Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



A study of the feasibility of instrumenting existing structures with strain sensing elements to measure a specific component of force transmitted by the structure in use has been conducted. A specific structure, the front slipper assembly of the Chaparral rocket sled, was used in this study. The developmental phase of this work was conducted through the use of a model study. The model studies were made to determine appropriate stress raisers and locate strain gages so the desired force component could be measured. The actual structure was modified in accordance with the results of the model tests. Calibration tests and off-axis tests were conducted. It was found that bolted joints in the structure caused a zero shift in the strain gage bridge circuit. This lowered the accuracy of the technique and made the accuracy dependent on the magnitude of the load of interest. Tests were conducted to determine this dependency. At a load of 50,000 pounds, the accuracy could be as high as ± 8%.

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

William E. Baker

Second Committee Member

Bohumil Albrecht

Third Committee Member

Maurice Wilbert Wildin

Document Type