Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Leon West

Committee Member

Rick Couvillion

Second Committee Member

William Springer

Abstract

This thesis set out to design and implement a new experiment for use in the second lab of the laboratory curriculum in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. The second of three labs typically consists of data acquisition and the real world measurements of concepts learned in the classes at the freshman and sophomore level. This small electric motor dynamometer was designed to be a table top lab setup allowing students to familiarize themselves with forces, torques, angular velocity and the sensors used to measure those quantities, i.e. load cells and optical encoders. The data acquisition concepts learned in the first lab can be built on with this experiment. The dynamometer also allows the introduction of electric motor theory and methods of braking rotational loads.

The dynamometer was developed using SolidWorks as a design tool and the data acquisition utilizes both LabVIEW and LabJack devices found in the market today. The data collected during the development of the dynamometer shows that the measurements of torque and speed can have less than 10% error to the manufacturer supplied data.

The recommendations at the end of this thesis are provided to help the Mechanical Engineering Department with ideas on how to implement this dynamometer in the lab setting. There are also recommendations on how to develop a larger similar dynamometer for use with the Solar Boat senior design project.

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