The Engineering Mechanics & Materials Rig (EM&M) is designed to act as a re-configurable platform for the investigation of Euler-Bernoulli beam theory using beams of different lengths, shapes and materials.
The EM&M Rig is based around a modular extruded aluminium chassis that allows various components to be added – such as pneumatic pistons to apply point or distributed-loads, load-cell supports and laser displacement sensors. Through mixing and matching pneumatic pistons, load-cell supports and displacement sensors (or using a scanning displacement sensor) – a wide variety of beam loading scenarios can be evaluated. Careful selection of the constituent components allows engineering materials used in the real world – such as various alloys of steel, aluminium and brass to be tested – not just demonstrator materials such as polyurethane or poly-methyl methacrylate. The Prototype Rig uses a single pneumatic piston to apply a user-modulated load mid-span, with the applied load being measured by a load cell in the tip of the piston. Supports are placed equidistant from the applied load and measure the reaction forces. The deflection directly below the load point is measured using a single laser displacement sensor. This experiment is described as a “simply supported beam with central load”.