Theory of Machines and Mechanisms 5th Edition
Book Preface
The tremendous growth of scientific knowledge over the past 50 years has resulted in an intense pressure on the engineering curricula of many universities to substitute “modern” subjects in place of subjects perceived as weaker or outdated. The result is that, for some, the kinematics and dynamics of machines has remained a critical component of the curriculum and a requirement for all mechanical engineering students, while at others, a course on these subjects is only made available as an elective topic for specialized study by a small number of engineering students. Some schools, depending largely on the faculty, require a greater emphasis on mechanical design at the expense of depth of knowledge in analytical techniques. Rapid advances in technology, however, have produced a need for a textbook that satisfies the requirement of new and changing course structures.
Much of the new knowledge in the theory of machines and mechanisms currently exists in a large variety of technical journals and manuscripts, each couched in its own singular language and nomenclature and each requiring additional background for clear comprehension. It is possible that the individual published contributions could be used to strengthen engineering courses if the necessary foundation was provided and a common notation and nomenclature was established. These new developments could then be integrated into existing courses to provide a logical, modern, and comprehensive whole. The purpose of this book is to provide the background that will allow such an integration.
This book is intended to cover that field of engineering theory, analysis, design, and practice that is generally described as mechanisms or as kinematics and dynamics of machines. Although this text is written primarily for students of mechanical engineering, the content can also be of considerable value to practicing engineers throughout their professional careers.
To develop a broad and basic comprehension, the text presents numerous methods of analysis and synthesis that are common to the literature of the field. The authors have included graphic methods of analysis and synthesis extensively throughout the book, because they are firmly of the opinion that graphic methods provide visual feedback that enhances the student’s understanding of the basic nature of, and interplay between, the underlying equations. Therefore, graphic methods are presented as one possible solution technique, but are always accompanied by vector equations defined by the fundamental laws of mechanics, rather than as graphic “tricks” to be learned by rote and applied blindly. In addition, although graphic techniques, performed by hand, may lack accuracy, they can be performed quickly, and even inaccurate sketches can often provide reasonable estimates of a solution and can be used to check the results of analytic or numeric solution techniques.
The authors also use conventional methods of vector analysis throughout the book, both in deriving and presenting the governing equations and in their solution. Raven’s methods using complex algebra for the solution of twodimensional vector equations are included because of their compactness, because of the ease of taking derivatives, because they are employed so frequently in the literature, and because they are so easy to program for computer evaluation. In the chapter dealing with threedimensional kinematics and robotics, the authors present a brief introduction to Denavit and Hartenberg’s methods using transformation matrices.
Another feature of this text is its focus on the method of kinematic coefficients, which are derivatives of motion variables with respect to the input position variable(s) rather than with respect to time. The authors believe that this analytic technique provides several important advantages, namely: (1) Kinematic coefficients clarify for the student those parts of a motion problem that are kinematic (geometric) in their nature, and clearly separate these from the parts that are dynamic or speed dependent. (2) Kinematic coefficients help to integrate the analysis of different types of mechanical systems, such as gears, cams, and linkages, which might not otherwise seem similar.
One dilemma that all writers on the subject of this book have faced is how to distinguish between the motions of different points of the same moving body and the motions of coincident points of different moving bodies. In other texts, it has been customary to describe both of these as “relative motion”; however, because they are two distinctly different situations and are described by different equations, this causes the student confusion in distinguishing between them. We believe that we have greatly relieved this problem by the introduction of the terms motion difference and apparent motion and by using different terminology and different notation for the two cases. Thus, for example, this book uses the two terms velocity difference and apparent velocity, instead of the term “relative velocity,” which will not be found when speaking rigorously. This approach is introduced beginning with position and displacement, used extensively in the chapter on velocity, and brought to fulfillment in the chapter onaccelerations, where the Coriolis component always arises in, and only arises in, the apparent acceleration equation.
Access to personal computers, programmable calculators, and laptop computers is commonplace and is of considerable importance to the material of this book. Yet engineering educators have told us very forcibly that they do not want computer programs included in the text. They prefer to write their own programs, and they expect their students to do so as well. Having programmed almost all the material in the book many times, we also understand that the book should not include such programs and thus become obsolete with changes in computers or programming languages. The authors have endeavored to use US Customary units and SI units in about equal proportions throughout the book. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, in Chapter 14 (Dynamics of Reciprocating Engines), only SI units are presented, because engines are designed for an international marketplace, even by US companies. Therefore, they are always rated in kilowatts rather than horsepower, they have displacements in liters rather than cubic inches, and their cylinder pressures are measured in kilopascals rather than pounds per square inch.
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February 9, 2019 
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