vast improvement. They were easier to mount and ride, they allowed improved gear ratios, which made them faster but
requiring less effort to ride.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Initially there was some but another development the pneumatic cycle tyre changes this. Prior to this, all tyres were solid
rubber. With pneumatic tyres the bicycle was more comfortable so the rider could travel even faster. Sensing the
commercial value of this, Dunlop went into the tyre manufacturing business, and within a few years, the pneumatic tyre
had completely replaced the solid tyre as standard equipment on bicycles and on the new inventions, cars and trucks. The
Dunlop Company had become the largest in the tyre business.
Mass Production: By the late 1800s the bicycle was becoming a cheap and practical form of personal transport. Mass
production of the bicycle began, and by 1914 the practical utility bicycle was being assembled from some 300 separate
components. The majority of these were manufactured by specialist firms. Many cycle companies were the core of the
fledgling automotive industry, for example Morris and Riley and Peugeot.
Up to the Present: Through the 1000s the frame design did not change a great deal. The frame angles were altered and
different alloys were used to reduce weight. By the 1960s, high strength, lightweight aluminium alloy frames were used and
new gearing systems, were developed. Nowadays we see very base end bicycles made from mild steel tubing and mountain
bicycles using aluminium alloys and high end carbon fibre reinforced polymers.
Big developments occurred in the 20th century with gearing and braking. By the 1990s the mountain bike had demanded
wider range gearing and the simple 10 speed derailleur expanded out to take in first 7 speed rear clusters with now 10
speed rear clusters being the norm for high end bicycles. Front derailleurs have remained 2 speeds for most road bicycles
and 3 speeds for mountain and touring. Hub gears are rare in Australia but are used extensively on city and folding bikes in
Europe. Derailleur gear systems are more efficient than huh gears but require more maintenance.
Brakes have improved with cast aluminium alloys now allowing dual pivot calliper brakes with good braking performance
and also lightweight for weight conscious road bicycles. Early mountain bicycles used cantilever brakes, which were
predominately replaced by V brakes and now disc brakes; both cable and hydraulic discs are used on mountain bicycles.

Modern Bicycles
Mountain Bikes: Initially mountain bike had a standard diamond frame bike that had been more heavily constructed to
stand up to off road riding. Mountain bikes typically have smaller wheels than road bicycles (ETRTO 559 mm) with knobbly
tyres. Such tyres are not ideal for road riding because of the high rating resistance. However entry level mountain bicycles
have become the bicycle of choice for recreational cyclists. These typically use aluminium alloy frames (such as 7000 series),
High-end mountain bicycles are popular with off road riding and various competitive events exist for such cycling. Here
carbon fibre reinforced frames dominate. Most high-end mountain bicycles use dual suspension.
Road Bicycles: The modern road bicycle typically uses an aluminium alloy frame for entry-level bikes and then carbon fibre
reinforced polymers moulded frames are used with more expensive models. They have large diameter (ETRTO 622 mm) but
narrow wheels and tyres. Road bicycles rely on some flex in the frame to provide improved pedalling response and some
release from road vibrations, but require rigidity as well so pedalling forces are not lost. Originally steel and alloy steel
frames offered this perfect compromise, but desire for lighter weights led to aluminium alloys which tend to have less flex
because aluminium alloys have no definite fatigue limit so frames are built with little or no flex. Carbon fibre reinforced
polymers offer the ride of steel but are lighter than aluminium alloys so they are now the frame material of choice. Their
durability, however, in terms of long term ownership is questionable.
Moulton Bicycles: Alex Moulton's bicycles pioneered the use of small wheels with high-pressure tyres. Prior to this small
wheel bicycles were simply children's bikes. Moulton proved that small wheels with high-pressure tyres were the equals of
large wheeled bicycles.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
However they had a rougher ride so suspension was fitted. Moulton bike were very popular in the 1960s but as the craze
waned Moulton moved into high quality small volume bicycle production and his designs now use a complex stainless steel
space frame design, which is light, strong hut quite expensive.
Folding Bicycles: These took the small wheel design and developed them into folding bikes good for easy commuting.

Recumbent Cycles - or Riding Reclined

The concept of the recumbent bicycle (and tricycle) is a sound engineering principle. The human body is not really designed
for the arms to support a person's weight. Yet the common or upright bicycle requires that part of the body weight is
supported by the arms. The bicycle saddle, developed many years ago, is not designed to support all of the rider's weight. If
one sits vertically, without putting weight on the arms, the bottom will soon get sore.
The recumbent bicycle is one solution. The larger, more comfortable seat has a backrest which is reclined. The pedals are
out in front. The rider's arms carry no weight. The machine is more aerodynamic and falls should be minor. Conversely they
are heavier, more costly, and harticr to balance.
One of the disadvantages of a bicycle is the need to balance it and the rider must allow the bike to wander slightly from side
to side in order to maintain balance. The tricycle is a solution to this, but it is highly susceptible to rolling at moderate
speeds. The recumbent tricycle has a low centre of gravity so rolling is far less of a concern, and there is no balance issue.
Because of their extra mass, tricycles tend to be a slower uphill and average speed downhill. They can also corner as quickly
as any bicycle. Being low, means that they have an aerodynamic advantage in head and cross winds. They are better in wet
conditions than the bike because their design makes them more stable when cornering. But they are heavier and more
costly than an equal quality upright bicycle.

Car Development
Ford Model T (1908-1927) was the first mass produced car that used a production line. It had 4 cylinders 2.9L and one
engine block. It had a 2 speed gearbox (and reverse) and was operated by pedal exchange. The brake pedal acted on
transmission and the top speed was 64km/h. It was much cheaper and this made available to a wider market.
Austin 7 (1922-1939) had a 696cc engine (upgraded to 747cc in 1924). It had 3 speeds and 4 wheel brakes. Top speed was
70-80km/h. It was much cheaper and this made available to a wider market.
Volkswagen Beetle (1938-1980). It was expensive and German. It had a noisy but reliable flat 4 air cooled motor which had
longevity and reliability. However it was small and had a swing axle rear suspension system.
Citroen DS19 (1955-1975) was aerodynamic and had hydro-pneumatic suspension and pressurised braking system.
BMC Mini (1959-2000) had a very compact gearbox/motor unit (the motor was placed at 90 degrees). It had a long wheel
base and a maximised interior space. It had a better suspension using the Hydrolastic system. BMC also followed the mini
with the 1100(larger) and the 1800(considerably larger).
Range Rover (1970-1996) was the first off road vehicle with luxury in mind. It featured full coil spring suspension and
constant 4 wheel drive.
The 4 wheel brake was developed in the mid to late 1920s. This made travel safer.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Cheaper cars after WW2 allowed more people to get on the road.
Improvements in handling and braking continued to occur.
In 1970 the Victorian government required seatbelts in the front and rear this spread to all of Australia by 1972.
In the 1970s it became a status symbol.
In the 80s and 90s there was increase in the integration of computer systems which improved safety, reliability, efficiency
and emissions.
In the 21st century pollution became a concern but hybrid cars were slow in gaining market.
Car Propulsion: Hybrid cars have barely made an impact with Toyota/Lexus and Honda being the prime drivers with other
companies proposing but yet to release. Petrol engines have improved with direct injection designs and diesel engines have
advanced in engine management and injection systems that have vastly improved their performance while maintaining
their economy. Hybrid cars have little traction in the market and fuel cell cars seem even further away.

Train Developments:
From the 14th to the 18th centuries trains were horse powered. Many wagons were hauled up out of mines using "pit
ponies", and this practice continued in Australia until the 1950s. Originally rails were timber but iron rails were introduced
in 1728 in England. In 1803 the first public railway was opened for hauling freight: it was just over 15km long and ran from
Wandsworth to Croydon in Southern England. This was followed in 1806 by the first public passenger line with a horse-
drawn train in South Wales. In Australia the very first railway was in Tasmania and was actually convict powered. The train
ran on rails, but instead of a steam engine, the convicts ran alongside the train pushing it.
Steam Trains: In 1803 the very first steam locomotive was constructed by Richard Trevithick for the Coalbrookdale
Ironworks. He built a second locomotive the following year and it was apparent that this machine could do more work than
a horse at a speed of 8 km/h. Trevithick used his high-pressure steam engine as opposed to competing atmospheric steam
engines that were used for driving pumps and machinery. This heavy locomotive, however, broke up the rail line, so it was
In 1812 the first locomotives to conduct regular work were designed by John Blenkinsop, for a colliery in Yorkshire. They
differed from current trains as the wheels and tracks had interlocking teeth. Blenkinsop felt that smooth rails would slip too
easily. Trevithick had proved this was not the case, but Blenkinsops's system was to reappear, in a modified form, for
mountain railroads.
George Stephenson, a mine mechanic, invented a locomotive in 1814, and it was to be the first step in his work of
developing railways. He envisaged a railway system criss-crossing the country, carrying freight and passengers alike. In 1823
he was appointed as the engineer to the Stockton and Darlington railway. This 16 km line ran from a colliery to the port of
Stockton-on-Tees, and was opened in 1825. His locomotive, Locomotion, was designed with his son, Robert. It was the first
locomotive to haul on a public line and was capable of speeds up to 25 km/h.
Stephensons Rocket had an immense impact on locomotive design. George and Robert Stephenson in a competition (1829)
entered their Rocket, which had an innovative boiler design; 25 tubes earning skater ran through the firebox, more
efficiently creating steam. Along with an improved exhaust system, the Rocket was twice as fast as rival designs.
From that moment, rail transport expanded as it was faster than horse drawn. As speeds increased brakes had to improve
as mechanical brakes were difficult to use. In 1869 George Westinghouse patented an air brake design. Operation centred
on the brakes being held off by the air pressure. When the air pressure was released the brakes were applied. This made it
safer if the train lost its air pressure.
Another big advance in steam locomotive design was the development of the compound steam engine developed by
Anatole Mallet in 1876. Steam flowed from one cylinder to the another cylinder. Following "compounding", there was
superheating, which was initially adopted in Germany in 1898. The moisture content of the steam produced by the boiler
was reduced by increasing the temperature, hence increasing the efficiency of the motor. Tight curves are difficult for trains
to negotiate, while steep grades mean they lose traction. The solution to both of these problems is to produce large
sweeping curves and to use tunnels and cuttings to pass over hilly terrain.
The standard steam locomotive has one or two large driving wheels with many smaller wheels that are carried as pivoting
bogies to balance the train at front and back. The train often carries a tender carriage behind it containing water and coal,
which has no drive wheels under it. The problem with this is that a lot of the weight is not carries over the drive wheel, so
on steep gradients, the wheels will slip. The Garratt and Shay were 2 trains that avoided this problem.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
The Garratt locomotive was made in three articulated parts; the middle was the boiler and cab while the front and back
carriages were the tenders for water and coal respectively. Unlike other trains, the bogies on the tenders were driven, so
you there were more driving wheels and therefore less chance of wheel spin. Garratt locomotives were very large, yet could
deal with tight curves. The main disadvantage was the wear on the pipes that carried steam to the tenders at either end.
The Shay locomotive. The boiler is offset to the left side of the locomotive to allow a set of three vertical pistons on the
right hand side. These pistons moved up and down and were connected to a crankshaft that ran along the right hand side of
the locomotive. Mounted to the crankshaft were pinions that engaged with bevel gears on every wheel. This meant that
every wheel was a driving wheel, as the left side wheels were connected to the right hand wheels by axles. The crankshaft
had to have universal and sliding joints to allow the bogie to turn, and the tender also had drive wheels underneath to
improve traction. The main advantage was that each wheel was driving so wheel spin was less likely, and it was designed to
deal with tight curves. The disadvantage was that the design was slow, with a maximum speed of 25km/h and it suffered a
lot of wear in the universal and sliding joints.

Gauges refer to the distance between the tracks. By the 1830s it was a hotly contested issue. Originally the gauge of lines
was 1.44m. All railway engineers simply used this accepted gauge, except Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was responsible for
the Great Western Railway (GWR) in England. Brunel felt that a wide gauge of 1.83m offered distinct advantages. The wider
gauge makes a train more stable and less likely to roll, as its wheels are further apart. It does, however, make tight curves
more difficult.
Unfortunately he was the out person to adopt this gauge and as more railways sprang up around England it became clear
that the wide gauge days were numbered. In Australia all the states that different gauges until the 20th Century when they
went to 1.44m.

Electric Trains
The main challenges to steam trains were electric trains. With reliable electric motors and power stations, both available by
the 1880s, electric trains were a viable option to steam. Two advantages are: less polluting and quieter. The disadvantage is
that they need infrastructure in place to provide power, because an electric train cannot use just any rail tine.
The first electric train design was shown by Werner von Siemens at an 1879 Berlin exhibition and by 1883 public electric
lines were opened. The electric train offered great advantages with its underground rail lines. This was an answer to
congestion in cities. In 1890 the first electric underground railway was opened in London and it has since become an
essential part of the city's transport. In Sydney the underground stations of Museum and St James were opened in 1926.
Town Hall and Wynyard stations followed in 1931, and with the completion of Circular Quay station in 1956 the City Circle
was created. In the London Underground, electric trains were essential. Electric trains have been used on suburban railway
lines since the late 1920s in Sydney, while outlying areas like Wollongong, Newcastle and Lithgow did not gain electric trains
until the 1980s.
Electric trains need to have power provided. Some of the trains, carriages have a pantograph that is connected to the
electric motors that run on the overhead wires. In other situations a third rail between the other two, is used to provide
power. Without these systems, the electric train cannot run, but with them they are a viable option. Many goods trains in
NSW are pulled by electric locomotives. Electric trains reduce the pollution in the city as the only pollution comes from the
power stations.

Diesel Trains
The diesel train succeeded the steam train. Electric trains could not service in the outer areas. The first diesel train ran in
Germany. The future for diesel is where diesel generators power electric motors. This system has a better system than a
gearbox for large power delivery. Another system is Diesel Hydraulic Drive where the diesel motor uses fluid under pressure
to turn the wheels.
By the 60s diesel trains were widespread in NSW and by the 70s steam trains were gone. Diesel electric trains are used for
long distances and some freight. Some trains in NSW also use the diesel hydraulic drive.

Effects of Engineering Innovation in Transport on Peoples Lives

The pedal-powered velocipede, bicycle. 1839, greatly improved the usability of the bicycle.
Old Ordinary (Penny Farthing) - faster transport than the velocipede but dangerous to ride.
Rover Safety Cycle, 1885 - safer transport with similar speeds
1888 - Dunlop's pneumatic tyres
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Early 1900s - mass production of the bicycle
Freewheeling hubs made cycling far safer for riders
Internal hub gearing - improved bike as a form of transport
High strength steel alloys, such as Reynolds 531 - bikes became lighter.
Recumbent bikes - better comfort but outlawed from racing - stalled their development
Lightweight aluminium alloys & reliable derailleur gears - improved traditional: design of Safety Cycle.
After WWII - cycle usage declined as cheap cars available - subsequent pollution not much considered.
Suez oil crisis, 1950s - forced many people back to bikes - cycle development took off again
Moulton bike sparked cycling craze in UK - suited image of the swinging sixties.
BMX small wheels off road racing popular with children
1980s rise of the mountain bike grew into the most popular bike many specialised components developed.
Recumbent bikes and trikes grew in popularity in the 1990s to create a niche market - good for long-distance touring -
easier on the body
1990s and on - more exotic materials - greater weight savings - improved performance

Steam train - 19th century alternative to the horse and cart for transport.
Railways systems developed world-wide, 19th century - ability for people to travel across country for first time- meant a
boom for many small towns.
Electric trains, 20th century, in urban environments, reduced pollution compared to steam trains.
Train, important tool in WWI and WWI - supplies, movement of troops. After WWII, diesel train started to appear - by 1960s
starting to replace steam - less pollution, greater reliability, quicker times
More electric rail networks further improvement of air quality.
High-speed trains greatly cut transport times, e.g. English Channel Tunnel train faster from London to Paris than plane.
Today, some see well-designed electric trains and light rail systems as answer to traffic congestion.

Effects of Engineering Innovation in Transport on Peoples Lives

Timber was used in early bicycles because of a lack of suitable alternative materials. Frames were made from timber pieces
that were shaped, while timber was also used for wheel construction.
Iron was used initially as a tyre on wooden wheels and in early frames, but it was replaced by steel frames and rubber tyres.
Steel was produced in large, cheap quantities after Henry Bessemer developed his converter in 1856. From this point, cycle
frames began to use steel construction and by the 1870s steel wheels with thin steel spokes were used. Steel tubing offered
good strength with a relatively low weight. Although not as light as some materials, tubing was lighter than solid rods. Cold
drawn steel tubes offered the best strength for cycle frames.
Steel frames were usually made by brazing with lugs. The lug was a small joint piece into which the tubes slid (then brazed).
Welding was only done on cheaper frames. With newer techniques, most plain carbon steel frames are welded.
Steel was used extensively in brake and gear construction up to the 1970s when aluminium alloys started to encroach, in an
attempt to save weight. Steel is still extensively used in chains and gear clusters and on many cheaper bikes all components
are steel, because it offers reasonable strength, ease of fabrication and is cost effective.
Alloy steels Reynolds 531 was a manganese-molybdenum steel that offered a better strength to weight ratio than plain
carbon steel.. Chromium-molybdenum steels are also used and these once again offer superior strength to weight ratios
than do plain carbon steels. Whereas Reynolds 531 was really only suitable for brazing (with lugs), chromium-molybdenum
(called Cro-Mo) steels can be welded. With modem production techniques, this is an advantage, as the TIG and MIG welded
frame is quicker, lighter and cheaper to fabricate than a brazed steel lug frame.
Reynolds and True Temper have released air hardening steels such Reynolds 631, 853 and True Temper OSX. The problem
with welding or brazing a tube of steel that is cold rolled is that, around the weld joint, the steel is annealed and softens. Air
hardening steels harden in still air to maintain strength around the welded joint. The result is an extremely strong frame
with a high strength to weight ratio (almost like Aluminium or titanium alloys).
Stainless Steel was not used for frame construction except for Moulton bikes but is now used as martensitic ageing
stainless steel (UTS 2000MPa). Stainless steels also used for cables and pins for brakes and gears (corrosion resistance).
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Aluminium alloys are now widely used in cycle construction. Reynolds offers a 6061 alloy (heat-treatable Al/Si/Mg) and a
7005 alloy (heat-treatable Al/Zn). 6061 offers excellent corrosion resistance and is more workable than other heat-treated
alloys. 7005 offers greater strength but greater density than 6061. Aluminium is light but considerably weaker, so tubes are
often not circular but oval, to increase the resistance to bending. Aluminium must be welded, usually using TIG and MIG
methods, and offers the advantage of being relatively corrosion resistant. Aluminium alloys are also used in the
manufacture of brake and gear parts because of their lightweight nature. Brake levers and arms, derailleurs and hubs use
aluminium alloys.
Titanium alloys such as 3% A1/2.5% V/Rem. Ti are finding favour in cycle manufacture, not just in frames but also in gear
componentry. Titanium components and frames are usually very expensive and in frames, at least, they offer little over
steel alloys like Reynolds 953, or carbon fibre reinforced polymers. Titanium must be welded using the TIG method and this
must be done very carefully or there may be weld cracking. Titanium sprockets offer a viable alternative to steel cogs but
they come at a high cost and, as such, are only used on the best racing bikes.
Carbon fibre reinforced polymer is an excellent alternative to aluminium alloy or alloy steel frames (high strength to weight
ratio). The frame is moulded as opposed to fabricated and additional parts are usually placed on the frame with an
adhesive. Carbon fibre is tough and strong. When it fails, however, it happens suddenly and with little or no plastic
deformation to warn of imminent often catastrophic failure. It has become the material of choice for all mid to high level
road bicycles and high end mount bicycles.
Rubber was partly responsible for the growth of cycling. Solid rubber tyres were used to replace iron tyres. It was lighter
and provided moderate springing. Dunlop developed the pneumatic tyre that made cycling even more pleasant. Today,
synthetic rubber is still used in tyre construction. Rubber has also been used for suspensions on bikes. On Moulton bikes it
is used for both suspensions. It has the advantage of being light and also being self-damping (shock absorber not required).
Polymers are greatly used in the manufacture of cycles where their flexibility is a great advantage. Polymer sheaths are
placed over cables, and are also used in pedal construction. They offer flexibility, are lightweight and show good resistance
to deterioration caused by the weather and UV light. They are also used in cycle lights and finishing pieces.

Environmental Effects of Transport Systems

Cycling, as a form of transport, is one of the most efficient ways to travel; that is, the energy expended is used more
usefully than many other forms of transport. It is non-polluting and human power is a renewable energy source.
It is perhaps not as popular as it should be as weather becomes a major issue for travel. Many people also fear riding on
roads because of the dangers posed by motor vehicles, drivers who are unsympathetic to cyclists, and the absence of good
cycle paths.

Trains have also had negative impacts on the environment. The construction of railways has resulted in tree felling and the
levelling of land. Many railway lines also incorporate tunnels and cuttings which, when blasted, can have an adverse impact
the surrounding areas on.
Steam trains produced excessive pollution, with an efficiency of only 5 to 10%. In many developing countries steam engines
are still used but run on oil which produces even more smoke than coal did previously.
Electric trains also cause pollution, as the electricity must be produced somewhere! In NSW, that is usually in coal power
stations, which are major contributors to the greenhouse effect. The electric train, however, does take the pollution away
from urban areas where air quality is always a problem.
Diesel trains although more efficient than steam trains still Pollute. Newer diesel trains emit less smoke than the older ones,
and modern computerised engines to ensure minimum pollution but maximum power.
For passenger and freight transport, however, trains are better environmentally than road t vehicles. Railway lines are
narrower than freeways so has less of an impact, can haul many people or goods without congesting roads. Electric railways
move vast amounts of people in the city without pollution or traffic congestion.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Environmental Implications from the Use of Materials in Transport

Forests have been greatly affected by large scale transport developments as large areas of forest are cleared contributing
to climate change/global warming and habitat loss for fauna. Timber was used for railway sleepers and as a fuel source for
some steam locomotives.
Steel has been the main transport material since 1856. It has found use in both plain, carbon and alloyed forms in all types
of transport. The use of steel has resulted in pollutants in the air (from refining process). Steel production requires large
amounts of iron to be produced, which means iron ore must be mined. These mining operations are usually open-cut mines
which involve large open pits with machinery digging down to extract the ore. As well as iron-ore, coal and limestone, are
needed for the fuelling of the blast furnaces to produce the iron. Coal also has to be mined and refined to coke.
Cast iron has had a similar impact to steel but is used to a lesser extent nowadays. Essentially similar metallurgically to the
iron from the blast furnace, it still requires vast amounts of iron-ore and coal and coke.
Aluminium has increased in use greatly in the last half of the 20th Century. Like iron, it is refined from an ore, bauxite,
which is mined in an open cut manner, also affecting the local landscape and environment. It is refined using electricity and
as a result, power stations have to pollute. Aluminium refining also produces fluorine gas, a major polluter in the past,
which is now controlled from reaching the atmosphere.
Polymer usage in transport systems has exploded since WWII, because polymers offer lightweight transport machinery
which improves fuel efficiency. To protect the environment, the extensive use of polymers must be backed up by the
recycling of old equipment, as polymers greatly contribute to landfill.

Engineering Mechanics
Simple Machines
Mechanical Advantage (MA)
The mechanical advantage of a machine is how much it helps the user. It is the ratio between the load and the effort and is
found by the formula:


MA = Mechanical Advantage (No units)
L = Load (N)
E = Effort (N)
The higher the MA the lower the effort. It the ratio is less than 1 than it is a mechanical disadvantage. Mechanical
advantage is not constant as energy is lost as friction and other losses affect the system.
Sometimes a mechanical disadvantage is desirable however most time an advantage is desired.

Velocity Ratio (VR)

Velocity ratio is the ratio between the distance the load moves compared to the distance the effort moves. It is found by:


VR = Velocity Ratio (No units)
de = Distance the Effort moves (m)
dl = Distance the Load moves (m)
The higher the velocity ratio the greater the user must move. Velocity ratio is not affected by friction or other losses.

Efficiency ()
An ideal machine is 100% efficient however this cannot occur as energy is always lost in friction or other system losses. The
percentage efficiency is found by:

= 100

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
= Percentage Efficiency
MA = Mechanical Advantage (No units)
VR = Velocity Ratio (No units)

MA, VR and Levers

First order lever have MA and VR depending on the distances from the pivot.
Second order levers have a MA and VR that is greater than 1.
Third order levers have a MA and VR that is less than 1.

Static Friction
Static friction relates to objects that are stationary or are at the point of moving.

The Concept of Friction and its use in Engineering

Friction reduces efficiency in machines or the ratio of input power to output power yet without it life (and transport
systems) would be very difficult. E.g. without friction a bike would not steer properly, stopping a car would be impossible.
Friction is essential and one must take advantage of it in traction and braking situations. Friction must be limited however in
power transmission by lubrication and through designs that minimise internal friction such as ball bearings.

Coefficient of Friction ()
The coefficient of friction is the ration between friction force compared to the normal reaction.


= Coefficient of friction (no units)
FF = Frictional Force in Newtons (N)
RN = Normal Reaction in Newtons (N)

Normal Reaction (RN)

The normal force is the perpendicular provided by the surface on which the object is resting.

Friction Force (FF)

Frictional force is determined by the coefficient of friction and the normal reaction. The higher the coefficient of friction the
higher the frictional force. The formula is a rearrangement of the coefficient of friction formula:

Limiting Friction
Limiting friction is the friction that exists just as motion is about to occur. Static frictional resistance increases up to a
maximum at the point of limiting friction. After this point is passed, the frictional resistance falls and moving surfaces
exhibit kinetic friction.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Angle of Static Friction (S)
The angle that the force makes with the normal reaction is the angle of static friction (the angled force comes from the
resultant of the normal reaction and the frictional force, it always opposes motion).
At the point of sliding tanS = . It is then possible to find the angle of static friction and then the force required to an
object to the point of sliding much more easily, particularly with inclined forces. If the system is in equilibrium then the
forces will be concurrent and the problem may be solved using the 3 force rule.
Inclined Planes Frictional problems are well demonstrated by inclined planes and the angle of static friction is also relevant.
Example Question: A 30Kg box rests on a ramp. Determine the horizontal force P that must be applied to put the box at the
point of moving if the coefficient of friction between the box and the ramp is 0.4.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

The Angle of Repose

If an object is placed on a flat surface with no net force acting upon it, it will not movie, i.e. it is in equilibrium. If the surface
is raised at an angle to become an inclined plane the weight force will have two components, one acting down the plane
(mgsin) and one acting perpendicular to the plane (mgcos). As sthe angle increases mgsin increases while mgcos
decreases. At 45 they will be equal. At a point the value of mgsin will become larger than the frictional force opposing
motion and the obect will slide down the plane. At that point of limiting friction F F will equal mgsin and RN will equal


= =

= (as = )
Therefore at the point of limiting friction, there will be an angle where the angle of static friction will equal the angle of
inclination of the plane. This angle is called the angle of repose. The angle of repose is important in the design of equipment
where items must slide of flow.

Friction with Ladders

Ladders are a good example of friction in action. In most ladder problems the calculation is simplified by considering the
wall to be smooth. In reality this isnt true and some problems may provide a coefficient for the ladder and the ground and
also the wall.

Work, Energy and Power

Work occurs when a force causes motion. Energy and work are closely related concepts.
W = Work in Joules (J). Note: 1 Joule = 1 Nm
F = Force applied in Newtons (N)
s = Displacement if the object in metres (m)
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Work is a vector quantity. If the force doing work is at an angle to the horizontal, and the object is moving horizontally, the
only part of the force doing work is the horizontal component.

Potential Energy may be considered as stored energy with the potential to do work.
PE = Potential Energy (J)
m = mass (kg)
g = acceleration due to gravity (ms-2)
h = height (m)
Kinetic Energy is energy that a body possesses as a result of it motion. It is proportional to mas and the velocity squared.
Small changes in velocity will have large challenges in KE.
= 2
KE = Kinetic Energy is Joules (J)
m = Mass in kilograms (Kg)
v = Velocity of the object in (ms-1)
PE and KE are closely linked E.g. as a ball is released from a height PE changes to KE. When it bounces back the KE is
changed to PE. In reality the loss in PE is not equal to the gain in KE as friction and wind resistance will do negative work.
+ = +
Vehicles loss of KE. When a vehicle is moving it has kinetic energy. The brakes do negative work and the KE is converted to
heat. Cars use engine braking where the motor resists the motion of the car. Trucks and buses have compression braking
using magnetic methods.
In electric cars and trains the KE is converted to electric energy through the use of a generator.

Power is the time rate that work is done. Note (watt is one joule per second)

= = =

P = power (W)
W = work (J)
t = time (s)
F = force (N)
s = displacement (m)
v = velocity (ms-1)

Torque of a motor is the turning moment that motor produces.
= torque (Nm)
F = force (N)
d = perpendicular distance from the force to the pivot (m)
Power does not determine how fast a vehicle will be. A lighter vehicle with less power may be faster than a heavy vehicle
with more power. A high torque means that the vehicle can handle climbs and pulls well. The power given for the motor is

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
the power at the crankshaft after other parts the power at the wheels may only by 50%. This is because no engineered
device is 100% efficient.

Engineering Materials
Testing of Materials
Hardness Tests

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Impact Tests
Impacts tests are carried out to determine the notch toughness of a material. This is done by subjecting the material to a
concentrated shock load. Tough materials will not break as easily as brittle ones.
There are various ways to perform an impact test. The two most common standard methods are the Izod and Charpy Tests,
while a small laboratory system is the Hounsfield balanced impact tester.
The Izod and Charpy Tests are essentially the same except the test piece is held different. The test involves a large
pendulum being raised to a specified height to give it potential energy (PE). Upon release, it loses PE and gains kinetic
energy (KE). At the bottom of its swing it will strike the test piece, with some KE absorbed in tweaking the test piece. After
passing the test piece, the pendulum will swing up in height gaining PE and losing KE, until all energy of swing is used up.
The height reached is recorded. The difference between the initial height and the final height is proportional to the energy
absorbed when breaking the test piece.
The Hounsfield balanced impact tester is smaller, and used for schools and colleges or in industry, as a transportable
machine. It uses 2 pendulums allowing large forces in small sizes. The energy required to break the material is merely read
from a scale on the pendulum pivot.
The test piece used in all these testers is a small cylinder with a V notch placed in it to concentrate the stress and provide a
place to promote crack propagation. In the Hounsfield test, the notched piece is held in the solid pendulum, so the outer
pendulum hits both ends. In the Izod test, the notched bar is held vertically, with the upper end free, ready to he struck by
the pendulum. The notch is placed so it faces the pendulum. In the Charpy test the notched bar is held horizontally at both
ends. The pendulum strikes it in the middle, with the notch facing away from the pendulum.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Heat Treatment of Ferrous Metals

The properties of steels can be greatly altered by the way they are heated and cooled

There are two basic types of annealing process annealing and full annealing.
Process annealing involves the heating of steel with less than 0.3%C to a temperature usually between 550 and 650C. The
purpose of this is to relieve any stress from distorted grains caused by cold working or deformation. The ferrite grains will
reform as unstressed grains, while the pearlite remains in the deformed state. v. ill reform as unstressed grains, while the
pearlite remains in the deformed state.
Full Annealing involves heating either hypo-eutectoid steels or eutectoid steels into the austenite region at a temperature
of about 40C above the upper critical temperature. The steel is then cooled very slowly usually in a furnace, with the result
being, softer, coarser grained steel than previously existed. All grains will be in an unstressed state.

Normalising involves heating a steel up into the austenite region well above the UCT. When the structure is all austenite, it
is then cooled in still air. The process takes less time than full annealing and produces a finer grained structure and hence a
stronger steel.

Hardening and Tempering

The ability to harden steels is one of their most desirable characteristics. This is one of the many reasons why steel is such a
versatile material.

If a steel is heated until it is austenite in in structure and quenched rapidly, the transformation from face centred cubic
(FCC) austenite to body centred cubic (BCC) ferrite is not given enough time to occur fully and the steel becomes trapped in
between as Body Centred Tetragonal (BCT) martensite. This new structure can be exceedingly hard but quite brittle.
Martensite will form in any steel with carbon composition greater than 0.3%. Low carbon martensite is soft and does not
become really hard until the carbon composition is in the range of 0.4 and 0.4%.

Air Hardening
If a steel has nickel and chromium added in small amounts (less than 5%) then it will have air hardening properties. This
means that if it is heated red hot and cooled in still air, martensite will form. Usually molybdenum is also added to reduce

A fully hardened steel has limited usefulness as it can only be used in applications where hardness is the only requirement.
If hardness and toughness are both required, a fully hardened steel is no longer useful. It is, however, possible to sacrifice
some hardness and gain better toughness through tempering. This involves taking a hardened steel and heating it to a
temperature between 200 and 600C. A low tempering temperature will produce high hardness and moderate toughness

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
while a higher tempering temperature will have the opposite effect. Although not as hard as a fully hardened steel,
tempered steels are still considerably harder than annealed or normalised steels.

Microstructural Changes
One obvious feature of heat treated steels relates to grain size and structure. Annealed steels tend to be soft with
moderate strength, in part due to the coarse grain structure that results. Normalised steels tend to have a finer grain
structure which results in higher strength. By hardening a steel, the grain structure is highly stressed and has an acicular
appearance, with the result being high hardness and brittleness. Tempered steels tend to have a very fine structure of
carbide particles in a ferrite matrix, which gives toughness and moderate hardness.

One structure produced by heat treatment that cannot be produced by normal cooling is Bainite. Bainite has a structure
consisting of very fine cementite particles in a ferrite matrix. Bainite is similar to pearlite in overall composition but instead
of layers of cementite it consists of tiny particles. Bainite is formed by a process called austempering where the austenitic
steel is quenched to around 400C and held there until that temperature exists throughout, then it is quenched to room
temperature. The resulting structure is similar in performance to tempered martensite, but has significantly greater

Surface Hardening of Steels

In some instances we want a hardwearing surface for a steel object but the toughness of a softer core is desirable so there
are a number of processes that harden only the surface but leave the core soft.

Carburising involves heating and soaking the steel in a carbon rich atmosphere or medium. Here a steel is placed into a
furnace between 900 and 950C with a carbon rich atmosphere (carbon can be solid, liquid or gas). The carbon diffuses into
the structure at the surface increasing the carbon content and hence the hardness and tensile strength. Any heat treatment
of the steel is more challenging now due to the different carbon content between the case and the core. Normalising and
hardening of the surface are possible.

Nitriding is a surface hardening process where a special alloy steel is heated in a furnace (500 and 575C) with gaseous
nitrogen present (not atmospheric nitrogen) from the decomposition of a material such as ammonia. The nitriding is
performed for between 40 and 100 hours and the gaseous nitrogen reacts with aluminium chromium or vanadium in the
steel, depending on the chosen Nitralloy steel. Nitriding offers high hardness in the core, is clean, produces a corrosion
resistant surface on the steel and maintains hardness up to 500C. The initial setup is more costly because special alloys
steels are required and if heated past 500C the hardness from nitriding is permanently lost, so the item must be nitride
from scratch again. (note if plain carbon steel is used the iron nitrates diffuse too deep and there is no hardness increase at
the surface.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Flame Hardening
This process takes a steel of suitable carbon composition (> 0.4%C) and applies a flame to a localised area and then
quenches it. This process results in a localised area being hardened. The process is mechanised with the flame holder and
water jet being the one assembly with the water jet trailing the flame holder. The final structure is usually a normalised
core with a martensitic surface. It is often used on production lines.

Induction Hardening
Using the same principle as flame hardening but instead of using a flame an induction coil is used. This increases the
temperature in the steel to the desired range for heat treatment (past 900C), the current is turned off and then the surface
is quenched with water to harden it. This process lends itself well to mechanisation and it is used for items such as
camshafts in engines

Flame hardening and induction hardening are desirable when only a part of an object is to be case hardened as opposed to
nitriding and carburising where the entire object is case hardened.

Changes in Properties
There are primarily 3 ways we can alter the properties of steels. Steels are greatly affected by the addition of carbon, and
only small amounts of carbon are needed to achieve changes. This is because the carbon and iron form a interstitial solid

Properties can be further changed by heat treatment; iron's allotropic nature means that by varying the rate of cooling we
can bring about vastly different properties in a steel. The hardening and tempering of steel is a process that cannot be
repeated with most other alloys.
Finally properties can he further altered by alloying steels. Often by adding alloying elements we bring about improved
properties without the detrimental effects of high carbon content. Air hardening steels mentioned earlier in the chapter are
only possible with the addition of nickel and chromium no plain carbon steel can achieve this property.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Manufacturing Processes for Ferrous Metals

When materials are formed, the formative process may haw a large impact on the properties of the final article.
Forging may be defined as the shaping of a metal through the use of force. Forging may be carried out above the
recrystallisation temperature (hot forging) or below it (cold forging or pressing). Forging can take a variety of forms, the
simplest type being that which a blacksmith does against an anvil. Forging may draw out a metal while reducing its cross-
sectional area (drawing); reduce its length while increasing its cross-sectional area (upsetting), or it may force the metal
into dies to take the required shape, as in drop forging.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
All of these methods produce grain flow in the metal that follows the shape of the object. This improves the strength of the
finished article , as against a machined part where the grainflow may cause planes of weakness.

Rolling can be done either above the recrystallisation temperature, (hot rolling) or below the recrystallisation temperature,
(cold rolling). The recrystallisation temperature is that temperature above which deformed (stressed) grains in metal will re-
-nucleate and grow into annealed grains (stress-free). Unstressed grains will not re-nucleate, but they will grow.
Hot rolling is used extensively in the production of sheets, strips, bars and rods of metal. Ingots of the required metal are
passed through successive rollers to produce the required thickness of metal. When passed through the rollers the metal's
crystal structure is deformed. Since it is above the recrystallisation temperature however it recrystallises into an unstressed
The advantages of hot rolling are:
1. less stress on the machinery when compared to cold rolling
2. an unstressed finished product.
The disadvantages are:
1. that the final products are not as dimensionally accurate
2. it will have a black oxide layer over the finished product.

Cold Rolling As a result of being carried out below the recrystallisation temperature, cold rolling will produce a slightly
different final product. The procedure is essentially the same but the rollers and machinery are more heavily built, as larger
forces are required. The finished product will have distorted grain structure that will produce a harder and stronger final
product. These properties come at the expense of ductility and malleability.
The advantages of cold rolling are:
1. a harder final product that is more dimensionally accurate
2. a more presentable product because of the lack of oxides.
The disadvantage is
1. Greater cost because of the heavier machinery needed

Ingot Casting
Many metals are not cast into their final shape. Often metals are cast into a large block, or ingot to be shaped into
something by rolling, or some other mechanical means. Ingot casting is done by pouring a molten metal into a large tapered

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
metal mould. Upon solidifying the mould is removed and the ingot shipped. Ingot cast is used extensively but is now being
replaced by more mechanised methods of continuous casting.

Continuous Casting
This method allow for the rapid production of items with simple cross-sections. The molten metal is poured into a water-
cooled ingot with a sliding bottom. Once the bottom is solid the base moves down so that everything is solid. The resulting
metal is cut to length. This method is used in large plants because of its rapid speed and cost effectiveness.

Sand Casting
This is one of the most common procedures. Sand with a binder (known as green sand) is packed around a pattern of the
finished product. The mould is removed in 2 halves. The pattern is removed and the 2 halves re-assembled. Molten metal is
poured in. After solidification the sand is removed and reconstituted ready for re-use.
1. The drag is placed on a board with the pattern inside. Green sand is packed around the pattern. The drag in
inverted and the cope is placed on top.
2. The cope is filled with sand and there are pins for the riser and runners in place.
3. The cope and drag are separated, he pattern, riser and runner pins are removed and the boxes are reassembled.
4. The molten metal is poured into the runner pin until the riser and runner are filled.
5. The casting is allowed to solidify and any shrinkage caused by contraction is alleviated by the molten metal from
the riser pin running into the casting. Once solidified, the casting is removed and the runner and riser parts are
ground off.
The process can he automated, and it finds great usein the automotive fields. Engine blocks and heads are usually sand cast.
The advantages of sand casting are cheap and easy castings and good final grain structure. The disadvantages are that the
final surface finish is poor and inaccurate. Hence machining is essential for precision parts.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Shell Moulding
This is similar to sand casting and utilizes sand as a molten material in a different way.
1. In shell moulding, a heated pattern plate is placed over a dump box.
2. At the bottom of the dump box is a mixture of sand and a thermosetting resin. The dump box Is inverted and the
sand and resin mix drops over the heated pattern plate.
3. The heat from the pattern plate partially sets the resin, holding the sand together. The half-mould and pattern
plate are then heated in an oven at 315 C to ensure the resin is fully cured.
4. The cured half-mould is then ejected of the pattern by small ejector pins.
5. The mould is placed in a box surrounded by metal shot, ready to receive the molten charge. After solidification the
mould is separated.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Shell moulding offers closer tolerances than die casting and better surface finish than sand casting. It does cost more than
sand casting as the metal pattern plates are expensive to make.

Centrifugal Casting
This method relies on centrifugal force to spin the metal to the outsides of the mould to create a hollow cylinder. This type
of casting is useful in creating pipes. Piston rings for cars can be made this way, with a cylinder produced and the rings then
cut off the cylinder.

Permanent Mould Casting (Die-Casting)

Unlike sand casting, this method involves the use of a permanent mould which is not re-made each time.
Gravity die-casting involves the use of a permanent metal mould into which molten metal is poured by gravity. Since the
mould cannot be broken to remove the cast item, the mould must be able to be separated. The advantages of gravity die-
casting on long production runs are that the cost is less than sand casting and the final casting has a better surface finish.
For smaller production runs the permanent steel moulds are too expensive. Car parts such as pistons are made this way.
Pressure die-casting is similar to gravity die casting but he molten metal is forced in to mould. The result is a denser casting.
There is a good surface finish and for high production runs it is quite cost effective. Pressure die-casting is primarily used
with lower melting point alloys such as aluminium alloys and zinc alloys, as dies for high temperature ferrous alloys are
expensive. If ferrous alloys are to be cast using this method, it is necessary to use graphite dies. Gearbox casings may be
made using this process.

Investment Casting
Also known as lost-wax casting, this method of casting has existed for centuries. Today it is used in the manufacture of high
quality castings where dimensional accuracy and high surface finish are required.
1. A pattern of the item is made from wax and a refractory ceramic is then poured over the material and allowed to
set (Step 1).
2. The wax is drained out by heating the mould leaving a cavity that is the perfect replica of the item to be cast
3. This method will also not leave a line around the casting as the mould is not separable like a die cast mould.
Molten metal is poured in and allowed to solidify.
4. Then the mould is broken away from the cast article.
5. Since the mould is destroyed a new one must be made each time so for large runs it can be costly.
The final result, is worth it as the final casting has good surface finish and is dimensionally accurate.

There are automated types of investment casting used to manufacture rocker arms for automotive engines. It has found
extensive use in transport devices. Not only are car rocker arms made this way, but turbine blades for jet aircraft are
investment cast and drop outs for bicycles may also be made this way. Investment casting is also used to cast metal alloys
that are too hard and difficult to machine as there is little need for machining to size using this method.

The Full-Mould Process

It is similar to investment casting, but is usually used for one-off items or prototypes. An expendable pattern for the item to
be cast, complete with runner, is made from expanded polystyrene (foam). This is then placed in a box and surrounded by
sand with small amounts of thermosetting resin. The molten metal is then poured into the foam runner and this melts the

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
foam. Since only 2% of the foam is solid then this solid simply melts to the sand and helps bind it together. The air, that
makes up the other 98% of the foam, passes through the sand and does not contaminate the casting.

Suspensions systems may be made this way to test their design, prior to deciding to mass produce them.

Extruding is like squeezing toothpaste from a tube. When the metal is force through the tube it takes the shape of the die
or nozzle through which it passes.
Direct Extrusion is where the ram pushes the metal into the die from the other side. It requires more effort and is generally
used on more ductile materials.
Indirect Extrusion is where the ram and the die are one part. This process requires less effort than direct extrusion however
it is more expensive to set thus direct extrusion is used where possible. They are both hot-working processes.

Impact Extrusion is a cold forming process where a punch goes into a die and the material blank is forced out from the die
and around the punch. It is used for cans and tubes.

Powder Forming
Metal powder forming is a process that finds extensive use. It involves getting powdered metal (grinding, atomising from
liquid or electrolytic means) and bending with stearate based dry lubricants to get the required mix. They are then pressed
into a mould to form the shape required. This gives the particles enough strength to be handled. Then it is sintered in a non-
oxidising environment controlled through a atmospheric furnace, at a temp to allow atoms to diffuse between grains,
producing a homogenous grain structure which gives it its final strength.
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

The products of powder forming are grouped into 4 groups:

Porous Metals are produced by using a larger powder sizes as a result the metal products are porous allowing them to be
impregnated with oil to give it a lubricating effect. E.g. bearings in bicycles
Complex Articles Some shapes are too complex or too costly to cast and machine so they are powder-formed instead.
Products Difficult to Machine Some articles made of materials that are too hard to machine. E.g. tungsten cemented
carbides are difficult or nearly impossible to machine and are powder formed instead.
Composites can be readily formed. Many materials will not combine unless powdered together. This capitalises their
individual properties. Copper or silver may be mixed with tungsten or nickel for electric contacts. The copper provides
conductivity and the tungsten provides resistance to oxidation and wear.
Advantages are; Sintered components used in gearboxes perform better than manufactured parts.
Disadvantages are that it is expensive to set up and shapes are limited and the finished article is not as strong as
conventionally produced item.

Welding causes major changes in the parent material. The area around the weld is called the heat-affected zone (HAZ) and
the heat man caused changes in the grain structure of the material.

For a cold rolled plate, then in the HAZ the plate would have unstressed grains as welding would heat the plates near the
weld to above the re-crystallisation temperature. This would make the area soft and suffer from grain growth. High carbon
steels may need to be preheated and slow-cooled to stop martensite forming and cracks appearing.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Non-Ferrous Metals and Alloys

There are many non-ferrous alloys but mostly ferrous alloys are used. Non-ferrous alloys still have properties that ferrous
alloys find hard to match.

Aluminium and its Alloys

There is a wide range of aluminium alloys used in transportation systems. They have been more widely used since WWII as
a solution to reducing weight in bicycles and cars

Aluminium is one of the most common metals in the Earth's crust. It was however, until the 20th century that it was no
longer a precious metal. In nature, aluminium exists as the ore, bauxite and because of its reactivity in elemental fom, is

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
never found in nature as pure aluminium. So it was not until a satisfactory mean for refining the ore was developed by Hall
and Heroult n 1886, that it became an affordable metal.
Aluminium is extremely reactive, has relatively low strength, is ductile, has low specific gravity and is easily fabricated. It is
more difficult to weld than ferrous alloys: and it is also more costly than mild steel. It has a good strength to weight ratio,
corrosion resistance due to the formation of a tenacious oxide film and good electrical conductivity, only; surpassed by
gold, copper and silver.
Aluminium is used for overhead electrical wiring, in the manufacture of cooking pots and pans, and for cooking foil. Because
of its low strength, most engineering applications are for aluminium alloys.

Aluminium Alloys
Aluminium alloys fall into the loose categories of wrought and casting alloys. The casting alloys are used exclusively for
casting while the wrought alloys are for mechanical working.
Wrought alloys: Beyond this classification there are heat treatable and non-heat treatable alloys.
N.B. For aluminium alloys, the numbering system is such that the first number relates to the family of alloys. The remaining
three numbers, shown as XXX for our purposes describe the varying composition of alloying elements within the families.
Non-heat treatable alloys
1xxx Primarily pure aluminium with small amounts of iron and silicon mainly for sheet metal work.
3xxx Manganese is primary alloying element, provides solid solution strengthening. Used for pressure vessels, chemical
equipment and sheet metal work.
5xxxMagnesium is added as the primary alloying element. 5052 (approx. 2.5%Mg, 0.2%Cr) is the most important industrial
alloy in this family. Used for sheet metal work, particularly for truck and marine applications.
Heat treatable alloys:
2xxx Primary alloying element is copper. Family includes duralumin (2017 4 % Cu), which is a well-known alloy,
strengthened by solid solution strengthening and precipitation hardening. Primarily for aircraft structures because of high
tensile strengths (approx. 4 times that of mild steel).
6xxx Primary alloying elements, magnesium and silicon, strengthened by precipitation hardening, good corrosion resistance
and strength, used in bicycles frames, truck and marine structures.
7xxx This series, primary alloying element is zinc, but many alloys such as 7075 have additions of magnesium and copper.
Alloy strengthened through precipitation hardening. Alloy elements allow denser precipitates; produce a stronger alloy,
strengths up to 500 MPa, used in aircraft structures and good quality bike frames.

Casting alloys
Like the wrought alloys the casting alloys are broken up into non-heat treatable and heat treatable. Most aluminium alloys
are cast, using either sand casting, gravity die-casting or pressure die-casting. Most of the casting alloys contain silicon, in
the range of 5 to 12%, as this tends to produce a lower melting point for the alloy and improves the fluidity of the molten
alloy. It also tends to strengthen the alloy. Manganese and copper may also be added to improve strength and hardening
An important aluminium-casting alloy, used in the transport industry, is the aluminium/silicon/magnesium/iron alloy. This is
used in the manufacture of alloy wheels in cars.
Like aluminium wrought alloys, casting alloys use a numbering system, where the primary alloying element decides the
number that is allocated.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Aluminium Lithium Alloys
Aluminium lithium alloys create bicycle frames that offer a 100% better fatigue life and 50-100% better strength than 6061
aluminium alloy tubing. This makes it important in competitive cycling. This alloy was first used in advanced aviation fields,
and is still used in some aircraft designs.

Copper, Brass and Bronze

Bronze, amazingly has been used by humanity since 3,000 BCE
Copper before the Bronze Age, copper was by far the most important metal. Nowadays it is the third most used metal. The
big three metals are iron, aluminium and copper. Copper finds extensive use in the electrical industry due to its conductivity
(2nd to silver). It is, however, far more cost effective as a conductor than silver and finds extensive use in railway overhead

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. The relative amounts of these materials have a large impact on structure and
properties. Commercial brasses rarely contain more than 40% zinc as beyond this level of additive, the alloy becomes brittle
and is of little use.
Cartridge brass also known as 70/30 brass contains 30 % zinc. The alloy is quite ductile and was formerly used in the
manufacture of cartridges for bullets, hence the name. The alloy has higher ductility than the copper from which it is mainly
composed, which makes it perfect for deep drawing operations.
Standard brass has only 25% zinc and is a good quality, cold working- alloy used where the ductility of cartridge brass is not
required. It is used for stampings and limited deep drawing.
Muntz Metal, a two phase brass, contains 40% zinc and because of the formation of a brittle phase in its microstructure it is
usually hot-worked to shape. It is used in the manufacture of rods and bars. It may also be cast.. Muntz metal can be heat-
treated to change its properties.
Naval Brass contains 37% zinc and 1% tin, with the tin adding to the corrosion resistance in seawater, an important
consideration in shipbuilding.
High Tensile Brass, also called manganese bronze, is a copper (58%) zinc (36%) alloy with small additions (<1.5%) of
manganese, aluminium, lead, iron and tin. These improve the tensile strength over other brasses, at the expense of
ductility. It is use for stampings and pressings but also for marine propellers and rudders.

Tin Bronzes
Tin Bronzes is a copper/tin alloy. Tin bronzes usually contain tin within the range of 3 to 18 %.
Low Tin bronze with only 3.75% tin is aptly named. It demonstrates good elastic properties and corrosion resistance. It is
used for springs. High tin bronze. with large amounts of tin (18%), is used in heavy load applications such as stewing
turntables on large cranes.
Admiralty gunmetal, is a bronze with 88% copper, 10% tin and 2% zinc and some nickel. The zinc makes the alloy more fluid
in the liquid state, which suits casting. It is used for pumps, valves and especially marine castings, as it has good corrosion
resistance in salt water.
Leaded gunmetal, or red brass, has 85% copper and 5% tin, but also 5% zinc and 5% lead which reduces ductility and makes
it more suitable than Admiralty gunmetal for pressure vessels.
Phosphor bronzes are, bronzes with deliberate amounts of phosphorous added as opposed to trace amounts left over from
refining. They tend to have higher tensile strength and corrosion resistance than standard tin bronzes and a low coefficient
of friction making them suitable for bearing applications.

Aluminium Bronze
This is a copper alloy with the primary alloying element being aluminium in amounts up to 11%. Aluminium bronzes offer
good corrosion resistance, and good tensile strength. Their corrosion resistance sees them used in marine and chemical
applications. Casting them is difficult because of the oxidation of the aluminium, so great care must be taken when pouring
the molten metal. It can be hardened.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

The microstructure has a large impact on the properties of many non-ferrous alloys. In many cases a second harder phase is
often present which reduces ductility. The microstructures for Cartridge Brass and Muntz metal are shown above. The
White phase, which is not pure copper, is ductile, whilst the dark phase contributes to the brittleness of the alloy.

Heat Treatment of Non-Ferrous Alloys

Annealing is done to relieve internal stress. Annealing, as for ferrous alloys, is done to remove stress that may result from
cold working the alloy when producing sheet, plate or bar metals. Each alloy will have an optimum annealing temperature.
The result is an equiaxed grain structure
Precipitation hardening is done on duralumin (Al/4%Cu) and other aluminium alloys. The aluminium alloy will, after casting
or being hot worked, present as an alloy with a primary phase () and a secondary phase () usually at the grain boundaries.
Two steps follow.
1. Solution Treatment: The alloy is heated to 530C until the phase dissolves to produce a homogenous single phase
alloy. The alloy is then quenched to room temperature. The resulting structure will be a single phase
microstructure of equiaxed grains of .
2. Aging: Over time the trapped phase precipitates out on stress planes within the quenched phase, thus restricting
dislocations and strengthening the alloy. This precipitate is very finely dispersed through the structure. This
process is called natural aging. It is possible to accelerate precipitation by reheating the alloy to about 150C, this is
known as artificial aging. This must be done carefully because if artificial ageing is done for too long that alloy can
be over aged and becomes brittle.

Aluminium bronze (Cu/11%Al) may also be heat-treated. When quenched it forms a hard structure that is similar to
martensite in steels; hence it is named, Martensite can be tempered in a similar manner to steels forming a tough

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Ceramics and Glasses

Ceramics offer a range of properties that make them desirable for transport applications. Research has been conducted into
manufacturing petrol and diesel motors from ceramic materials to improve thermal efficiency. Since ceramics can
withstand higher temperatures than metal alloys used in engines they could conceivably, run at higher operating
temperatures, without cooling systems. As a cooling system is responsible for the loss of around 20% of the heat energy the
motor uses, improved thermal efficiency and better fuel efficiency would be the results of a ceramic motor. Unfortunately
these motors have never progressed beyond the experimental phase. Modern ceramics, such as partially stabilized Alumina
and Zirconia, do not possess the brittleness normally associated with ceramics such as porcelain and china. They are also
strong enough to withstand the forces and shock waves developed in an internal combustion engine. Ceramics are now
used for high performance disc brakes because of their improved performance at the elevated temperatures.
The spark plug relies on an alumina insulator for operation. The alumina offers insulation, thermal stability and resistance to
vibration properties hard to find away from ceramics.

Many forms of transport rely on glass. Glass is an inorganic fusion product that has failed to crystallise upon cooling. Glasses
are generally not crystalline but amorphous (except for glass-ceramic). The structure of glass does not allow for
deformation. So, when glass is deformed, it is unable to dissipate the applied forces through a slip/dislocation mechanism.
Once the bond resistance is exceeded, the structure fractures. The speed of fracture is very rapid. There are four general
categories of glass used.
High Silica Glass is refined from borosilicate glass and is nearly entirely silica (SiO2). These glasses are almost perfectly clear,
and are used in situations where they experience elevated temperatures, such as in missile nose cones and space vehicle
Soda Lime Glass is the most common glass. It contains large amounts of soda (Na2O) and lime (CaO). The presence of soda
will prevent devitrification (crystallisation), however, it also makes the glass water-soluble. The addition of lime alleviates
this, hence the name Soda Lime Glass. Soda Lime Glasses soften at approximately 850C, are easily formed to shape when
hot, will not recrystallise, are water resistant, and cost effective. It is used for window and plate glass, bottles, tableware,
electric light bulbs and windscreens.
Borosilicate Glasses are glasses with up to 20% boron and silica. This imparts good levels of chemical resistance and low
thermal expansion, so these glasses have high resistance to fracture at elevated temperatures. "Pyrex" (a borosilicate
glass), is extensively used in electrical insulation, gauge glasses for laboratory ware, and domestic cooking and ovenware.
Lead Glasses contain up to 40% lead. This lowers the softening temperature to well below the 850C of soda lime glass.
They have a high refractive index, which makes them optically clearer. They are used extensively for optical glass. They are
also used for thermometer tubes and the tableware known as crystal which is a misleading name as they are not

Ceramics as an Insulating Material

A good example is in spark plugs. Spark plugs carry large voltages, but also are subjected to high temperatures caused by
combustion: this makes polymers unsuitable as the insulator. So alumina is used as an insulator between the threaded
metal body and the inner copper electrode. This stops the spark being earthed by the contact between the spark plug's
metal thread and the engine block.
Ceramic insulators are also used in supporting power lines, such as the overhead wires for electric trains. Here glazed
porcelain is used, although glasses have been used as well at times. A newer development in porcelain insulators has been
mildly conductive glazes which use a small milliamp flow of electricity on the surface of the insulator to prevent
contamination by dirt and dust which minimises the chances of arcing.

Laminating and Heat Treatment of Glass

Glass is rarely used in its normal condition in transport devices. Normal glass is far too brittle to resist projectiles. As a
consequence two processes, that strengthen glass, are used.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Structure/Property Relationships and Applications
Thermoplastics (or thermosoftening polymers). This type of polymer softens on the application of heat, it can also be re-
melted and reformed. Thermoplastics have long linear chain structures, with the chains formed by covalent bonds. Weak
van der Waals forces hold the separate chains together. As a consequence, they are usually flexible and often transparent.
When put under a tensile load, they stretch readily; as there is little resistance to the chains straightening or sliding over
one another. Examples are polyethylene, polystyrene, polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE), polymethylmethacrylate (acrylic).
polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). They find use in cable coating on bicycles
and for car parts such as grilles, badges, door handles and window winders.
Thermosets (or thermosetting polymers) undergo a chemical change when heat is applied. The change is not reversible so
these polymers do not soften when they are reheated. Thermosets have network structures, with covalent bonds, along the
chains and across the chains. They tend to be more rigid than thermosoftening polymers. When they are put under tension,
the cross-linking resists deformation. This makes them less flexible than a linear polymer. Epoxy resins, silicone,
Polyurethane and polyester resins are examples of thermosetting polymers. Epoxy resins find use in the aircraft industry for
joining panels, and the silicones are often used in gasket manufacture for cars. Epoxy resins also find extensive use in
bicycles and racing cars for use as the matrix in carbon fibre reinforced polymers.

Rubber is a natural polymer. In synthetic form it has great use in transport. The tyres for cycles and cars use a modified
rubber, which is called vulcanised rubber. Rubber in its natural form is a linear polymer that is too flexible for use in a tyre.
By adding around 5% sulphur to the rubber mix and heating it to about 150C, a moderate level of cross-linking is achieved.
The vulcanised rubber is more rigid, but still flexible. To Increase rigidity, tyres are usually constructed from a composite of
rubber with cotton strands, while radial tyres for cars use steel wire and polyester cord.

Engineering Textiles
These are polymer resins that are drawn into threads and then woven into 'cloth' like sheets. The engineering textiles are
synthetic polymers and offer vast improvements over natural fibres. Various engineering textiles that are used today.
Polyester is a synthetic fibre that is strong and resilient. It is also hydrophobic, i.e. resistant to water absorption. It is used in
helium airships, and in the manufacture of some tyres. It is also used in the manufacture of various car parts, like fan belts
and radiator hoses. Nylon finds use in the engineering world in dry lubrication. It is now being replaced by PTFE
(polytetrafluroethylene). It is resistant to acids, bases and oil. Aramid fibres are extensively used in engineering. NomexTM
and KevlarTM are the best known examples. These aromatic polyamid polymers are strengthened by a backbone of benzene
rings. They have excellent strength qualities but are limited to low temperature uses. They are used in aircraft manufacture
and in bullet-proof vests.
Olefins are polyethylene or polypropylene fibres shaped into sheets. They are waterproof and find use in the manufacture
of collapsible shelters and buildings.
PTFE (Teflon) fibres are fire resistant and will also stop water vapour, but not water. They are used for filters in engines.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Manufacturing Process for Polymer Components
Blow moulding is used to shape thermoplastics. A polymer tube is lowered into a mould, a forces the tube to the shape of
the mould. It is used to make plastic bottle containers.

Extrusion As for metals, polymers can be extruded, with the polymer taking the shape of the die through which it is
extruded. The polymer granules are melted and the molten material is forced through the die. This process is only suitable
for thermosoftening polymers. Polymer tubing is manufactured using this method. The outer covering of bicycle cables is
coated with plastic in this way.
Thermoforming is used in the manufacture of various thermoplastic containers. Heated thermoplastic sheets are placed
over dies to produce the required shape. The forming can be done using matching dies, a vacuum or air pressure. Often,
special thermoplastic sheets are used for this process.
Calendaring A thermoplastic is poured into a cavity between two rollers, and the plastic is squeezed through the rollers.
The rollers may be embossed with patterns or they may be smooth. Tiles, films and curtains can be made this way.
Rotational Moulding the molten polymer is poured into a mould and the centrifugal force throws the polymer to the walls
of the mould, forming a hollow article.
Injection Moulding This is one of the most commonly used polymer forming procedures. Molten polymer is injected into a
cavity in the shape of the finished article. When the polymer solidifies, it is ejected and the procedure starts again. Injection
moulding lends itself readily to mass production. Many items are injection moulded and are often identified by a small
nipple on the item and a split line where the polymer was injected into the mould. They are used in the manufacture of
small thermoplastic mouldings for cars and bicycles.

Engineering Electricity/Electronics
Power Generation/Distribution
Generation in Australia electricity is produced in a number of ways. Coal burning power stations are the most common
method. Here coal is used to produce steam that drives a steam turbine. The turbine connects to a generator that is spun,
producing electricity. Because coal is a readily available resource this method is very popular in Australia. Unfortunately,
this produces huge volumes of carbon dioxide, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.
Hydroelectric systems offer electricity without atmospheric pollution. They utilise water held in dams above the power
station. The waters potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as it travels through pipes to the power station. At the
power station, the water drives a turbine connected to a generator. This produces electricity, and the water is fed back into
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
water systems for irrigation. However this system has large impacts on the surrounding environment because of the
damming, and diverting of rivers. It is also only possible in mountainous regions. One unforeseen side-effect of the Snowy
Mountains hydroelectric scheme has been rising, salinity levels because of irrigation and farming in formerly dry regions.
Wind power is often touted as a solution to power demands. The wind drives a large turbine with blades far more efficient
than the ancient windmills. The turbine drives generator and produces electricity. While it is truly clean, to power larger
towns and cities, a very large number of turbines are needed, so large tracts of land must be devoted to it. Wind, in many
places, is intermittent and unreliable, which also limits this method. Wind farms exist in Perth (WA), in Goulburn (NSW)
and in New Zealand.
Nuclear Power has great benefits; they operate like coal power stations, but instead of the water being turned to steam by
coal powered boilers, the heat from the nuclear reaction is used. Only a small amount of nuclear fuel is required to produce
large amounts of heat. It is non-polluting to the atmosphere but it presents other problems. The by-products of nuclear
power generation are often contaminated for thousands of years, and there have been two accidents (Three Mile Island
and Chernobyl), that occurred because of human error, proving that all the failsafe systems are still vulnerable. Until it is
proven that nuclear fission is completely safe, it will remain contentious in Australia.

In recent years many smaller power stations have been closed and replaced by larger ones in more remote locations. This
means that the distribution and carriage of electrical energy becomes very important. The power lines used to carry
electricity are steel cored aluminium. The steel core provides the strength to let the wire support itself, and the aluminium
provides the electrical conductivity. There are now cables being made that replace the steel core with a carbon and glass
fibre reinforced polymer composite. Although aluminium has only 60% of the conductivity of copper, its vastly lower
density means that per kilogram, aluminium is a better conductor. When copper conductors are used as in the railway
system, more poles are required because of its extra weight.
To reduce resistive loss in the aluminium cable the power is transmitted at high voltages (333,000 and 500,000 volts).
Power loss is proportional to the resistance and the current squared. Raising the voltage reduces the current without a
change in the power. Substations reduce the voltage to 240 volts.

AC/DC Circuits
Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) differ in many ways. DC has a constant potential. AC has a changing voltage.
In Australia the AC power varies from 0 to +240V to -240v to 0 50 times per second.
To run DC appliances the AC must be converted to DC. This is never fully effective but is good enough for practical use.


Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
The conversion of AC to DC is called rectification. Half wave rectification occurs when one diode is used. This eliminates the
current flowing the opposite way, so blocks the negative part of the waveform.

Full wave rectification can be achieved by using 4 diodes. This will allow all of the sine wave to pass but it will have all of the
waves on the positive side, so they will travel in the same direction. The final waveform is not true DC, but a varying DC.

The varying DC produced by half and full wave rectification is not ideal for most equipment so a capacitor is added to store
some of the energy and the result is a nearly flat waveform, with the capacitor smoothing out the troughs.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
When T1 is positive the diode (D1) passes current and capacitor (C1) charges to a potential equal to the supply. Current will
flow through the resistor (R1). When the potential falls the capacitor released its charge and the circuit uses power stored in
the capacitor. There is a slight rise in potential when T1 becomes positive again which is minimised by ensuring the
capacitor value times the resistor value is larger than the cycle of the AC (0.02s)
1 1 > 0.02
C = Capacitance (F)
R = Resistance ()
In rectifier circuit the smoothing capacitor is usually electrolytic and the value lies in the range from 470F to 2200F.

Electric Motors used in Transport Systems

Many years ago only DC motors were used in trains, partially because it was difficult to control AC motors when the
generator driven by the diesel engine produced DC. Nowadays there are AC induction motors used in diesel electric trains.
In NSW older electric trains still run using DC power, while newer electric trains now use AC motors

DC Motors
Shunt wound motors are rarely used in locomotives. They have constant speed but low starting torque and therefore not
suitable if there is a lot of stopping and starting.
Series wound motors offer excellent torque at slow speeds and will operate at high speed under tight load. This makes
them excellent for use in trains, and is a reason why they are widely used.
Compound motors combine the best features of the other two. Good starting torque and will not run away under no-load

AC Motors
The AC motors used in trains are generally induction motors. Their great advantage is lack of commutator and brushes vs
which wear out over time. They rely on the frequency of the electricity and magnetic induction for their power and their
function is helped by generators being replaced by alternators on diesel electric trains. Alternators produce AC so one
would assume the use of an AC motor would be easier.
On the English Channel Tunnel trains are powered by single phase AC voltage which is rectified to DC voltage, passed
through a control circuit. The voltage is the converted into AC for the motors.
The Millennium trains used on the Sydney rail network use 3 phase induction motors, but because the supply is 1500 volts
DC the train uses an inverter to create AC from the supply DC voltage. Pulse Width Modulation (PWN) is used to control the

Pulse Width Modulation (PWN)

PWN is a method of controlling electric motors in an electronic manner. Instead of varying the voltage or current levels in
an analogue way, the supply is effectively switched on and off rapidly to replicate an average on time equal to a set level
e.g. 50% power created by being off and on 50% each.

Control Technology
Control technology is the use of some type of mechanism or circuit to control the operation of an item. The simple float
arm in a toilet controls the water delivery; this is an example of control technology.
In transport, one of the earliest control devices was the governor on steam engines. Centrifugal force caused arms to rise.
This controlled a throttle system, which more-or-less maintained the engine at a constant speed under varying loads.
Cars often have electronic cut-outs that sense the speed of the crankshaft and cut the ignition to the car if the engine revs
too fast.
Control technology has been trialled for years on car suspension, trying to reduce the compromise by engineers between
ride and handling, which exists with conventional suspension systems. Control technology can be a simple mechanical
linkage, a simple digital yes/no circuit, or a more complex circuit that reads various inputs to produce a variety of outputs.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
In 1989 Citroen released the XM with Hydractive suspension. It was not a true active system, but a reactive system. It used
inputs from the motor, the gearbox, suspension arms and the driver (throttle and brake) to decide how to control the six
hydro-pneumatic springs and the four struts in the suspension system. The result was a car that could ride like a plush
"boulevard cruiser" or change to a sportier handler with minimal body roll. This complex system has been further refined
over the years.
Control Technology is used to trigger safety devices such as ABS brakes and airbags. As a wheel begins to lock, the computer
reduces the brake pressure, preventing the wheel from locking and the car from skidding out of control. ABS now forms
part of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) on cars, where the DSC can operate individual brakes to improve the cars response
to the drivers inputs.

Engineering Focus Module 1 Aeronautical Engineering

Scope of the Profession
Nature and Scope of the Aeronautical Engineering Profession
Engineers are responsible for the design and development of new aircraft. They also modify and improve existing designs.
Engineers must be able to take certain requirements and develop an aircraft that can meet those requirements. Some
aspects they deal with are: Aerodynamics, propulsion systems, materials, avionics/electrical, control systems and
hydraulics, design, modelling, testing etc.

Current Projects and Innovations

Aeronautical Engineers constantly design new aircraft to improve air travel and defence. E.g. they work with materials
engineer to reduce weight on the aircraft. That way it can carry more cargo/weapons or have a longer range.
One recent innovation is the A380 which can seat up to 853 people and rivals the 747 in air haul supremacy. Its
development depended on increased power, increased lift and reduced weight.
Another innovation in 787 Dreamliner which has a CFRP fuselage.
Another innovation is in winglets. These are at the end of the wings and can reduce aerodynamic drag, increase cruise
performance, improve fuel burn, extend range and allow heavier payloads for winglet-equipped airplanes. Winglets work
by reducing vortex induced drag.

Health and Safety Matters

Both civil and military aeronautical engineers are exposed to risks. This can be due to hazardous machinery, fibre dusts
(carbon and glass fibres may be inhaled), noise and chemical hazards.
Safety can be controlled by: Eliminating the hazard (e.g. using air powered tools), changing equipment or materials (e.g
using water paints instead of solvent paints), changing work practices (e.g. training staff), using safety equipment (e.g.
wearing headphones, hardhats and safety glasses).

Training for the Profession

To become an Aeronautical Engineer physics, maths, chemistry and engineering studies should be studied in the HSC. Then
a Bachelor Degrees should be obtained at UNSW of USyd or others (RMIT UQld). The Australian Defence Force Academy
also offers courses in Aeronautical Engineering.

Career Prospects
The aircraft industry in Australia is low even though demand for air travel is high. Nowadays there are only a few part
suppliers in operation. Greatest employers are the Defence Forces which require engineers to constantly modify and
upgrade equipment used. Boeing is another company that manufactures parts in Australia (Fishermans Bend Melbourne).
Organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service also require aeronautical engineers.

Unique Technologies in the Profession

The turbine engine is one technology that has had a significance to the industry (although it is still used in ships and power

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Many materials remain unique to the profession but some go to other fields such as cycling.
Aeronautical materials have high strength-to-weight ratio, formability, durability and corrosion resistance and stability at
high temps. Ti-alloys and Ni-super alloys (e.g. Nimonic) have great use. Ni-super alloys have additions of chromium and
cobalt among other materials. They have high strength and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures and are resistant
to creep.
Composite materials and adhesive technologies also have been developed. Composites offer good specific strengths and
can be readily joined by adhesives. The Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen are example of planes with carbon fibre parts
joined with adhesives.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The design, construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft is tightly regulated by a range of legislation and
international conventions.
To gain an airworthiness certificate an aircraft must be designed and maintained to comply with strict structural and in-
flight performance standards. Aeronautical engineers must ensure that this is achieved during design, manufacturing and
maintenance of aircraft under their supervision. For example, all spare parts that are installed in an aircraft must be
accompanied by paperwork that proves that the part is genuine.
Engineers have an ethical responsibility to ensure that aircraft they design and or maintain are airworthy and safe. This
responsibility has been further underlined in recent years by an increase in civil litigation. Every component an aeronautical
engineer designs or modifies may be found at some later stage to be the direct or indirect cause of an air disaster. If this
happens there will be a paper trail that runs right back to the engineers desk. The aeronautical engineer who approves a
component for production or signs off on a modification to an existing aircraft takes responsibility for that decision.
Companies such as Boeing may give engineers in sub-contracting delegated authority to sign off on design and process
changes. Delegated authority would only be given to an engineer who was known to be ethical and competent.
Another consideration is patenting. If something is patented then legally recognised as being owned by someone and it is
not ethical for anyone to use that design. In some cases companies may form agreements to allow the others to use their
designs. E.g. Volvo developed the 3 point seat belt system and allowed everyone to use it. They put safety before
commercial gain.

Engineers as Managers
Engineers often work in teams. As such an engineer may manage the design process and oversee the development of the
project. An engineer in this position will have other engineers which he will co-ordinate and oversee the development of.
In larger projects there may be a hierarchical structure and aeronautical engineers may have various responsibilities. In this
case there would be an engineer overseeing the whole project and taking on the management role.
In other cases engineers may make good managers in companies. They ensure that there is a balance in the boardroom
and this ensures that the company does not lose its way in terms of aircraft requirements.

Relations with the Community

Aeronautical engineers have a good relationship with the community. Through their design they provide people with safe
and fast transport.
The design, construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft impact on the community in both positive and negative
ways. Excessive noise, pollution of the air, water and land, sustainability, waste disposal and recycling are all issues that can
impact on the community, both locally and globally.
Prior to aeroplanes London to Sydney travel took 6 weeks by boat now it takes 22 hours. This has been a positive effect of
aeronautical engineering on the community. Increased trade, increased tourism and increased employment have been
positive results.

Historical and Societal Influences

Historical Developments in Aeronautical Engineering

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Flight was postulated for many years with people flapping wings and hot air balloons (Principle of Buoyancy). Balloons had a
lack of control and this was solved with the development of the airship. There used propellers to control direction.
Hydrogen then later Helium was used to give lift.
The first human flight occurred when the Wright brothers (Wilbur and Orville) built a powered biplane, the Flyer I, which
they flew over Kitty Hawk North Carolina in 1903.
The French first used ailerons for banking. Initially banking was achieved by wing warping.
Biplanes and triplanes and the monoplane were being developed. By WW1 the plane was no longer a simple glider. As
engine power grew so did the size, speed and payload.
In the early 1930s Light alloys of aluminium with copper and other alloying elements were used to fabricate both the
underlying structure of the aircraft and the thin skin that covered this structure. Riveting methods were developed, this
allowed the skin to contribute to the overall strength of the plane. These new method allowed more streamlined designs
and reduced drag and increased speed and range.
Retractable landing gear flap and variable pitch propeller systems were also developed. Radio systems, radar, compressed
air brakes, heating systems to de-ice the wings and tail were also implemented. Superchargers allowed aircraft to fly higher
than before.
Fighter Jets
By 1938 Whittle developed the turbojet engine which improved speed and rate of climb. The first turbojet aircraft was the
German He178 in 1939.
The General Dynamics F-111 was the first aircraft that utilised the variable geometry wing (swing-wing). Jets need swept
wings to deal with shockwave effects of supersonic travel. Swept wings have different aerodynamic characteristics which
can reduce lateral control and performance at low speeds and increase stall speeds.
The Saab AJ37 Viggen (thunderbolt) was a STOL jet. It had a delta wing and forward canards.
The Harrier is a VTOL jet that works by using a single turbofan and 4 outlet nozzles to redirect thrust (2 on either side) that
direct thrust through a 90 degree arc. They use a ski jump for takeoff at maximum weight.
Newer jets such as the Eurofighter typhoon use composites.
Commercial Jets
In 1949 the turbojet was fitted to commercial aircraft. Later that year the British rolled out the de Havilland Comet which
was very successful. However after a months of operation problems began to appear. The Comets rivet pattern and the
design of the windows (square) promoted the propagation of the metal fatigue cracks during pressurisation cycles.
The Boeing 707 was becoming the most utilised aircraft in the world it has 4 turbojet engines like the comet but could carry
more passengers (180). The 707 was followed by the similar McDonnell Douglas DC-8.
Soon passenger jets increased in size. The Boeing 747 was originally a military transport plane which was later developed
into a passenger jet. It has 4 turbofan engines and could carry typically 397 people.
In 1968 the Soviet Tupovlev Tu144 was the first supersonic transport but a crash at an air show had it withdrawn. In 1969
the Concorde had its first flight and was used for its considerable time savings. It had a good record but a crash in 2000
caused it to be pulled from service. The Concorde proved that supersonic travel was possible although it was very costly
and larger slower planes were more popular and cost effective.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was released soon after the 747 it had 3 engines (2 at the wings and 1 at the tail).
In the 1970s Antonov developed the An124 a 4 engine cargo plane. It can lower its nose. The long wingspan required
engineers to use computer monitored cooling for the aluminium alloy wing spars to ensure even cooling.
The Airbus A380 first flew in 2005 and is the largest passenger jet it can hold up to 853 passengers or 525 in a 3 class layout.
The Boeing 777 series used larger turbofans which deliver 444kN of thrust vs the 747s 267kN. The 777-300 can seat 368
passengers. The reliability of modern turbofan engines hav made tri-jets such as the DC-10 obsolete. Only very large aircraft
still use 4 engines.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is focused on efficiency. It is highly fuel efficient and has a light design as composites are used
in-lieu of aluminium alloys for the airframe.
Helicopters feature a rotating wing (the propeller). A pilot can vary the lift force in a helicopter by changing the pitch (angle)
of the rotor blades as they spin above the helicopter. The blades also have some automatic adjustment as the forward
motion of the rotor produces more lift on one side of the propeller than the other.
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
By varying the pitch of the rotors as they rotate from one side of the helicopter to the other the lift on each side of the
helicopter is kept the same. If this pitch change did not occur, the helicopter would roll sideways due to the unequal lift on
each side.
Helicopter design continued to be through model aircraft until 1907 when the first manned flight took place.
Autogyros had a separate propeller at the front that supplied the necessary propulsion. As the aircraft moved forwards the
air moving past the wings caused them to rotate, which in turn produced the necessary lift for flight. They differed from
helicopters in that the swirling rotors above the autogyro were not powered, but rather depended on the forward motion
of the aircraft for their rotation. Autogyros need only a short run for take off and landing, but are not practical for larger

The first helicopters featuring full controlled vertical flight did not appear until 1935. They had twin oppositely rotating
rotors than the main rotor.
In 1939 the first single rotor helicopter flew. It had a small tail rotor to cancel out the rotation.
In 1950s gas turbine engines were developed for helicopters. These allowed aircraft to fly faster, higher and carry heavier
loads. Polymer blades made helicopters lighter, safer and stronger.
The Chinese developed the first known rockets around 1200 AD.
Armies used gunpowder rockets in the mid-1800s.
Tsiolkovsky published a paper in 1903 that recognised that travel through space would require the reactive force produced
by rockets (propeller and jet engines would not work without air). He also proposed that solid gunpowder could not
produce enough thrust. He suggested the use of liquid propellants such as hydrogen and oxygen.
Goddard first developed liquid fuel rockets. Von Braun developed rockets for the German military.
The largest most powerful rocket developed for this programme, the Saturn V, was first launched in 1967 and remains the
most powerful launch vehicle available.

The Effects of Aeronautical Innovation on Peoples Lives and Living Standards

Aircraft have dramatically reduced travel times.
Royal Flying Doctor Service allows fast access medical facilities.
Farmers also utilise helicopters and light planes for checking land, herding animals and crop spraying.
They are used for geological surveying and cartographic services.
It has made travel more accessible for people with time constraints

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Jets and other vehicles have made overseas commerce much quicker
Allows families to connect easily
It has reduced time for postal and freight services
For military it has reduced the requirement for ground troops and thus lowered casualties.
It allows people to get to hospital quicker (ambulance helicopters)
Can fight bushfires
Can gather news images quickly
Can be used to transport people from isolated and rural areas (especially helicopters)
Has boosted tourism.

Environmental Implications of Flight

Pollution is created due to exhaust gases from piston and turbine engines. Fuel dumping has also caused pollution. Noise
pollution also occurs which can be a nuisance. As a result engines/planes are being made more fuel efficient and quieter.
Insect spraying has been made easier. Crop dusters can cover a wind area and this has led to an increase in use of
insecticides. Concentrations of these poisons can increase as you go up the food chain which may cause a problem.
Destruction can occur due to aerial bombing. E.g. the Germans bombed British cities. In the Vietnam conflict saturation
bombing was done with chemicals and huge areas of forests were destroyed.

Engineering Mechanics and Hydraulics

Fuselage is often pressurised and houses the crew,
passengers and freight.
Wing provides most of the lift.
Ailerons are outboard trailing edge control
surfaces that control roll (longitudinal axis). By
moving the ailerons in different directions. (one up
and the other down) the aircraft can roll into a
turn. The deflected surface also causes a change in
the drag on that wing. The downward aileron is in
a high pressure area and so has more drag than
the upward aileron. This results in a yawing
moment opposite to the desired direction of roll and needs to be corrected by the rudder.

Flaps are inboard trailing edge sections and generate lift and drag. Used at slow speed for manoeuvring and landing.
Horizontal stabiliser provides down force to keep the aircraft stable.
Elevators are trailing edge sections of the horizontal stabiliser used to control pitch (lateral axis). The tailplane may be fixed
with a hinged elevator, or the whole tailplane may pivot. This is called a stabilator or all moving tail.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Elevons perform the role of both elevators and ailerons. They are used in high performance delta wing aircraft and are
positioned on the outside of the delta wings trailing edge.
Vertical stabiliser provides left/right stability.
Rudder is the trailing edge section of the vertical stabiliser and controls yaw (normal axis/yaw axis). The yawing moment
also causes one wing to advance and one to retard. This causes a change in lift and induces a rolling moment. The rudder
can also be used to balance uneven airflow or engine forces.
The undercarriage provide means of manoeuvring on the ground.

Flight Mechanics
Weight - Gravitational force that acts on the plane.
Lift - Force that is generated by the airflow over the wing and tailplane.
Thrust - Forward force due to engine/s.
Drag - Force resisting forward movement of the plane. It is made up of 2
components induced drag and parasitic drag. Induced drag is developed
as a result of lift production while parasitic drag is resulting from moving
the aircraft shape through the air.
In level flight with constant velocity: FV+ = 0 and FH+ = 0

Level Flight: A Complex View

The weight force acts through the centre of gravity
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
The line of the thrust force is inclined to the direction of the flight the angle of attack.
The aerodynamic forces of lift are generated at the aerodynamic centre of the wing and tailplane.
The centre of gravity moves during flight because of changes in passenger loading, cargo, fuel usage etc.
Note there are trust moments, drag moments and aerodynamic
moments set up on the wing and tailplane.
Steady Climb

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

The aerofoil is the cross-sectional shape that a wing or rotor blade has. The chord is the length of the aerofoil.

Lift is generated like this: Airflow over the top of the wing must accelerate to follow the curved surface. This produces an
area of very low pressure above the aerofoil relative to the bottom (Bernoullis Principle: as the velocity of a fluid increases,
the pressure exerted by that fluid decreases.).
The lift generated depends on the speed of air over the wing, the size and shape of the wing and the angle of attack.
The flow turning theory states that the lift is created by the action of turning the flow of air. Since F=ma and acceleration is
the rate of change in velocity over time, by turning the flow of air the velocity changes direction. This changing velocity
gives us an acceleration which hence creates a lift force. This theory holds for hypersonic speeds but not quite for most
When a plane stalls its wings no longer produce lift. This is
especially dangerous at low altitudes where the pilot may not
recover in time. The wing can stall if the airspeed is reduced
below a certain point or if the angle of attack is increased beyond
a certain angle.
When the wing stalls the air flowing over it cannot follow the
surface, hence it breaks up and causes turbulence and a reduction
in lift. During landing the pilot slows down and the nose is raised.
Hence the angle of attack is raised and there is greater possibility
of stall. Pilots often use flaps is these situations to increase drag
and lift and thus land safely without stall.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Slats are sometimes fitted to the leading edge of the wings and channel air over the front of the wing and force the airflow
over the wing. They are retractable and allow safe flying at high angles of attack.
Stalling can also occur during tight turns or steep climbs.

Lift to Drag Ratio

The lift to drag ratio is a measure of the amount of lift compared to drag. The ratio has a large impact on the range of an
aircraft. The ratio is related to the glide angle:



Another influence on the lift/drag ratio is the shape of the wing and the spanwise loading (the spread of weight over the
The proportion of the span of the wing to the depth of the chord is known as the aspect ratio. High aspect ratio means a
long, narrow planform and low aspect ratio means short, deeper chord wings.

Effect of Angle of Attack

As the angle of attack increases the lift created by the wing increases up to a certain
point known as the critical angle of attack. After this point the airflow becomes
turbulent and the aeroplane can no longer generate lift. Both flaps and slats are
used to allow greater lift at high angles of attack.

Bernoullis Principle and its Application

The production of the lift force by an aerofoil is explained by Bernoullis principle. As the velocity of a fluid increases, the
pressure exerted by that fluid decreases. The equation is
+ + 2 =
In aircraft the velocity of air over the top of the wing is greater than that at the bottom. This creates a pressure variation in
air around the wing. There is low pressure at the top relative to the bottom. This creates lift.
With a venturi Bernoullis equation is slightly different as there is no variation is height:
+ 2 =
With a venturi mass must be conserved. When a fluid of a certain density is travelling along a pipe and the area of the pipe
reduces only a small number of fluid can pass but mass must be conserved so the velocity increases.
This is used is carburettors and slats in some aircraft. As air flows through the restricted section the velocity increases and
draws in fuel. In slats, when they protrude out there may be a small gap between the slat and the wing. The air flows in the
gap and speeds up as it passes of the top of the wing, thus creating lift. Note as the air speeds us the temperature reduces
which is important in carburettors which require a heater to prevent fuel icing.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Bending Stress Airframes

Numerous stresses act on airframes whether the aircraft is stationary or in the air. Stresses can be due to various factors
(e.g. Vibration, wind shear, takeoff/landing stresses, temperature stresses (expansion and contraction), pressure
differences between interior and exterior). The stresses may be in tension, compression, shear or bending. (Only bending is
required for this module). The wing of the plane is just like a cantilever.

Propulsion Systems
Internal Combustion Engines - These were the first types of engines used (originally they were water cooled but then they
were air cooled which reduced engine weight). These are similar to the engines used in cars (4 stroke, Otto cycle). Some
still use a carburettor while most use fuel injection. The piston engine does not offer the same performance as a turbine
engine, but they are powerful enough and cost effective for small aircraft. Their service altitude is restricted as the air
becomes thinner but this performance can be improved by turbocharging or supercharging. These systems force air into the
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
engine under pressure and thus increase power. The turbo is driven off exhaust gases, a supercharger is belt/gear driven.
Piston engines use dual independent ignition systems in parallel which provide greater safety and more efficient
combustion. The engines could be flat, radial or V shaped. Later rotary engines were developed unlike piston engines (were
the movement is linear) in rotary engines the movement is rotary (these have a higher power-to-weight ratio). These rotary
piston engines were lighter, more powerful and cheaper to produce. However they were difficult to fly due to the
gyroscopic effects of the pistons.
Jet Engines - After WWII jet engines became increasingly popular as there was demand for larger and faster aircraft.
Turbojet engines work like this:
1. Inlet - air enters and is compressed slightly.
2. Compressor - sets of compressing blades which compress and heat air.
3. Combustor/burner - Fuel is injected into the compressed and heater aid and ignited.
4. Turbine - burnt gases expand through the turbine stages which rotate due to the flow of gases. The turbine is
connected to the same shaft as the compressor thus the air flow also drives the compressor. The turbine only
extracts enough energy to keep the compressor going.
5. Nozzle - The gas expands through the nozzle and exits very hot and very fast.
Basically there are 4 stages suck, squeeze, bang, and blow. The air is sucked in and squeezed. Then it is ignited (bang) and it
blows out of the nozzle.

Turbofan engines are similar to turbojet engines the difference is that there is an additional fan stage forward of the
compressor. An additional turbine stage drives the fan. The 747 included the first high bypass turbofan. In bypass engines
the majority of the air entering the engine nacelle passes around the engine and only a small amount of air passes through
the engine (5:1 by weight). The fan produces thrust from the bypass air. A majority of the thrust is produced by the fan. The
advantage of this is that the bypass air shields the hot engine core gases and reduces engine noise. As the bypass air is
lower in velocity is also reduces noise. Thus they are cooler and quieter than other jet engines. They are also more efficient
than turbojets (especially at transonic speeds).

Ramjet engines have no moving parts. The shape of the engine compresses and heats air. Then fuel is injected and the
mixture is ignited. The expanding gases are forced out the exhaust and produces thrust. The ramjet needs high speeds to
work and thus require an auxiliary propulsion system. They are lighter, simpler, not as limited by temperature limits but
have low efficiencies at low speeds.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Scramjets are supersonic combustion ramjets. They are similar to ramjets. Incoming air is compressed and heat and slowed
down before it is combusted. The airflow through a scramjet is supersonic. This allows the scramjet to operate effectively
above speeds of Mach 3. Speeds of up to Mach 10 have been reached.

Turboprop - operation the same as a turbojet but the difference is that the turbine drives the compressor and a reduction
gear system which is connected to a propeller (reduction gears to reduce the rotation of the shaft). The majority of the
energy is used to drive the turbine, only a very small amount of exhaust energy (10%) provides thrust. Turboprops combine
the best features of turbojets and propeller aircraft. This engine is very efficient at low speeds but lose efficiency at higher
speeds. Turbojets are efficient at high speeds and high altitudes while turboprops are more efficient below 840 km/h and
altitude below 10km. Turboprops are used as they can drive a propeller at higher speeds than reciprocating engines. Their
speeds are limited because as the propeller speed approaches supersonic speeds shocks may form and decrease the flow of
air into the engine. Thus their speed must be limited.

Rockets They generate thrust for propellants carried within the rocket. They are inefficient at low speeds and find their
niche in fields requiring extremely high speeds and rapid acceleration. They have the advantage of not requiring an
atmosphere thus they are used in space. The fuel may be solid or liquid.

Fluid Mechanics
Pascals Principle states that Pressure applied to an enclosed liquid is transmitted undiminished to every point in the fluid
and to the walls of the container.
This principle is often used in hydraulic systems:
1 2
1 2
F1 and F2 are Force (N)
A1 and A2 are area (m2)

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
In aeroplanes hydraulic systems are often used to operate landing gear and control surfaces.
Hydrostatic and Dynamic Pressure - Hydrostatic pressure is pressure that results from a static fluid (e.g. static pressure). In
aerodynamics, hydrostatic pressure is called static pressure. A still gas or fluid will produce static pressure either due to the
mass of the fluid (for liquids) or the random movement of molecules (for gases). The fluid pressure acts at right angles to
surface. The pressure can be calculated by:


P is pressure (Pa)
F is force (N)
A is area (m2)
Cross sectional area does not affect hydrostatic pressure but depth does. The deeper an object is the greater the pressure:
= 0 +
P is pressure at depth h (Pa)
P0 is pressure at the top (Pa)
p is the density of the fluid (kg/m3)
g is acceleration due to gravity (ms-2)
h is the depth below the top (m)
Dynamic pressure is pressure that concerns a moving fluid. The moving fluid creates pressure because of ordered velocity.
With dynamic pressure the movement is ordered and we consider the velocity and density of the fluid.
= 2
P is pressure (Pa)
p is density (kg/m3)
v is velocity (m/s)
Applications to Aircraft Components - Many aircraft are pressurised to allow them to fly at elevated heights. As a result of
the pressure difference between the cabin and the outside a stress is created on the structure thus the structure must be
fortified and there is a potential for metal fatigue. The aircraft moves in the air and this velocity relative to the air creates
dynamic pressure (especially supersonic aircraft). Jet engines are also subject to dynamic pressure due to the air intake and
the thrust output.
Fluid mechanics and Pascals principle is used in all of the aircrafts hydraulic systems and also for various instruments.
Applications to Aircraft Instruments - Aircraft instruments such as altimeters, airspeed indicators and vertical speed
indicators are all based on pressure. Total pressure consists of static pressure plus dynamic pressure. Total pressure is also
known as pitot pressure. The above components sense dynamic pressure; that is, the difference between total pressure and
static pressure and use it to give a reading.
The pitot tube is a small tube placed under the wing or on the nose of an aircraft to measure the speed of the aircraft. Its
operation is based on difference between static and dynamic pressure.

When the aircraft flies the air is forced into the tube and gives dynamic pressure. The total pressure is registered by the
pitot tube. There is another hole that registers static pressure. The 2 sections are separated by a pressure transducer. A
strain gauge is used at the transducer to detect movement and thus determine the difference in pressure. Pitot tubes have
one limitation they do not work for supersonic aircraft, thus the pitot tube has to be designed differently. It has two tubes:
an outer tube (with holes perpendicular to the direction of flow, for static pressure) and an inner tube (which faces into the
direction of flow and senses static pressure plus dynamic pressure).

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Altimeters measure the altitude of an aircraft. In works on the principle of having a small expandable vessel of air (aneroid)
surrounded by static air pressure. As the aircraft ascends the static air pressure falls can this causes the aneroid to expand.
This expansion is recorded by a linkage systems (gear system) which controls a needle that gives a reading.

Airspeed indicators on planes are mostly mechanical. In such a device the total pressure entering the pitot tube acts on the
inside of a diaphragm. The diaphragm expands or contracts depending on the pressure. The pitot tube records the total air
pressure but in this case only dynamic air pressure (due to moving air) is desired. To achieve this, a static pressure line is
also introduced into this instrument which exerts itself on the outside of the capsule. This nullifies the static pressure part
of the total pressure. The net effect is that only the required dynamic pressure is linked to the dial where it gives a readout
of the airspeed.

Total pressure

A vertical airspeed indicator indicates the rate at which an aircraft is climbing or descending. Again there is a capsule
capable of expansion/contraction in the operation of this instrument; this time it is related to the speed at which the
pressure decreases or increases on climb or descent. In this case static pressure has instant entry/exit to the capsule but its
entry/exit to the area surrounding the capsule is only gradual due to the other aperture being restricted to deliberately
delay movement either way.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Engineering Materials
Specialised testing of Aircraft Materials
The aircraft industry requires extensive testing of materials to ensure that they are sound in condition. There are various non-
destructive tests used such as: dye penetrant, X-ray, gamma ray, magnetic particle, ultrasonic.
Dye penetrant is discussed in chapter 1.
X-ray is discussed in chapter 1.
Gamma ray is similar to x-ray testing but uses gamma rays, which have far greater penetration power. Great care must be
taken due to the harm they can have on humans. Gamma rays are provided by radioactive sources.
Magnetic particle method also known as magnetic dust method is used to find cracks in a part. The piece of metal is placed
across 2 magnetic poles, or a magnetic field is induced in it and then it is sprinkled with a magnetic powder in a suspension
medium (it can also be done dry). The excess powder is removed and cracks are revealed by magnetic powder sticking to
the area each side of the crack. This occurs because each side of the crack becomes a magnetic pole. Wet suspension is
used for complex shapes where dry particles wont flow properly. The limitation is that this method only works with
magnetic materials, which makes it useless with aluminium and titanium alloys. This

Ultrasonic is discussed in chapter 1.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys used in Aircraft

Aluminium and its alloys are used in aircraft because of their desirable low density (2.7g/cm3) and a low mp 660C. Aluminium has
good electrical and heat conductivity. It has good machining and welding properties, low fatigue strength (especially in precipitation-
hardened alloys). Precipitation hardened allos can suffer from SCC. The structure of it is FCC so it is ductile at all temperatures (less
for precipitation hardened alloys). Note it is possible to refrigerate duralumin after stage of the precipitation hardening process so it
will not age. This is done so it can be naturally aged in service, hence receiving max strength whilst in service. Pure aluminium is
unsuitable for aircraft structural members as it is too soft and malleable and thus lacks strength. However aluminiums very high
corrosion resistance makes it suitable to be hot-rolled onto the surface of alloy sheet to provide a corrosion resistant layer. This
alclad composite is commonly used for the skin on airframes.
Aluminium allows are split in 2 groups: Wrought Alloys (rolled or formed alloys that can be treated) which are again split into 2
categories: Heat-treatable/Non-heat treatable and Casting Alloys which are used in casting (i.e. lower melting points).
1xxx is pure aluminium with impurities. It has excellent corrosion resistance, high thermal and electrical conductivity, good
workability but low mechanical properties.
2xxx is Aluminium Copper (2.5-5%). This alloy has similar properties to mild steel and better resistance to crack formation
but has poor corrosion resistance unclad. Formerly duralumin (2017 with 4% Cu) was used but the 2024 allow offers higher
tensile strengths and has largely replaced thus. As they have resistance to crack formation the 2000 series alloys find use in

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
the lower surface of wings and the fuselage where they are most likely to suffer from tensile loads and fatigue cracking.
They are usually clad as they have low corrosion resistance. The copper enhances ductility and malleability.
3xxx is an alloy with manganese. It is non heat-treatable has moderate strength and good working characteristics.
4xxx is Aluminium Silicon (9-13% silicon). Alloying with silicon reduces the melting temperature. This is good for welding
and casting. Aluminium Silicon is the basis for most cast aluminium alloys. It has excellent corrosion resistance. The silicon
increases the hardness of the Aluminium without increasing the brittleness. It is often used in gearboxes.
5xxx is an alloy with magnesium (about 3%). This alloy has good welding and corrosion resistance. Alloying increases
hardness and tensile strength. It is often used as a sheet.
6xxx is Aluminium Silicon Magnesium. This alloy is heat treatable has good strength, forming and corrosion resistance. This
alloy is used in both wrought and as a casting allow, these alloys can be precipitation hardened. Although are generally not
as strong as 2000 series they are more easily worked and offer better corrosion resistance. The casting form is often used in
aircraft instruments.
7xxx is an alloy with zinc and magnesium. It is heat treatable and has high strength. These alloys find extensive use in
aeronautical applications at various parts of the airframe. These alloys sometimes have additions of copper. There are more
readily heat treatable than the 2000 series but SCC is a challenge which is in part addressed by the addition of copper.
8xxx is an alloy with other elements.
Aluminium Lithium alloys offer low densities than standard aluminium alloys but also have some challenging properties.
They are used extensively in military and space vehicles.
Alclad is duralumin (or other 2 series alloy) that is clad with pure aluminium. This is done because duralumin is not as
corrosion resistant as pure aluminium. The duralumin and pure aluminium sheet are rolled together, pressure welding joins
the layers together. The aluminium sheet normally accounts for 1% thickness of the two.

Structure/Property relationship and Alloy Application

Diagram above shows the uses of Aluminium alloys in aircraft. 2 series have lower crack growth rates and thus better
fatigue performance than 7 series alloy thus they are used on the lower wings and fuselage. They are often clad.
Changes in macrostructure and microstructure are described above.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Titanium has a densities that is 1.5 times that of Aluminium. When alloyed it is useful for high load-bearing applications. It
has high corrosion resistance and a mp between 1500 and 1735C making it useful for the hot sections in aircraft. It has a
low coefficient of expansion, low thermal conductivity and is light, strong and resistant to SCC. The fatigue resistance of
titanium is greater than Aluminium or steel. The most common alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) provides superior strength, stiffness,
ductility and higher temp resistance. Any corrosion is usually uniform and there is not pitting or localised attack. The down
side is that it is expensive. It is used in compressor and turbine blades, bolts, fuselage skins, blades and vanes of turbines
and many other high stress and heat components.
Nickel alloys - Nickel-Chromium-iron, nickel-chromium-cobalt and nickel-chromium-molybdenum-iron alloys are often
known as superalloys for their high temperature strength, toughness, and creep and corrosion resistance. These properties
make them ideal materials for compressor blades in sections where there are high temperatures and pressures. They are
also used for the turbine blades in the area closest to the combustion chamber. Advantage include improved weldability

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
and castability, low cost and ease of manufacture. Cobalt based alloys generally contain high levels of chromium that make
them more resistant to the corrosion that can take place in the presence of hot exhaust gases.
Creep is a process where the material permanently strains as a function of stress time and temperature. The process begins
when the absolute temperature is greater than 0.3-0.5 of the mp measures in Kelvin. In metals creep occurs by dislocation
climb and grain elongation both aided by atomic diffusion.
Grain size in one of the most important properties of a material. In metals grain size influences the yield strength, impact
toughness, elongation and creep resistance. Most properties are improved with decreasing size however under high
temperature creep conditions, (where a material gradually elongates under stress and fails at the grain boundaries) this is
not the case. For turbines the number of grain boundaries is reduced. The grain size is influenced is many ways. The most
fundamental is through the rate and direction of solidification. With appropriate control of temperature in a furnace and
rate of cooling, large directionally oriented grains can be grown or single crystals. In this technique solidification is
directional (from the bottom up). Several techniques have been used to obtain directional growth. One of these known as
normal freezing involves the placement of the metal charge in a small crucible arranged either horizontally or vertically and
the charge melted in a furnace. To make nickel turbine blades molten metal is introduced into the mould, which is itself
surrounded by heating elements to maintain the metal in a molten state. At the bottom of the mould is a section known as
the 'grain selector, consisting of a cavity at the top of which is a helical tube leading into the main body of the mould. A
water-cooled plate is positioned at the bottom of the grain selector and promotes initial directional solidification, since heat
is removed from the mould much faster from the preferentially cooled bottom than through the ceramic walls of the
mould. Numerous crystals are formed and grow toward the helical constriction, at which point only grains of a certain
orientation will be able to progress. As solidification proceeds along the helix the number of grains with a suitable
orientation is reduced until only one orientation remains (the one that finally enters into the main part of the mould
containing what will become the turbine blade). Lowering the mould or raising the heating coils maintains directional
cooling of the casting.
The turbine blades are made using a single crystal of a nickel based superalloy. These blades are internally cooled using
cooling ports. The blades are coated to increase oxidation resistance.

Heat Treatment of Applicable Alloys

The properties of aluminium alloys can be greatly improved by heat treatment. It involves the redistribution of copper
uniformly throughout the material and the controlled segregation of the copper to produce a uniform distribution of very
fine particles, producing a maximum hardening effect. It is known as precipitation hardening.
Solution treatment: the alloy is heated to a point where a homogenous single phase is present (530C). This temperature is
held until all of the copper is taken into solid solution. Then it is quenched in cold water leaving the copper trapped but the
alloy remains soft and readily machineable. This solid solution is unstable and the copper diffuses slowly to form copper
The alloy is often artificially aged at 160C to accelerate precipitation. During the treatment the hardness and strength of
the alloy progressively rises but ductility reduces. Unfortunately the speed of the aircraft must be restricted to below Mach

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
2.2 to avoid the skin temperature reaching 150C. This restriction is to avoid the aluminium alloy overaging and its
mechanical properties consequently degrading. Another problem with high temperatures is the phenomenon known as a
The result of precipitation is grains with a precipitate. The precipitate increases the strength of the alloy by distorting
the lattice and impeding the movement of dislocations or defects in the crystals lattice. The number of precipitates
increases with increasing time thus increasing the strength of the alloy. However with excessive time the precipitates
become large and incoherent and their strengthening effect decreases.

Thermosetting Polymers
Structure/property relationships and their application - Thermosetting plastics harden when heated and reheating has no
softening effect. These plastics cannot be reshaped. Polymers are used increasingly as a solution to keep weights down.
Thermosetting polymers have covalent bonding across the polymer chains as well as along them. The properties of
polymers that makes them useful for aircraft are flame resistance, optical properties, impact toughness, chemical
resistance, strength, stiffness, environmental durability and high thermal and mechanical properties.
Thermosetting polymers such as epoxy resins find extensive use as the matrix material for fibre reinforced composite
construction used in aircraft as they are hard, rigid, relatively brittle, excellent dimensional stability over a broad
temperature range.
Polyimides exhibit excellent thermal stability, ductility, mechanical toughness and chemical resistance and excellent
dielectric properties as a result they are used in wear applications, machined gears, bushings and bearings, aerospace and
aircraft parts, ring seals, thrust washers, wear strips.
Polyurethane makes up seat cushions in aircraft as it is flexible and like a foam. Polyurethane pain is used for its cosmetic
and corrosion prevention reasons.
Silicones are odourless, colourless, water resistant, chemical resistant, oxidation resistant, stable at high temperature, and
have weak forces of attraction, low surface tension, low freezing points and do not conduct electricity. They are used in

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
solid form as electrical insulators, sealant and as rubber stops. The silicone grease is used due to its water repelling
Polyester is used is small mechanical gear wheels, carpets and ropes. They are also used in windows, lightly stressed parts,
interior trim and as electrical insulators.
Thermosoftening and thermosetting plastics uses are shown below:

Manufacturing Processes - Thermosetting materials are heated to a plastic state under pressure. Under the conditions of
elevated temperature and pressure they are said to set, forming 3 dimensional structures linked by covalent bonds.
Thermosets therefore form a single large 3D network rather than the mass of molecular chains linked by secondary bonds,
as is the case for thermoplastics.
Compression Moulding - Compression moulding represents a generic term for a number of processes that rely on the
application of pressure, often in concert with elevated temperature. This process takes an unpolymerised preform and
compresses it in a mould with heat. The heat and the pressure form the shape and polymerise the polymer. The finished
moulding is then ejected. It is used for making plugs, switches casters, brackets, clips and window frames.
Matched die compression moulding takes two metal plates, one fixed and the other movable to form the mould. These
plates can generally be internally heated and/or cooled. When the die is closed, a fixed gap exists between the plates in the
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
shape of the product to be formed. A polymer, in sheet or granular form, is placed in the open mould and the movable
plate. The mould is then heated while the top plate applies pressure. The polymer is heated to above its glass transition
temperature where it softens and flows to fill the mould cavity. Heat and pressure are maintained until the polymer has
cured, at which time heating is stopped and the mould cooled before the pressure is released and the plug removed to
allow removal of the product.
This process can be used on both thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermosets can only be manufactured using a
compression moulding technique because they will not readily flow unless subjected to constant temperature and pressure
conditions. Cooling to solidification must occur while pressure is maintained for a satisfactory product density to be
achieved. The advantage of compression moulding is its ability to mould small to large pans in intricate detail, features that
would normally be post-machined using other processes.

Transfer Moulding - This is similar to compression moulding but instead of the polymerising happening in the mould it
happens in the adjacent cavity. The molten polymer is transferred via a sprue to the actual mould. It is used for moulding

Hand Lay-up - This is where fibres are placed into a mould and the resin is manually applied onto the fibres. First a gel coat
is applied and then the fibre reinforcement is added in the form of a mat or cloth. The resin is poured, brushed or sprayed
on and then rollers are used to force the resin to impregnate the fibre mat. For areas that have to be thicker more fibre mat
is placed down and the resin is rolled into the area again. It is essential that the resin bonds properly to the fibres.
An alternative to hand lay-up is the spray up process where a special gun sprays the resin and continuous strand roving
(glass fibre) which is chopped and sprayed at the same time. This chopped up roving and resin mix in the mould. It is then
rolled to remove air and improve impregnation of the resin into the fibres.
This process is used for low volume and/or large complex components where product thickness tolerances are less critical.
Vacuum Lay-up - This is a closed moulding process usually used with epoxy resin based composites. The material used is
called prepreg and is uni directional carbon fibres within a partially cured epoxy resin. The material is arranged in layers in
the mould and then placed in a bag. A vacuum is applied to the bag and this removes any air within the laminates. The bag
is then placed in an autoclave at an appropriate temperature and elevated pressure where curing is then completed. For
epoxy resins the autoclave will be set to a temperature or around 190C and at a pressure of around 690kPa.
This process is advantageous as it reduces the need for heavily reinforced moulds and structural clamping systems
(atmospheric pressure can resist any mould deformation) and is significantly faster than other processes. Furthermore it
has less emissions and less material is wasted.
This process is used in forming composite panels such as wings and other large surfaces.

Composites are one of the newest and most important areas aircraft manufacture. They offer good specific strength, low density,
excellent fatigue, outstanding corrosion resistance, fracture resistance, easily shaped, easy to fabricate directional properties and
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
weather resistance. They may be degraded by UV light but pigmenting them reduces this. They may be made stronger in a particular
direction (anisotropic) or made with equal strength in all directions (isotropic). Composites are popular because they reduce weight
by 25% but they can be expensive. Composites are materials that are combined together to enhance the properties of each
component material.
Typically composites consist of a matrix material and a reinforcing material. The matrix and fibre materials may be metals, ceramics
or polymers, but the composites used in airframe construction are fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites.
Fibres may be A - continuous unidirectional, B - Continuous orthogonal layers, C Continuous multiple fibres, D Discontinuous
Unidirectional, E Discontinuous random orientation.

Composites may also may be laminates of different materials joined together in a sandwich fasion. This structure may consist of
layers of this uni-directional or bi-directional fibres held apart by a lightweight core (foam or honeycomb-style structure).
Types of composites and their Application in Aircraft - From early days, composites have been used extensively in aircraft
Glass Fibre - Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) or fibreglass, are fine glass particles embedded in a resin matrix such as
polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy. The glass provides the tensile strength while the resin provides the toughness. GFRP is not
as strong as other composites and is heavier than others but is a cost effective option. It comes in 2 grades E (electrical
glass) and S (structural glass). E glass is low cost with good strength. It has minor uses in aircraft but can be used as a barrier
material. S glass is 60% stronger and 20% more expensive. It is more suitable for constructing raydomes, fairings, and
Carbon Fibre - Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) is one of the most important composites in the industry. It consists
of carbon fibres (typically 62% by volume) in an epoxy resin (normally). This combination produces desirable strength and
toughness. Overall this material has a high strength to weight ratio, very high specific strength and a high modulus of
elasticity. It also has a high resistance to cyclic stresses. CFRP is used for control surfaces, wingtips, floor panels. The 787 has
a fuselage made of CFRP. One disadvantage is that it fails like a brittle material with no plastic failure making damage
detection and repair much more complex (unlike metals which fail progressively). Furthermore it cannot conduct making it
susceptible to damage from lightning.
Kevlar - It is the trademark name of Du Pont. It is made of aramid fibres. It is produced by a condensation reaction between
2 monomer producing HCl as a by-product. The polymer is made up of benzene rings and amide groups that provide great
strength. An extrusion process known as spinning produces fibres with polymer chains oriented along the fibre axis in which
the benzene rings provide a crystalline backbone. The result is a unique combination of high strength, light weight and high
modulus aramid fibres with superior toughness. The matrix is epoxy resin and it offers similar properties to CFRP but is
more resistant to impacts and abrasion. It is hydroscopic and thus must be sealed to prevent water absorption. Kevlar has
found increasing use in aircraft design, particularly in composite constructions to form structural panels. Engine cowlings
made of Kevlar are also 'quieter' and less sensitive to engine vibration than GFRP or CFRP. In other cases it is used as bullet
proof vests.
Fibre Metal Laminates (FML) - These are laminated structures of metal and fibre reinforced composites, the most common
is GLARE (Glass Laminate Aluminium Reinforced Epoxy) which is used in the A380 outer hull. The combination between
aluminium alloy and GFRP means that the material acts like a metal sheeting but has more enhanced properties compared
to a non-laminated metal sheet. Advantages are: improved impact resistance, better fatigue, corrosion resistance and
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
weight savings. They can also have directional strength properties. It is a 5 layer composite of aluminium alloy sheets,
approximately 0.4 mm thick, and sheets of fibre/epoxy prepreg, approximately 0.125 mm thick.
Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) - These are composites which have metal fibres in a metal matrix. Boron Fibre Aluminium
(a composite with boron fibres in an aluminium matrix) improves the tensile strength of aluminium e.g. 6061 has a tensile
strength of 310MPa, a boron 6061 composite with 51% boron has a strength of 1417MPa.
MMCs exist in 3 forms: continuous fibre, discontinuous fibre and particulate reinforced MMC. Continuous fibre gives
greater strength but is harder to make. MMCs are able to withstand higher temperatures but they are heavier than polymer
matrix composites.
Adhesives - Epoxy adhesives are used to join composite aircraft surfaces to the base structure. Aircraft such as the
Eurofighter Typhoon utilise epoxy resin in this way.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Structure/property relationships and their application in aircraft - The structure of fibre reinforced composites has a big
impact on their behaviour. This is because of the way that the fibres are arranged as this affects how the load is carried in
the material. Unidirectional fibres such as continuous fibres in MMCs are very effective at carrying loads parallel to the
fibres however they are more likely to suffer separation of the fibres if bending occurs. Such materials are anisotropic.
If shorter fibres in random directions are used then maximum tensile strength is lowered but the resistance to separation of
fibres if bending occurs increases.
Alternatively the fibres may be layered at angles to one another (similar to plywood). The material however is not isotropic
but it is possible to make a 3D structure so that there is strength along all 3 axis.

Corrosion is the deterioration of a material due to a reaction with the environment. As the frames and skin of an aircraft are highly
stressed, so weakening via corrosion is a major concern. Although composites offer resistance to electrochemical corrosion, UV light
and the weather may degrade them.
Common corrosion mechanisms in aircraft structures There are many reasons why corrosion may occur.
o Dissimilar Metals and the presence of an electrolyte - Contact of dissimilar metals and even similar metals with
different heat treatment conditions occurs on many parts of an aircraft (e.g steel bolts through aluminium spars,
copper hydraulic lines attached to aluminium alloy). These circumstances are always likely to cause an
electrochemical reaction. Such reactions may be prevented by the use of an insulating layer between the surfaces.
o Heat Treatment - Incorrect heat treatment may lower a materials resistance to corrosion. Care must be taken with
any heating process may alter the corrosion resistance of a component.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
o Welding - After welding, the heated strip around the join is anodic and will corrode in preference to the
surrounding metal. Some stainless steels are particularly susceptible to intergranular corrosion in the welded
region but this can be reduced if the part is annealed after welding.
o Fretting - This occurs when parts that are tightly bolted together still slip slightly as the aircraft flexes and moves.
The heating caused by the localised friction promotes oxidation of the steel and greatly reduces the fatigue
strength of the metal. To overcome this problem, structural assembly bolts should be protected by plating with
cadmium or some other suitable non-ferrous metal. These bolts should then be assembled as tightly as the torque
limits allow. The use of lubricating grease, in this situation, is also common.
o Stress - Metals under stress generally corrode more readily than unstressed metals. Stresses can also crack
protective coatings. Corrosion in parts that are subjected to ongoing stresses moves very rapidly and can quickly
lead to the failure of the part.
o High Temperatures - Parts like brake drums and exhaust pipes that are heated in service tend to oxidise more
quickly than unheated parts. This effect can be minimised by the use of alloys containing nickel or chromium in
these situations.
o Electrical Equipment - The insulation on electrical wiring should be kept in good condition as leakage of current
may lead to the corrosion of both the electrical equipment and the surrounding metal parts.
o Damaged Protective Coatings - Special coatings protect many metallic surfaces in aircraft. Scratching and abrasion
occurs during normal aircraft operation and may becoming starting points for corrosion. Care must be taken when
surfaces come in contact with certain fluids though careful testing will reveal the most suitable coating for each
o Crevice corrosion - In crevices and inaccessible corners in metal parts, there are often low oxygen levels. These
places will become anodic compared to the surrounding areas and corrosion will occur at these points. All
enclosed areas in aircraft should be vented to prevent oxygen deprivation and drained to remove the electrolyte
necessary for corrosion to proceed.
Eliminating these conditions can be done most effectively in the design phase. Thus designing the aircraft carefully can
ensure that corrosion is minimised. However this can be restricted by practicalit, functionality and feasibility. Dissimilar
metal contact cannot always be avoided because of weight, cost and functional issues. The potential for corrosion,
however, may be minimised by using surface treatments such as sealing, painting or plating (anodising). Water cannot be
avoided but it can be controlled by appropriately designed and located drain paths and drain holes. Ingress can be
prevented by the use of sealants. Some materials naturally generate corrosion materials that tightly bond to the surface
forming a protective film that prevents further corrosion. Stainless steel and titanium are examples of such metals.
Pit and Crevice Corrosion - This is the most common type of corrosion. It occurs when there
are different oxygen levels in a crevice. The crevice corrosion often involves a very fine gap
that traps fluid. The places with low oxygen levels become anodic and begin to corrode. The
area exposed to the air becomes the cathode. This type of corrosion can be very aggressive
and difficult to detect because it forms a narrow gap and can occur with identical metals.
Pitting corrosion can form by a mechanism similar to concentration. It form cavities of holes
that perforate the material surface. This is very common because aircraft as always wet due
to: condensation from temperature changes, airborne moisture accumulating, rain.
Stress Corrosion Cracking - This is a particularly dangerous form of corrosion due to it being
very destructive. SCC occurs due to the combination of a material (susceptible to attack) in
tensile stress that is in a corrosive environment. Neither alone would cause failure. The
stresses can be residual, thermal or applied. Different alloys are affected by different
environments. SCC causes pits or cracks to form and then the tip of the crack becomes
anodic. Cathodic protection can prevent SCC. In aluminium alloys it is intergranular.
Exfoliation - This is a special form of intergranular corrosion where the high stresses of the grain boundaries becomes
anodic and corrodes. This corrosion then follows the grain boundary, it typically occurs for elongated grain boundaries. This
a major problem for airframe sheet materials as the corrosion can cause some layers of the material to peel off.
Stress Cells - These occur as a result of high residual stress. These areas of high stress become anodic while the areas with
comparatively low stress become cathodic. Often this type of corrosion will occur at grain boundaries where the stresses in

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
the metal are high. This is especially problematic for aircraft skin where the aluminium skin is cold rolled (which has high
stresses). This problem can be alleviated by lowering the stress levels.
Dry Corrosion - Dry corrosion happens when chemical reactions of metals occurs due to the presence of gases especially
oxygen. This type of corrosion occurs more often in hotter environments where there are more particle collisions. For the
aircraft this means that an oxide layer will form if the metal is exposed to the air. If the oxide layer is not porous then corrosion
will cease to occur (this is called passivation). However if the oxide layer is porous (e.g. magnesium oxide) then corrosion will
continue to occur and damage the structure.
Galvanic Corrosion - This type of corrosion is more common and occurs because of dissimilar metals and an electrolyte. This
essentially creates a galvanic cell and this results in the deterioration of one of the metals (the anode) while the other metal
gains electrons. For aircraft flying near the sea this is more common as the salt water acts as an electrolyte.
Corrosion Prevention in Aircraft - Corrosion can be minimised by designing the aircraft carefully to avoid using corrosive
materials. Regular cleaning of the of the aircraft will also prevent the buildup of pollution, mud, oil, exhaust residual etc. all
of which can cause corrosion. Using sealants, drainage and applying corrosion-inhibiting compounds can also prevent
corrosion. Choosing a good surface finish can also prevent corrosion: metals can be painted, powder coated, electroplated,
or plastic dipped. Aluminum alloys can be anodised, alodised or covered in polymer paint. Ultimately regular inspection,
cleaning, lubrication, maintenance is vital in corrosion prevention.

Engineering Focus Module 2 Telecommunications Engineering

Scope of the Profession
Nature and Scope of the Aeronautical Engineering Profession
Telecommunication engineers are responsible for the design and development of communication equipment and
infrastructure. They also modify and upgrade existing designs. The engineer is responsible for developing equipment that
makes use of the various communication technologies to improve communication for society. Engineers may
o Analyse customer needs
o Test equipment for faults and repair
o Advise on building materials and costs and evaluate equipment and systems
o Build and test prototypes
o Research and information and solve telecommunications related problems
o Prepare and presents reports and proposals on telecommunications-related problems
o Provide training
o Locate and organize equipment imported from overseas
o Design, provide and keep up-to-date systems and make sure equipment meets regulations

Health and Safety Matters

Telecommunications engineers face many hazards. Much of their work is carried out in office locations where ergonomics,
lighting and good housekeeping are a priority. At other times their work takes them into manufacturing industry where the
hazards associated with machinery and equipment may be relevant. Outdoor hazards such as electrocution, falling
equipment, lightning strikes, electrical hazard or poor safety standards may also be relevant. Another issue they face is due
to EMR that phones transmit. There are some concerns regarding pro-longed exposure to EMR from cell phones and cell-
towers. As such their operation and related health issues are monitored.

Training for the Profession

To undertake a tertiary course in telecommunications engineering a HSC student should do, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and
Engineering Studies. Then he/she should do a Telecommunications course at university (Bachelor). Training generally
includes 4 years full-time at Uni. They should also be skilled at teamwork, project management, computer literacy and oral
and written communication.

Career Prospects

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Telecommunications is an expanding industry. There are growing number of prospects for engineers especially due to the
growth of companies such as Telstra, Optus. Thus engineers are required to find solutions to practical problems. The
careers available may be within private and public industries, broadcasting enterprises and research institutions. The
expansion of digital technology requires the continual redesign of equipment, hence providing new opportunities for
qualified telecommunications engineers.

Relations with the Community

The infrastructure developed by the engineers is designed for use by consumer. Australia has one of the worlds highest
level of mobile phone ownership. The work of the engineer is not without controversy in the community. Radiation from
phones and satellites has led to fear of cancers and tumors in the community. Furthermore the obtrusiveness of telephone
wires and the disruptions due to maintenance has also caused concerns. Nowadays the projects created have to consider
community issues.

Technologies Unique to the Profession

Many of the technologies developed are not unique to the profession e.g. semiconductor technology. Satellite technology is
almost exclusively for telecommunications. There are many communication satellites used today. They essentially
broadcast news and communicate from one place to another. They are also used to ensure worldwide mobile coverage.
Whilst fibre optic technology is used is applications to transmit light for medical uses and to illuminate pipes for TV
cameras, the majority of optical fibre is used to carry communications signals. It is almost unique to the professions. The
most striking example of technology unique to the profession is the Internet. It was first created in 1969 and was known as
ARPAnet and it connected military, research and university departments in the USA. It allowed the transmission of large
amounts of data. Now it is used predominantly by civilians for communications.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The availability and ease of access of telecommunications raises a number of issues regarding privacy and control. When
data is send of internet and telephone lines it is susceptible to monitoring. This may be seen as an invasion of privacy. E.g.
emails are send over in packets and these packets may be intercepted and examined by people other than the intended
recipient. This issue of privacy has risen with the growth of telecommunications. The technology of the internet has also
allowed spamming and the distribution of unwanted material. The increasing sophistication and reduced cost of equipment
has raised the potential for people to store personal data such as conversations, likes, friends etc. This seriously brings up
the issue of privacy.
Copyright is another major issue. This is when a person declares ownership of intellectual property and this operates
similarly to a patent. There are numerous laws that protect intellectual property rights. The right to copy material can only
be granted by the holder. Many documents contain a statement saying that the material is copyright. However many
material on the internet can easily be distributed without the consent of the owner brining about the issue of copyright.

Engineers as Managers
Engineers often use technical knowledge to solve practical problems. The nature of problems today may require engineers
to cooperate and communicate effectively with others. Engineers often find that job opportunities come with management
responsibility. System implementation requires careful managing in the early stages to consider current technology
requirements and also future demands. Engineers may be in charge of the design process and oversee the development of
a project. An engineer is such a position will coordinate teams while he/she oversees the development. In larger projects
there may be a chief telecommunications engineer overseeing a group of telecommunications engineers who are each in
charge of a segment of the job. Managers should have a logical method of dealing with problems, good problem solving
skills and good communications skills.

Current Projects and Innovations

The telecommunications industry is constantly growing. There are 3 areas: those that satisfy current demands and those
that attempt to create a demand not currently recognised (market pull and technology push).
Currently Australia is switching from analogue TV to digital TV and digital radio is being offered in major cities. Currently
most phones utilise 3G networks and LTE networks are being rolled out. GPS technology is being included in mobile phones.
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Video conferencing is also currently being implemented. In the medical profession digital x-rays can now be transmitted to
another centre. Due to consumer interest 3D, HDTV, video telephones have also entered the market.
Current innovations include the NBN designed to upgrade the current copper line infrastructure. Smarter appliances are
also being developed these can communicate with phones thus allowing control from far away. They can also monitor
conditions. E.g. smart fridges can maintain track of contents.
Other innovations are speeds. Communication times are decreasing allowing larger data to be sent quicker. Convergence is
an emerging concept. It is currently available to a limited extent but its use should expand dramatically in the next five or so
years. For instance you can currently receive television on your computer. You can also receive wireless internet by
connecting your mobile phone to your laptop.

Historical and Societal Influences

Historical Developments within the Telecommunications Industry
Communication has been vital for humans for both military and civilian areas. Originally communication required line of
sight such as smoke signals or make flag gestures (semaphore). However these were limited by weather, operator
competence, and visibility. Later messages were sent manually via messengers on horseback or foot. Later trains were used
to send messages. Faradays discovery of electromagnetic induction in 1831 an electric telegraph was developed. The early
telegraph utilised 5 needles that pointed to certain letters. The electric telegraph was a solution for some time but it could
not include all the letters. It worked by sending electrical impulses over cables. The dots and dashes used to represent
letters (Morse code) were developed by Samuel Morse in 1838. This revolutionised the telegraph system. They did require
repeater stations and were difficult to maintain. The Morse code system was advantageous as it allowed a easily
recognisable message to be sent over the poor quality wires but only one message could be sent at a time.
Emile Baudot developed multiplexing and so telegraph grew all over the world. In 1851 a telegraph cable had been laid over
the English Channel. By 1866 the first successful trans-Atlantic cable was laid (the original cable in 1858 failed after a week).
The age of international telecommunications had begun. Messages could now be sent significantly faster than before. The
first telegraph line in Australia was completed in 1854. Tasmania was connected to the mainland in 1869. In 1870 work on
the construction of a single-wire telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin began. It was completed in 1872 and in
October 1872 the wire was extended to Java and thus Australia was connected to the British Telegraph network and the
rest of the world. Eventually the teletype was developed in 1924 this allowed messages to be printed automatically, it used
a special typewriter. At first, the five bit Baudot Code was adequate to operate this system but as transmission and
hardware speeds increased with the introduction of computers, code limitations became the slowest part of messaging and
a new 7 bit code by ASCII doubled code speeds. Telex, a switched teleprinter network, was introduced in 1932. This system
was devised to create the fastest possible messaging of news and commerce using electro-mechanical devices.
The telegraph lasted for 40 years before the Alexander Graham Bells invention in 1876. His device the telephone allowed
sound waves to be converted into electrical signals and then sent along an electrified line. It worked by sound waves
making a disc vibrate which made an electrical signal. These currents were sent and could be received by someone.
Hunnings in 1878 found that granular carbon behind the vibrating disc was superior and so the microphone was invented.
Thomas Doolittle in 1877 found that copper cables were better than the iron wires. By 1885 a successful line between New
York and Boston was opened. The first telephone in Australia was connected in Melbourne in 1879 an in 1880 the first
telephone exchange. As telephone numbers exchanged a system had to be developed. In 1889 Almon Stowger invented a
switch that could transfer a call automatically. The stowger switches were slow and were later were later replaced by
transistors. Nowadays exchanges are computer controlled. The spread of telephones produced large numbers of wires until
the spread could no longer be accommodates. Originally only 50 twisted pairs could be developed this grew to 2000 pairs.
In 1879 the Morse code system was unified and slowly as cables were being laid the telephone replaced the telegraph by
1962 in Australia. From 1905 wireless began use and by 1911 ships from sea were contacted wirelessly
By the 1880 public telephones were developed in London. These were available in stations, shops etc. By 1921 a standard
red telephone box was developed. Public telephones were also part of the Australian cityscape but now they have been
replaced with an open-style box.
As technology has improved so has the telephone design. Originally telephones had finger holes and the dial had to be
rotated. By the 1980s the telephone had buttons rather than dials. Newer phones also had redial options and answering
machines. In spite of these changes the basic system still relies on the Bells invention.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Radio is advantageous as it can transmit wirelessly. The radio was invented by Marconi in 1895. His work was based on the
work of James Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz (Maxwell suggested the EMR spectrum and hertz discovered radio waves).
Marconi brought practical use to their research.
Radios were installed in lighthouses off the Irish coast in 1898. It was also installed in ships early transmissions were only in
Morse Code. Wavelength tuning was invented in 1900 this allowed the waves to all be the same length so that multiple
waves could be sent without interference. It also allowed multiple wavelengths for a single transmitter. Radios were used
for the international carriage of telegrams. In 1907 Marconi set up a service across the Atlantic that connected Ireland and
The first human voice was broadcast in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden. This demonstrated the possibilities of radio but it was
only over short distances. By 1903 merchants ships kept in touch with the shore using radio and the Navy used it to keep in
contact with the admiralty in England. In WWI radio allowed for communications with navies. Lives were radio by radio on
the Titanic. The radio call for help allowed 803 of the 2206 passengers to be rescued.
The first commercial radio was in 1920 in Pittsburg. In Australia the first radio station came in 1923 in Sydney. By 1928 the
Australian government formed the National Broadcasting Service which became the ABC in 1932. A consortium including
Marconi formed the BBC which was publicly funded. The first station funded with advertising was WEAF in New York in
1922. Till the 60s the radios were the size of cabinet. When the television came there was a decline in the popularity of
radio. But innovative programing, talk balk and the invention of the transistor lowered this decline. The transistor made it
possible to create a portable battery powered radio called the tranny by nickname. It also allowed cars to include radios.
The radio also brought an increase to medical services for remote locations. Integral to the success of the Royal Flying
Doctor Service was the development of the two-way pedal radio by John Flynn's colleague and engineer Alfred Traeger,
who established the first base station in Cloncurry in 1929. Initially sending Morse code. The School of the Air began
transmitting from a Flying Doctor base at Alice Springs in 1951, bringing the classroom to numerous children in rural and
remote locations.
Coinciding with the development of radio, experiments that would lead to television were taking place. In 1906 the Russian
engineer Boris Rosing produced images on a cathode ray tube (CRT). Two years later the Scottish engineer Alan Swinton
invented an electronic scanning circuit that allowed the capture of an image. This circuit was used in 1911 by Swinton and
Ferdinand Braun to create an image on a CRT. In 1928. Vladimir Zworykin and John Logic Baird independently developed a
television system. Baird made experimental broadcasts with the BBC in 1929 based on a principle of mechanical scanning.
However, by 1930 the Swedish-American inventor Ernst Alexanderson had developed a reliable television system based on
electronic scanning. In 1936 the BBC began regular television broadcasts from London. The RCA company began television
broadcasts in the USA in 1939. while the ABC began broadcasting in Australia in September 1956.
Key events in Australian Radio:
1905 The Wireless Telegraphy Act was passed to regulate experiments in wireless communication.
1906 The first wireless station was opened in Sydney at Mosman.
1910 The Wireless Institute of Australia made radio contact with two trains.
1913 AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd) was formed by Ernest Fisk and established the Marconi School of
1915 The Navy took control of broadcasting during WWI.
1918 The first direct radio message between England and Australia was received in Sydney.
1920 The Postmaster General's Department regained control of radio.
1921 AWA ran wireless concerts in Melbourne then in Sydney.
1923 Sealed station radios were developed. People subscribed to a single station on an un-tuneable radio. The first
station was Sydney's 2SB, (now 702 ABC)
1924 Commercial Station 2FC opened in Sydney, while in Melbourne 3AR began broadcasting. Sealed set radios were
not selling so new sets with an A and B station were developed. The A station was subscribed to while the B station gained
its fees through advertising.
1925 Australia's oldest B class station 2UE began broadcasting, under the name of 2EU (Electrical Utilities). Later that
year, the Labor Party owned 2KY began broadcasting as another B station.
1930 AWA began operating various stations for licensees.
1932 The ABC was formed and took over the operation of A class stations across the country.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
1934 Cricket games were broadcast over the radio from cables, with the announcer reading out the state of play and
simulating the bat hitting the ball.
1938 The ABC network included two radio stations in every capital city ill Australia.
1939 Emergency radio regulations came into force because of WWII.
1941 The Postmaster General revoked the licence of four radio stations, because they could obstruct the war effort.
1947 The ABC's independent news service became operational.
1951 The School of the Air broadcasts, using the Royal Flying Doctor Service network, commenced.
1952 Some experimental FM stations were established.
1956 ABC radio covered the Melbourne Olympics.
1961 Experimental FM stations were ordered to close.
1962 - To counter the popular new TV stations, radio stations increased the number of news and community broadcasts. '
1973 Commercial radio stations were required to have 10% Australian music as content. The ABC also adopted this
1974 FM licences were granted to 2MBS-FM in Sydney and 3MBS-FM in Melbourne.
1975 2JJ Sydney became the first station to broadcast 24 hours when it opened.
1976 The ABC began FM broadcasts in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
1978 2WS began broadcasting; it was the first new AM station in Sydney since the 1930s.
1979 2JJ converted to FM and became 2JJJ. The station promoted (and still does) youth issues.

The Effect of Telecommunications Engineering on Peoples Lives

The introduction of modern telecommunications allowed the nations to be connected to one another. This revolutionized
commerce, trade, banking, diplomacy, war and law enforcement. The benefits of the telecommunications passed to the
general population in the form of the telegram, later the telephone. The advent of radio and television changed the nature
of our entertainment and how we received news. Telecommunications provided greater personal access to
communication, information and entertainment. Today, there are more mobile phone connections in Australia than fixed
connections and mobile phones offer an increasing array of functions, from text messaging and digital photography to
Internet access. Increased access to telecommunications has greatly reduced the isolation of those living in rural and
outback Australia and has expanded entertainment, work and educational options. However, the same technology has also
been blamed for the closure of face-to-face banking in many rural communities, the creation of call centres reductions in
social competence and an adverse influence on cultural diversity. Mobile phones may also be considered bad as they allow
a person to be contacted any time of day.
o Telephones reduced the tyranny of distance and allowed the nation to be connected to Europe.
o It allowed more direct communication with people all over the continent much faster than before.
o Increases in popularity and improvements in infrastructure increased access.
o The telephone lines supported the arrival of the internet.
o Mobile phones revolutionized communication making it easier to contact someone.
o The smartphone revolution took PDA functionality and combined it with traditional phone cabability and allowed
added functionality.
o The radio increased the safety of ships as they were able to contact the shore or call for help.
o Radio allowed the navy to coordinate attacks.
o The titanic forced ships to monitor radios which made travel safer.
o Radio allowed the people in rural communities to receive news.
o The radio allowed communication between units in WWI.
o It allowed for lesson for isolated children.
o It acted as source of entertainment.
o Talk back radio allowed people to voice their thoughts.
o Radio was essential for air travel and improved safety.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Materials and Techniques used over time and Development of Cathode Ray Television including B/W and Colour
The telecommunications industry extensively required materials for their high conductivity. Initially iron or steel was used
but the developments in processing allowed low resistivity metals such as Copper or Iron to be used. These materials
formed the backbone for the modern telecommunications network for their ability to convey an electrical current with
minimal loss and thereby provide a reliable conduit for transmission of information.
Conversely non-metallic materials were used to make insulators. Ceramics such as porcelain and glass have both been used
to insulate the conductors from supporting structures. Recently ceramics have been replaced with polymer insulators. They
are particularly useful in coating wires as they are lightweight, flexible and can be extruded easily. Natural polymers such as
rubber, gutta-percha and shellac were used first. Rubber could be used on overhead wires while the greater chemical
resistance of gutta-percha to seawater made it ideal for submarine cables. The stiffness of shellac suited it to the insulation
of wire coils and the moulding of stand-alone insulators.
By 1907, Leo Baekeland had developed the first synthetic thermoset which he named 'Bakelite: This new material found
wide use although its primary claim to fame rested on its properties of electrical insulation. Bakelite exhibited higher
electrical resistance than either mica or porcelain while being tougher than glass, more chemically inert than rubber and
resistant to flames. It would not discolour or deteriorate in the sun or on exposure to oil or grease. The replacement of
rubber and gutta-percha as cable insulation took until the mid 1930s however, when polyethylene was produced on a
commercial scale. Today, polyethylene is commonly used as the insulating material for wires and coaxial cables.
Increasingly today, telecommunications relies on the properties of semiconductors such as silicon both for the manufacture
of microelectronics and for the production of fibre optics. The introduction of these materials has resulted in the
miniaturisation of equipment and the development of communication channels through which vast amounts of information
can be sent.
Development of CRT TV including B/W and Colour - The CRT has a long and rich history. It was Sir William Crooke in 1878
who pioneered the vacuum tube which has become a forerunner for modern day x-ray machines. In 1897, the concept was
developed further by Karl F. Braun in experiments that led to the invention of the cathode ray oscillograph, a tool that
further helped to develop the oscilloscope a signal measurement instrument several decades later. At the end of the
century, improvements for wider usage of this technology were carried out mostly by the Army Signal Corps in experiments
to increase the speed and focus of the electron beam for eventual use in radar.
The cathode-ray tube was developed in 1897 by Ferdinand Braun of Strasbourg in what was then the French-German region
of Alsace-Lorraine. It was first used as an oscilloscope to view and measure electrical signals. In 1908, A.A. Campbell-
Swinton of England proposed using a CRT to send and receive images electronically. It wasn't until the 1920s, however, that
the first practical television system was developed. The concept for a color cathode-ray tube was proposed in 1938 and
successfully developed in 1949.
Although General Electric introduced their first television set for home use in 1928, commercial television broadcasting
remained an experimental technology with only limited range and audience. It took until the late-1940s before television
net-works had established themselves sufficiently to start a boom in consumer sales. Black-and-white television sets gave
way to the first color sets in the 1960s.
After World War I, CRT development accelerated. It was during the 1920s that Allen B. DuMont founded DuMont
Laboratories and produced the first cathode ray oscilloscope. At the same time, AT&T, RCA and Westinghouse were doing
original research on the television. However, in 1926, Kenjiro Takayamagi one of the founders of JVC of Japan
succeeded in getting the first flickering images to appear on a CRT screen. He pioneered and built the world's first electronic
black and white (B&W) TV. Within a few years, DuMont and Zenith produced the first commercial electronic B&W television
World War II interrupted the development of television and resources of the industrialized world were put toward the
production of such devices as radar. During the war, experiments with colour television began, and in 1948, CBS announced
the development of a colour system. The National Television Standards of Colour (NTSC) was adopted in 1953 a
standardization of how colour television signals were to be transmitted through the current B&W system. The principle of
the colour system became the main component for the emerging computer monitor.

Engineering Materials
Specialised Testing

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Voltage, Current, Insulation and Signal Strength and testing - Voltage (or electromotive force) is the driving force in a circuit.
Voltage can be measured by a voltmeter. A voltmeter is placed in parallel and has high resistance otherwise the total
resistance of the circuit is reduced and this can change the value of the voltage being measured. The voltage in AC and DC
circuits can be measured but different meters are required. A cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO) is also a measuring instrument
used in electronic. When a DC or AC voltage is applied to the Y-plate input, the voltage causes the electron beam to bend.
This produces a line on the screen. Multimeters can measure many values such as voltage, current and resistance. They can
be analogue or digital. Come can also measure capacitance, the value of a coil and the characteristics of a transistor.
Selection of the test type is made by adjusting a knob on the front of the multimeter and positioning the probes into the
relevant places. For voltage testing no disruption of the circuit is involved.

Current and resistance testing require a disruption to the circuit. Testing of the current requires an ammeter to be placed in
series, while an ohmmeter measures the resistance by supplying a small current to the components removed from the
circuit and measuring the voltage created.
Insulation can breakdown/fail due to excessive heat or cold, moisture, dirt, corrosive environments, vibration, aging and
physical damage. One method of insulation testing is using a Megohmmeter (sometimes referred to as a megger). For this
test the meter is connected across the insulation material and a test voltage is applied (usually between 500-1000V).
Insulation measured this way is often called continuity testing. Over time a chart (1-10min) is produced to show the parts
history of insulation resistance. A downward-curve trend would indicate a fault. This type of testing is required to: prevent
electrical shocks, assure safety of personnel, reduce downtime of equipment and evaluate quality of repair work. This test
can be affected by moisture, a dirty surface and winding break-downs.
Conductivity and Resistivity are quantitative terms. Conductance is inversely related to resistance (G = 1/R). Therefore ohms
law could be expressed as V = I/G. The SI unit for conductance is Siemens (S). Conductivity () and Resistivity () are
measures of the ease with which free electrons move through a material and are inherent properties of a material.
Conductivity is a reciprocal of resistivity ( = 1/). Resistance is given by R = (l/A) were l is length and A is the cross-
sectional area. Resistivity is in Ohmmeters. Conductivity is in Sm-1.
Resistivity in metals can be related to the resistance to the free flow of electrons. Resistance can be due to:
o Collisions with solute atoms
o Collisions with lattice imperfections
o Collisions with temperature induced lattice vibrations
Temperature has the greatest effect on resistivity. As temperatures increase the vibrations increase and so do collisions.
When temperatures decrease the collisions decrease.
The free electron theory describes metals as a regular lattice of positive ions surrounded by a cloud of delocalised valence
electrons which were shared by all atoms of the crystal. This theory explains:
o High reflectivity which was attributed t the emission of absorbed energy.
o Opacity which was explained by the ability of free electrons to absorb energy of all wavelengths.
o High electrical and thermal properties, which were described as arising from the free movements of the valence
This theory had some problems one of those was that it predicted that metals with more valence electrons would conduct
more but this was not the case.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Sommerfield theory recognises electrons as both waves and particles. This theory allowed Sommerfield to explain the
behaviour of electrons in terms of wave mechanics. This theory could not explain the behaviour of non-metals.
The energy band theory suggests that for conduction to occur the valence electrons must move from the valence band to
the conduction band. In order to do so they had to cross an energy gap. The size of the gap determined the properties of
the material in terms of it being a conductor, semiconductor or insulator. Conductors had overlapping bands,
semiconductor had a small energy gap and insulators had a large energy gap.

Copper and its Alloys used in Telecommunications and structure/property relations and their application
Copper and its alloys are used in telecommunications engineering because its conductivity is second only to silver, however it is
more cost effective than silver. Copper may be used alloyed or unalloyed. Copper and its alloys are used because they are ductile
(allowing them to be drawn into wires), easily annealed, good formability and good for soldering. Copper is the reference against
which conductivity is measured (the International Annealed Copper Standard test (IACS) gave Electrolytic Tough Pitch Copper 100%).
Pure Copper - Electrolytic Tough Pitch Copper (ETP) is the most widely used copper alloy. It as low oxygen levels (0.02-
0.04%) and since it is produced electrolytically it has very low levels of impurities such as sulphur. This ensures that it has
excellent conductivity. A purer form of copper is Oxygen Free High Conductivity Copper (OFHC). This copper is 99.99% pure
and has the same excellent conductivity as ETP. But OFHC is used is some environments where hydrogen embrittlement
affects ETP. Small amounts of impurities drastically affect the conductivity of copper. It is used for wiring, welding fixtures,
commutators, anodes etc. Phosphorus is often used to de-oxidise copper which can increase the hardness and strength but
severely affects the conductivity. Silicon can be used instead of phosphorus to de-oxidise copper when conductivity is
Copper Beryllium (Cu/Be) alloy Beryllium is a lightweight metal with an excellent strength to weight ratio and high
stiffness. Its use in the industry is small since its oxide is poisonous. It is alloyed with copper in small amounts 0.5-4%. The
addition of Beryllium results in significant strength over pure copper but still having good electrical and thermal
conductivity. Copper Beryllium alloys have tensile strength and hardness around alloy steels yet have better conductivity
but are non-magnetic and non-sparking. The highest strength alloys have lower conductivity while the lower strength alloys
have higher conductivity.
Copper Beryllium alloys can be precipitation hardened. They are solution annealed and quenched to trap the beryllium rich
precipitates in solution. Then they are worked or formed and after that they are precipitation hardened artificially. The
Beryllium rich precipitates lead to their high strength over most other copper alloys. They were used in the past for non-
sparking tools and some electrical applications. Now they are used in electrical contacts, spring contacts and joining
because of their high strength, good electrical conductivity, good corrosion resistance and excellent fatigue resistance.
Copper Cadmium (Cu/Cd) Alloy - Pure annealed copper is a dense material with relatively low strength. This limits the span
of copper cables. This problem can be overcome by a certain degree by cold drawing the cable. But for areas where heavy
cables have to be used (overhead train/tram lines), solid solution hardening alloys replace pure copper. Cadmium is added
is small amounts 0.5-1.2% Cadmium. Cu/1%Cd has good wear resistance (train pantographs), and good strength thus
reducing the number of support towers per km. High voltages (1500V on Sydney trains) are used to reduce the resistive
power loss in the cable.
The microstructure of annealed Cu/1%Cd is an equiaxed single phase structure where all the cadmium is dissolved into the
solid copper to form an solid solution.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Copper Zinc (Cu/Zn) Alloy Brass Copper zinc alloy or brass is often used as a connector for telecommunications. They are
harder and stronger than pure copper and still relatively good conductor although their conductivity is well below that of
OFHC copper. They have good corrosion resistance but will tarnish and can be affected by ammonia environments so the
connectors may be plated to resist conductivity issues caused by oxidation.

Semiconductors are essentially poor conductors. The gap between the valence band and conduction band is relatively small.
Conduction can occur through two mechanisms: heating for intrinsic semiconductors and doping for extrinsic semiconductors.
Types - Intrinsic semiconductors are those with pure silicon or germanium atoms. When enough energy is supplied to the
semiconductor than an electron will jump from the valence band to the conduction leaving a hole. When a voltage is
applied the electron in the conduction band begins to move. This movement of the electron in one direction means that the
hole moves in the opposite direction. This could be considered as a positively charged carrier. Both these movements
allow the material to conduct. Heat may be used to provide the initial energy to free the electron. So, in contrast to metals,
increasing the temperature of an intrinsic semiconductor will increase conductivity.
Extrinsic semiconductors are the other type. Silicon and germanium have 4 outer shell electrons per atom but if an impurity
from Group 5 or Group 3 is introduced (doping) then there is either an excess of electrons or the presence of holes.
Conduction due to these impurities can occur. These dopant atoms are usually 1 in a million atoms. A semiconductor with a
Group 5 dopant such as Phosphorus or arsenic is known as N-type due to its excess electron which resides in the conduction
band. A semiconductor with a Group 3 dopant such as Boron or Gallium is known as P-type due to the presence of holes.
Even though the extrinsic semiconductors are known as N and P type they are both neutral.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Functions - When a piece of n-type semiconductor is joined to a piece of p-type semiconductor a P-N junction is formed.
When this occurs a one-way valve is created that only allows electricity to flow in one direction (diode). This occurs
because of a depletion zone. In the depletion zone the excess electrons from the N-type flow to the holes in the P-type and
create a positive charge on one side of the depletion zone and a negative on the other side. If current flows in one
direction: the opposite charges have attracted and reduced the depletion zone and thus allowed the current to flow
(forward bias). If the current is placed in the opposite direction then the charges repel and the depletion zone becomes
larger and current does not flow (reverse bias).

When 2 junction are created a transistor is made (the first transistor was made by Bardeen, Brittain and Shockley in 1947).
For transistors applying a current to the sandwiched material allows current to flow between the outer materials. The
sandwiched material acts like a gate. By supplying a small current to the base of the transistor it reduces the depletion zone
of the collector/base junction and allows current to flow. If the small base junction is removed, current will stop flowing,
because the collector/base depletion zone will increase. Bipolar transistors are either NPN or PNP.
Another type of transistor, often used in computers, is the field-effect transistor (FET). FETs are smaller, cheaper and draw
less power than bipolar transistors. They work by applying a voltage to a gate to attract electrons to an area between a
source and a drain". The electron bridge allows current to flow. The most common FET in use is the MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-
Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor).
Semiconductors are essential in modern lives as they are at the heart of most electronic devices. Semiconductors form the
basis for almost all modern telecommunication systems and thus the world is dependent on them.
Transistors - Transistors can amplify and switch electronic signals. The transistor replaced the old valve equipment and thus
allowed the miniaturisation of domestic products and paved the way for pocket calculators and personal computers.
Developments is transistor technology have for the creation of microprocessors and integrated circuits. Microprocessors

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
now have millions of transistors and this has fuelled the increase in computing power. The transistor is the basis for all
modern digital systems.
Zener Diodes - Diodes are used in components as one-way gates as they allow current to flow in only one direction. Zener
diodes are diodes that act as a one-way component up to a certain voltage. After this voltage current can flow in both
directions through the diode. They are often used in surge protectors where they limit transient voltage spikes and as
voltage regulators.
Light Emitting Diodes - These are diodes that give off light when current flows through them. They are used extensively as
indicators in telecommunications equipment and as independent light sources. E.g. the on/off led on a TV. LEDs are used as
they are small, offer greater visibility, have a high switching rate, require less power and have a small heat signature. They
are available in a variety of colours.
Laser Diodes - These are another type of semiconductor. Laser diodes are lasers whose active medium is a semiconductor
(similar to that found in a LED) and are the smallest types of lasers in the world. By creating 2 PN junctions and passing a
large forward bias current through them, electron holes recombine and give off photons. These lasers are used in
DVD/Bluray players and as signal transmitters for fibre optic cables.

They are used extensively in telecommunications. They are used for insulation and also for casings. By double insulating radios and
TVs it eliminates the need for earthing the case. They find extensive use in casings for mobile and landline telephones. They offer
insulation, shock resistance and are easily produced by injection moulding. Telephone cases tend to be made from Acrylonitrile-
butadiene-styrene (ABS) of polycarbonate or a mix of the 2.
Polymers such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and urea formaldehyde are also used extensively for their insulating
properties. Depending on their formulation, polymers may be soft and flexible or hard and rigid, allowing this class of material to
fulfil a wide range of insulating functions. Increasingly, polymers are replacing ceramic suspension insulators on overhead high
tension cables due to their lower weight (-90% lighter), lower cost and greater resistance to vandalism.
Polyethylene is suitable for high frequency cables as it can be accurately made to size, has good jointing properties and
maintains good electrical properties under humid conditions. Its main disadvantages are cost and low softening
temperature. When used as an outer sheathing on groups of cables, polyethylene allows water vapour to penetrate and is
difficult to join. For these reasons it is only used for interior cables or as the outer layer on sheaths with a wound aluminium
foil inner and polyethylene outer.
PVC has poorer electrical properties than either paper or polyethylene but is tougher, withstands higher temperatures and
survives better in a fire. Under extreme temperatures and combustion, hydrogen chloride fumes are liberated and may
cause corrosion problems. It is a suitable alternative to polyethyelene.
Polypropylene has similar electrical properties to polyethylene but is tougher and has a higher softening temperature. It is
not as flexible and is more expensive than either PVC or polyethylene.
Nylon is often used as an insect resistant outer layer or sheath on cables that are used underground. The hard, smooth
surface of the nylon makes it difficult for an insect or termite to grip the cable.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Fibre Optics
Fibre Optics is an important field in telecommunications. They function on the idea of transmitting electronic information encoded
onto a light beam. Typical optical fibres are very fine fibres of glass. They use the principle of Total Internal Reflection: a high
refractive index core vs a low refractive index cladding. A fibre optic system consists of 3 parts: a device to convert electric current to
light, the cable to carry the light and a device to convert the light back into an electric current. Fibre optic cables are:
Light weight and highly flexible
Inert in many corrosive environments
Low attenuation (Any decrease in the intensity of the light travelling in a fibre is known as attenuation. It is overcome by
High bandwidth (they can carry hundreds of times more information than a copper cable)
Resistance to kinks
Unaffected by power surges
Unaffected by electromagnetic interference
Difficult to tap leading to increased security
Glass fibres are made by modified chemical vapour deposition (MCVD) or by the double crucible process.
MCVD uses a silica base or preform onto which a gas mixture (containing Si compounds, metal halides, oxygen and dopant
materials) is deposited. The mixture determines the refractive index of the glass. The gases are condensed onto either the
outside surface of a rod or the inside surface of a tubular preform to form the core. The preform is then heated in an oven
(2000C) and glass fibre drawn from it down to a desired thickness.

In the double crucible process two crucibles are used, one inside the other, both of which empty through a common orifice.
The emerging fibre contains a core from the inner crucible with a sheath originating from the outer crucible.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Glass fibres are protected by a polymer skin. In some cases the cable is protected again:
In a loose buffer cable, a loose polymer sleeve is fitted and the gap between
the fibre and sleeve is filled with a gel material. Sometimes multiple fibres are
combined inside a single gel-filled sleeve. This type of sleeve also provides the
fibre with greater insulation from external heat sources.
Tight buffer cables simply use an extra tight-fitting skin over the initial fibre
coating. A refined form uses a nylon yarn coated with a PVC jacket.

Today there are 2 basic families of fibres: single mode and multimode.
In a step-index fibre, the refractive index is constant within the core and it
steps to a different, lower value as you move into the cladding. This type of
fibre is available with an 812m core to allow a single light beam to pass. By
having a sharp difference in the RI between the core and the cladding light
cannot escape.

Multimode cables has a larger inner core diameter (50200m), the light
reflects off the cladding and is reflected internally through the cladding. There
are 2 types stepped index and graded index.
In stepped-index there is a large difference in RI between core and cladding and this reflects waves. With a large diameter
core the signal can take differing paths. Some modes take the direct route straight down the middle while others bounce
from side to side all the way down. Unfortunately the rays from one pulse of light may reach the other end of the optical
fibre at different times. This is known as Intermodal Dispersion.
The graded index cable has a core with a RI that decreases from the centre of the core to the cladding. This graded
difference in refractive index slows any modes that travel straight down the centre of the fibre and allows those travelling
at the edges to move more quickly. Both modes are more likely to arrive at the end at the same time. This reduces
intermodal dispersion and improves the output signal.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Single mode fibre is favoured for long distance telecommunications as it has the highest bandwidth and the least from
losses of light. It is however more costly to manufacture. When less bandwidth is required and information carrying is
needed multimode cables are used. Stepped index cabling is the least used.
Fibre Optic cables may also be made from polymers but, because of the much greater attenuation than in glass fibres, all-polymer
fibres are only used on short links up to 100 m in length. Polymer fibres are usually of the multimode step-index type and are less
expensive, more flexible and easier to handle than glass fibres. Two common polymer optical fibre combinations are:
1. polystyrene core refractive index of 1.6 polymethylmethacrylate cladding refractive index of 1.49
2. 2 polymethylmethacrylate core refractive index of 1.49 fluoroalkyl methacrylate cladding refractive index of 1.4.

Engineering Electricity/Electronics
Analogue and Digital Systems Analogue signals utilise a continuously varying range of values (e.g. amplitude and time). An
example of an analogue signal is the voice of a person and the variation in temperature. For a voice the amplitude (volume)
and frequency (pitch) change constantly and thus produce an analogue signal. The telephone signal converts the varying
amplitude as a continually varying voltage.
A digital signal is one that is comprised of discrete pulses in energy which is either on or off and can therefore be
represented as either 1 or 0. Digital data can easily be converted into binary numbers and these can be transmitted as
digital electrical signals. These can easily be decoded by circuits into meaningful quantities. Digital systems are very
effective in data transmission and for computer systems but for humans analogue is required thus analogue to digital
converters are required.

The advantage of digital signals is that they can be compressed easily and thus there is an increase in bandwidth. The more
bandwidth the greater the amount of information that can be carried.
Digital signals are more than On or Off because we need to convey more information than 1 or 0. By combining more digits
more information can be conveyed. Binary systems are described are described as the amount of bits available and they are
based of the powers of two.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Analogue to Digital Conversion - An analogue signal is continuously variable and conveys a lot of information, some of
which may be unnecessary and some may be static with noise. To take the complex wave and convert it into a digital signal
then we need to sample the signal wave at regular time intervals. The rate of sampling is called the sampling rate and the
rate must be sufficient to accurately represent the waveform. After sampling the signal wave we need to record the
amplitude of the wave. Quantisation is the process of approximating a measurement of amplitude by the nearest value
from a set of possible values. If we choose 1 bit binary we have either 0 or 1. If we use 8 bit binary we have any value
between 0 and 255. The greater the bit depth the greater more accurate the quantisation.
The sampling rate and quantisation levels are important because we will eventually need to convert this digital signal back
into an analogue signal so it can be consumed, so if our sampling rate is too low or our quantisation level is lacking in depth
then we may lose some of the information.

An example of analogue to digital conversion is a modern stereo. The input into the microphone is analogue which is then
passed through the recording amplifier and converted into a digital signal and placed on a cd. The CD has a number of
bumps on the CD a laser collects the digital information. This is converted to analogue amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
Modulation and Demodulation - Modulation is the process of using a carrier wave to transmit information (or intelligence).
Once a signal is sent it is necessary to demodulate it to its original form. Here a demodulator reverts the modulated sine
wave back to its original form and the signal is separated from it before it is converted back to sound waves. Modulation
can vary 3 aspects of EMR: their frequency (FM), their amplitude (AM), their phase relative to a standard (PM).
Although digital technology is considered new it was actually used first (Morse code) and relies on simple on/off
transmission of energy. AM is used for radio and picture for TV transmission and FM is used for radio and TV sound.
Multiplexing is the process of placing multiple signals along a single communication channel. This allow the amount of
information carried to increase. This is achieved by a multiplexer. Once the signal is received a demultiplexer separates the
multiple signals from one another.
Radio Transmission (AM, FM, Digital) - Radio transmission uses EMR to transfer information and is one of the most
important parts of telecommunications. Radio transmission is used for radio, TV, wireless communications, mobile phones
and space communication. AM and FM are analogue systems. The majority of radio used lies between 10kHz and 300GHz.
Radio waves in the ground serve those close to the transmitter. They are quickly absorbed. Airwaves travel to the
ionosphere. If the frequency is below 30MHz they reflect. The power of the transmitter determines how far they will travel.
Space communication usually have frequencies over 1GHz.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
In Amplitude modulation the amplitude of the carrier wave is modulated. The wave from the sound is modulated onto the
carrier wave and as the signal waves amplitude increases the amplitude of the modulated wave increases, while the
frequency of the carrier wave is not altered. AM is used for radio and for the picture in TV. The disadvantage of AM is that
induced noise reduces the signal quality because the noise affects the amplitude of the modulated wave. Noise is an
unwanted signal such as that induced by electrical storms. For the receiver to receive the signal the receiver must be tuned
to the required carrier frequency. The radio wave is then detected and demodulated leaving behind the signal. The signal is
then amplified and played through a loud speaker.
In Frequency modulation the frequency of the carrier wave is modulated. As the amplitude of the signal increases the
frequency of the FM waves increases, while a reduction in amplitude decreases the frequency. The advantage of FM is that
the quality of the signal is not affected as much by induced noise, because noise normally affects the amplitude of the wave
and the variation in amplitude are not carrying the information of the signal wave. When FM transmissions are received
they are amplified, detected, demodulated to remove the carrier wave and then amplified before being played. The main
difference is that the variations in frequency are converted into sound.
Phase modulation, or PM, varies the instantaneous phase (or angle) of the carrier wave to represent the message. PM can
be and is used, though primarily only for specialised applications. A PM signal has a constant amplitude waveform like FM,
but requires less bandwidth.

Digital modulation techniques modulate an analogue carrier with a digital signal in order to transmit digital data. The terms
Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK), Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) and Phase Shift Keying (PSK) are used to describe the
digital variants of AM, FM and PM respectively.
Amplitude Shift Keying involves switching the carrier wave between two different amplitudes. In its most simple form, we
simply have full amplitude and zero amplitude as the two levels. In more sophisticated systems, multilevel ASK is used. This
allows us to represent more than one bit of information for each signaling level. For example, if we use four different
amplitude levels, we can encode two bits of information in each signaling interval. Eight amplitude levels allows three bits
of information per signaling interval.
In Frequency Shift Keying we use two or more different carrier frequencies to convey digital data. When we have two
frequencies we can arbitrarily assign one frequency to a logic High and the other frequency to a logic Low. If we use four
different frequencies we can represent two bits of information per signaling interval.
In Phase Shift Keying we use different phases of the carrier wave to convey digital data. For binary digital data, we simply
invert the phase of the waveform at each transition between logic levels.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Demodulation can be done using a simple crystal radio. It uses an antenna, a coil a variable capacitor and a diode. If the coil
were of a fixed number of turns this receiver should be fixed to a set frequency that it would resonate at. But if the coil is
made variable it can tune the circuit to many frequencies. The variable capacitor is used to make the fixed coil variable, so
we can tune to a certain frequency. The antenna picks up the modulated radio wave, the coil resonates at our chosen
frequency so picks up the modulated wave at the frequency we want. The modulated signal is a sine wave but the diode
will now cut off the negative half, which leaves behind a fluctuating half wave rectified signal. The "fluctuation envelope" is
the signal wave that was modulated onto the carrier wave, and the ear piece can now move according to this variation.

Channels - Channels often involve physical links such as wires, cables and optical fibres but may also be invisible links such
as microwave, laser, radio and television.
Multiplexing - Multiplexing is the transmission of multiple signals over a single communications channel. A multiplexer
therefore performs the task of merging several low- speed transmissions into one high-speed transmission. Dispersion
(sometimes called delay distortion) describes the effect of different frequencies moving at different speeds along the
channel, resulting in a change in signal shape.
Attenuation - Attenuation is the reduction in signal strength as a signal travels along the channel, and is usually expressed
as a negative decibel (dB). Attenuation represents a characteristic of a cable and is dependent on the impedance (Z) of the
cable. The impedance of a cable is a combination of the conductor and the insulator surrounding it and represents a

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
combination of resistance, inductance and capacitance characteristics. The impedance effectively represents the opposition
to transmission of a signal. Repeaters are amplifiers spaced along a channel to counteract attenuation and restore signal
power. Attenuation may also be reduced by: using better conductors, increasing the coss-sectional area of the conductor,
avoiding high temperatures.
Cross-talk - Is the interference between 2 or more audio/visual signals caused by unwanted stray signals. Cross-talk can be
minimised by shielding the conductor from the influence of other sources of EMR.
Digital television transmission and display media such as plasma, LED, LCD, 3D Television transmission relies on radio
waves to transmit information. These radio waves are very high frequency (VHF) or ultra high frequency (UHF).
In Black and white TV a camera is used to create a video signal of the situation. A black and white camera uses optics and
electronics to display variations in brightness. The vidicon tube fires electrons at a screen, which varies in resistance,
depending on the amount of light present. The beam scans across the image in a zig-zag fashion that produces a raster.
Once the image is scanned, it is sent to the transmitter after being modulated. At the TV it is demodulated and a picture is
The CRT works by firing electrons from a cathode at an anode placed behind the glass screen. The glass is coated with a
phosphorus which glows when it is struck by an electron. The kinetic energy of the electron determines the brightness. The
electron beam scans the screen and produces a raster image. To fool the eye there must be at least t 16 images per second.
At the same time an audio signal is transmitted. The recording sound system produces an audio signal that is modulated,
sent to the transmitter, received, demodulated and reproduced In the TV sound system.
A sync or synchronisation signal is used by a monitor to know where and when to draw the on-screen image. The horizontal
sync signal is a short pulse generated at the beginning of each video line that tells the monitor when to draw each new line.
The vertical sync signal is again a short pulse generated at the beginning of each frame that tells the monitor when to
restart the process. Sync signals reside in the part of a video signal in which no visual picture data is transmitted. During the
blanking period (horizontal or vertical interval) the electronic beam is turned off and retraces back to the other side of the
screen to start a new line or new field. Since this is done during the blanking period, it is invisible to the viewer. Both
horizontal and vertical sync are required in order to maintain a stable on-screen picture. A standard television screen has
approximately 625 lines, approximately 480 lines of which lie within the viewing area. Using a technique known as
interlacing only half the screen (either the odd numbered or even numbered lines) is painted per frame. Therefore, if a
frame is created 50 times a second, the entire screen is actually only painted 25 times a second.

In a colour TV the difference is that there are 3 electron guns that hit 3 different phosphors (Red, Green, Blue). All the
colours are produced by combing these 3 colours. The shadow mask is a mask, which has millions of holes in it between the
screen and the electron gun. The mask determines the position of the dot pattern for each phosphor.
Digital TV involves using digital modulation techniques and multiplexing to prepare a signal for transmission as opposed to
analogue methods. The advantage is improved resolution and the ability to carry greater amounts of channels within a
given bandwidth. Television stations can run various programs off one frequency at reduced resolution (i.e. equal to current
analogue resolution) then drop back to one station for movies and large sporting events that require high resolution.
Another clear advantage is an improvement in sound quality. Currently all free to air to stations have multiple channels
allowing them to offer stations tailored to particular markets or to have continuous news services. Digital TV also allows the
easy combination of video and data systems, thus giving access to interactive systems on one machine. By the end of 2013
Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Plasma - These TVs use electricity to excite a mixture of noble gases (Xenon and Neon). These excited gases strike a
phosphor and produce the appropriate colour and light. They arguably produce better contrast than LCDs but produce
more heat and are only suitable for large displays.
LED - These TVs use light emitting diodes to generate an image. These use less power and do not require a backlight.
LCD - These use a colour liquid crystal display and rely on filtering a white back light. The back light may be supplied by a
cathode fluorescent tube or LEDs. Each pixel is made up of 3 sub-pixels which combine to give the desired colour. Shutter
Filter pairs act together to filter out a portion of the spectrum form the white light source. Millions of these pairs can each
reproduce the entire colour spectrum and which combined on a screen in vast numbers generate an image.
3D These are displays then use some mechanism to create depth perception in the viewing experience. Currently most
displays require glasses for this to occur (the glasses filter off-set images to each eye) but work is in progress to create
displays that obviate the need for glasses.
Telephony: Fixed and Mobile
Fixed - The telephone is a fairly simple instrument that consists of 5 basic parts: a ringer, a receiver, a transmitter, a switch
to connect to the network and a dial/keypad. A fixed telephone has a mouthpiece where a microphone. When you talk
sound waves hit a thin metal foil and cause it to vibrate. An electromagnetic coil converts this into a fluctuating electric
signal that is transmitted. At the receiver end the magnetic coil receives the incoming signal and causes a thin metal
diaphragm to vibrate accordingly to reproduce the original sound wave. When a number is dialled an automatic
computerised switchboard connects the caller to the dialled number. Notification of an incoming call is provided by a bell
or alarm that is activated by a special frequency sent by the telephone exchange. Voices on phones sound different because
they only allow frequencies from 400-3400Hz to increase the number of calls that can be multiplexed on a single line.
Mobile - This is essentially a low power radio system. For mobile phones the area is broken up into cells and each cell has its
own certain amount of frequencies. Frequencies do not interfere with other cells because the signal is weak. When a phone
is on it periodically sends a signal to the cell tower letting the network know the phones location. When someone rings the
call goes to the networks central system which knows which cell the phone is in. The network rings the phone and
automatically selects a frequency. When talking 2 frequencies are used (one for listening and one for talking) and this is
called duplex signalling. When travelling as the signal to the cell tower decreases the network automatically switched to
another cell tower (sometimes this may not work and the call drops out).
The cell tower and mobile has low power transmitters/receivers which ensure that they do not interfere. The cells are thus
small. The low power radio allows the mobile to run on battery power. Nowadays phones also connect using LTE and 3G
which allows data transfer.
Satellite Phones - These are truly mobile and can be used in very remote locations. They make use of low earth orbiting
satellites to provide a network. The user dials a number and the telephone makes a connection to a network of low earth
orbit satellites. The satellites then relay the signal back to a ground base receiving station which then links the signal to
either a mobile or fixed phone network.
Transmission Media - transmission media can be divided into two broad groups: guided and unguided (or free space)
media. Guided media, as the name implies, refers to transmission media that carry signals along a conductor. Unguided (or
free space or wireless) media transmit their signals through air and/or space.
Cables - Cables consist of a conductor surrounded by an insulator or dielectric layer (they are mostly made of OFHC copper,
ETP copper or copper alloys). Beyond this the cable depends on the particular application (current, environment etc). The
quality of the cable depends on the quality of the conductor and the external interference. Cables are made specially to
minimise attenuation and crosstalk. The ability of a wire to carry a signal efficiently is also dependent on the frequency of
the signal. An interesting feature of the transmission of electrical signals is that as the frequency of the signal increases (i.e.
from radio frequencies and above), the signal is increasingly concentrated towards the circumference of the conductor
(known as the skin effect).
The twisted pair cable consists of 2 individually insulated copper wires twisted together. These are then encased in another
layer or insulation. Twisting of the wires results in some mutual shielding from external electromagnetic interference (cross-
talk). A single cable may contain many twisted pairs within the jacket. They are used in the telephone network and for LAN
Twisted pair cable is available as either unshielded twisted pair (UTP) or shielded twisted pair (STP). Shielded twisted pair
cables tend to be used primarily in computer LAN connections and are more expensive than UTP cables due to their

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
increased complexity. STP cables have two films wrapped around the twisted pairs which act as an insulation shield. The
first film, known as the auxiliary shield, consists of a semiconducting material and acts to smooth out voltage irregularities.
The second film layer, known as the primary shield consists of a metal foil. Because this layer is conductive and completely
envelops the main conductor wires and blocks interference (cross-talk) from EMR.
Attenuation rates are of the order of 3 dB per kilometre, equating to a reduction of signal amplitude of 0.5 for each
kilometre of cable. Repeater stations, used to boost the signal levels after attenuation, are spaced at around 2 km intervals.
Advantages of twisted pair cables include their light weight and low cost (although STP cable are more expensive due to
extra shielding). Disadvantages of UTP cables includes their ability to be affected by external magnetic fields.
Coaxial cables are capable of carrying thousands of signals over a broad frequency band and are commonly used with cable
and satellite television systems. Coaxial cables consist of a core of tin-coated copper wire surrounded by a polymer
dielectric (usually polyethylene) wrapped in a braided metal shield (usually also woven from copper wires but may be
aluminium braid). The whole unit is wrapped in a polymer/vinyl insulator. The shielding layer reduces interference (noise)
from other electromagnetic signals and also reduces radiation losses from the surface of the main conductor when carrying
high frequency signals.
Attenuation rates for coaxial cables tend to be higher than for twisted pairs. Typical values are of the order of 7 dB per
kilometre. Repeater station spacings depend on the frequencies used, and can vary between 1 km to 10 km.
They are usually used for TV cables and have a UHF carrier waves (encoded with sound and picture) as the signal.
The advantages of using coaxial cables include large bandwidth and higher shielding that reduces interference, however
they are more expensive than twisted pair cables and have limited flexibility, which can affect installation.

Wireless - Increasingly today channels used for communication do not rely on a physical link but rather an EMR connection.
For convenience the electromagnetic spectrum is divided into a number of bands. The frequency range encompassed by
the band is known as the bandwidth. The radio spectrum can also be divided into bands and thus uses can be allocated to
specific bands of the spectrum and managed to ensure minimal interference. The role of allocating bands of the radio
spectrum for use is undertaken by national governments (Australian Communications Authority or ACA in Australia).
Wireless transmission remove the need for wires or physical contact. The allow information to be sent long distances.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes

Infrared - Infrared signals are those just below the visible spectrum. Transmission is line of sight and up to 10 meters. Most
applications use a simple half-duplex system. Applications requiring bidirectional data transmission usually achieve this by
using two half-duplex systems. The relatively low cost of infrared transmitters and receivers has popularised their use in
many and varied situations. Remote controllers for television, video and audio systems, cordless connections between
computers and peripherals and security applications are now relatively common. These devices use IR LEDS to generate
pulses which are then focused using a lens. The signal is encoded by switching on or off. A silicon photodiode in the receiver
filters out ambient light and convert the IR pulses into an electrical signal.
Microwave - Microwave generally refers to signals in the SHF and EHF ranges (2-40GHz). They send signals using a focused
beam to another station by line of sight. For this reason they require parabolic dishes to be installed. They originally used
analogue but now use digital.
The full-duplex point-to-point links are usually between towers located on prominent landmarks. The dishes at either end
require precise alignment to ensure maximum signal power (and hence channel capacity). Applications of such links include
high volume digital telephony and data transmissions.
The half-duplex links are most often used for delivery of (pay-) television. In these applications a transmitting tower
broadcasts a semifocussed beam across a region. Receiving dishes are aligned towards the transmitting tower. Such
systems offer an attractive (economical) alternative to cable television which requires expensive cable roll-out to connect
all subscribers.
Fibre-Optic - Optical fibres are simply strands of glass/polymer, surrounded by cladding and sheaths to contain the light in
the core, and to protect the delicate fibre from breakage. They are lighter and thinner than twisted pair and coaxial cables.
Often, many fibres are bundled together in much the same way as twisted pairs. The additional infrastructure cost of
running multifibre cable is more than offset by the additional capacity provided by the additional fibres.
As they are not conductors they are not subject to EM interference but can still suffer from attenuation due to dispersion
(0.5dB/km) which is less than that found in wires but still requires repeater stations.
Amplification of the signal may be done electronically or optically (with a dopant such as Erbium where power can be added
to the signal by exciting these optical amplification fibres with a laser).

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
The only significant disadvantage of optical fibres is the difficulty of terminating and repairing damaged cables which
require expensive equipment. For this reason they are expensive.

Satellite Communication Systems

While satellite communications are often thought to be a specialised form of telecommunications, they are in fact simply a
microwave link that uses an orbiting tower to extend the line-of-sight. They are now one of the most important new technologies
for worldwide communication and provide us with weather, communication (voice, data, picture), scientific research and military
Due to their height they are particularly useful in providing coverage to isolated areas. They are used in linking radio, data and TV
broadcasts from all over the world. They are also used by cable companies to transmit their programs. Telephone companies also
use them to relay data and conversations.
Geostationary - Geostationary satellites have an altitude of 35 800 km and period equal to the earths rotation. They lie
over the equator and thus they stay over a fixed point on the Earth. Geosynchronous satellites have a period same as
Earths but are not above the equator thus they trace out a figure of eight. Most weather and communications satellites
such as those used for live television transmission maintain a geostationary orbit. One satellite can cover a third of the
Advantages include: higher bandwidth, allows remote sensing, fixed antenna link can be maintained with the satellite,
lower gravitational pull means they can stay in orbit longer.
Disadvantages include: resolution limited, higher costs to put into orbit, require line-of-sight communication, greater
dependence on fewer satellites, higher orbit leads to transmission delay, common track above the equator poses problems
in managing old satellites, increased damage to electronics due to exposure to radiation and charge accumulation.
Medium Earth Orbits - These have an altitude between 2000 and 35800km. They require more satellites for global coverage
than GEO but less than LEO. These satellites fly in three orbital planes inclined at an angle of approximately 55 providing
mobile phone and data communications. GPS satellites orbit at an altitude of approximately 20 000 km. Continuous
coverage is obtained by the hand-offof data from satellite to satellite. Sophisticated tracking and switching equipment is
required to enable these hand-off procedures. They only spent a short time overhead (20 mins) and so a typical network
requires around 27 satellites (GPS uses 24). They are moslt used for navigation and communications.
Advantages include: a higher capacity than LEO, require fewer satellites than LEO.
Disadvantages include: a shorter orbital life than GEO, a require line-of-sight communication, a higher orbit leads to some
transmission delay.
Low Earth Orbits - These have an altitude between 160 and 2000km. While the low-earth orbit satellite is revolving in its
orbit, the Earth rotates on its axis below. Every time the satellite makes a complete rotation a new strip of the Earth's
surface is scanned and after a certain number of rotations the entire surface of the Earth will have been scanned. A satellite
will appear in the the west and move towards the east (visible for only 10min). If a transmission takes more than a few mins
a LEO craft must hand-off between satellites in order to complete the transmission. This can be accomplished by
constantly relaying signals between the satellite and various ground stations or using inter-satellite links. A collection of
LEO satellites is designed to maximise the ability of ground equipment to see a satellite at any time, which can overcome
the difficulties caused by Earth-based obstructions such as trees and buildings.
Advantages include: a little or no signal delay, smaller and cheaper to launch than counterparts.
Disadvantages include: sophisticated tracking equipment needed, LEO satellites generally have a shorter battery life than
others, shorter life span than other systems due to the increased gravitational pull.
Polar orbits are LEOs that travel over the polar caps, they get excellent coverage and are used for photography and
mapping. Regular LEOs are used for telephone systems, the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope.
High Earth Orbits - These systems operate differently from LEOs, MEOs or GEOs. HEO satellites orbit the Earth in an
elliptical. This causes the satellite to move around the Earth faster when it is travelling close to the Earth and slower the
farther away it gets. In addition, the satellite's beam covers more of the Earth from farther away. The orbits are designed to
maximise the amount of time each satellite spends in view of populated areas. HEO systems do not offer continuous
coverage over outlying geographic regions, especially near the South Pole. Several of the proposed global communications
satellite systems actually are hybrids of the four varieties outlined.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Asynchronous Orbits - These are when a satellite passes over parts of the globe at varying times. The altitude is much lower
at only 644km. They may be used for a variety of functions, such as photography, mapping, observing environmental
changes and locating deposits of important minerals.
How Satellites Work - Originally were passive and only reflected a signal. Now they are active and boost the signal before
relaying it to another satellite or to a ground station. A ground station sends a signal in the form of low frequency
microwaves, (these are less affected by the ionosphere and weather than high frequency. The satellite receives these
microwaves, and then uses a transponder to boost the signal strength, before relaying it to either another satellite or
another ground station.
Satellites are extensively used in broadcasting television signals all over the world. Whenever we see a reporter live in
another part of the world or large events (e.g. World Cup/Olympics), satellite technology is in use. The signal from the
reporters camera is sent to the nearest television broadcaster or to a transportable satellite system (e.g. truck), they
channel the signal to a satellite, which transfers it to the destination television station, for broadcast.
For international telephone calls, whether mobile or landline, satellite communication is used. A landline call in analogue is
modulated, multiplexed and converted to digital. It is then sent to the ground station and to the satellite, which relays it to
the destination ground station. The signal travels to the local, network where it is demultiplexed and demodulated then
converted back to analogue. The network then transfers it to the person receiving the call. There is usually a short delay
(around a second or two) in the conversation because of the time taken for this to happen.
For mobile international calls, the same process is used, but the signal from the two mobiles is carried by the cellular
network to which they are connected. The satellite used is the same for both types of call. One advantage of digital phones
is that the signal conversion from analogue to digital occurs in the telephone, not at the network base station.

Digital Technology (AND, NAND, NOR, OR, Gates)

Digital signals are on or off and can be represented by 1 or 0. By setting threshold values for the switching of an analogue signal a
digital signal can be generated. In such a setup when the analogue input voltage is below the threshold value, the output voltage is
driven to an upper or lower saturation position. When the analogue input voltage rises above the threshold the output voltage is
driven to the opposite saturation position. In this way a square waveform is produced in which the voltage varies between only two
positions, forming a digital output.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes
Switching of this sort is often accomplished with a logic gate known as a Schmitt trigger. The Schmitt trigger is a comparator circuit
that incorporates positive feedback in order to switch between positions when the threshold value from an analogue signal is
reached. In this way the Schmitt trigger generates a digital signal from an analogue signal. Electronic devices operate in a binary
fashion and thus are suited to binary code.
Logic gates act as digital switches in which an output of 0 or 1 is produced. Depending on the combinations of logic gates used,
various operations can be performed within a circuit. Note that for every operation there is a logic gate that performs an inverse
version of that operation. The symbols for both are similar with the exception of the inclusion of a small circle on the output side
known as an inversion bubble.

Year 12 Engineering Studies Notes