37515 - Mechanical and Thermal Measurements

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Raffaella Di Sante

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-IND/12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Mechanical Engineering (cod. 0949)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 23, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The main objectives of the course are to introduce and discussthe main issuesrelated to measurements on mechanical and thermal systems, to the acquisition, analysis, processingandinterpretation ofmeasurement results, and to the understanding and selection of sensors most widely used for physical quantities measurements.

Course contents

Basic principles

Measurement concept: definitions and standardisation. General measurement systems configurations. Examples of application to different application areas.


Static characteristics of measuring instruments

Static calibration and calibration curve. Statistical data analysis. Metrological characteristics: accuracy, sensitivity, treshold, resolution, hysteresis, linearity. Uncertainty: definitions and standardisation, analysis and determination.


Dynamic characteristics of measuring instruments

Introduction and general equation. I and II order instruments and response to typical inputs. Response to periodic and transient inputs. Experimental measurement od dynamic parameters.


Basics of signal analysis

Periodic, transient and random signals. Auto- e cross-correlation functions. Power spectral density. Frequency response to general inputs.


Analog-to-digital conversion

Quantisation and coding. Analog signal acquisition and conditiong. A/D converters. Sequential and simultaneous multi-channel acquisition configurations.


Dimension, displacement and velocity measurements

Callipers, potentiometres, optical proximity sensors. Incremental and absolute encoders.


Absolute displacement, velocity and acceleration measurements

Sismometers. Accelerometers and piezoelectric accelerometers. Accelerometer calibration.


Deformation measurements

Strain gages. Resistance strain gages: types, applications, manufacturing and fixing of sheet strain gages, Wheatstone bridge, temperature effect, strain measurement configurations.


Force, torque and power measurements

Scales and piezolelectric and strain gage load cells. Torquemeters.


Pressure measurements  

Manometers, piezoelectric, piezoresistive and capacitive pressure sensors.


Temperature measurements  

Thermometers e thermocouples. Thermoresistances e thermistors.


Handouts for the course are available on the virtual learning platform (https://virtuale.unibo.it), as well as the copies of the presentations used in the classroom. The teaching material is sufficient to prepare the examination. The presentations copies alone are useful to take notes or as schemes to support the study, which must however be deepened on the handouts. The books reported in the following list are useful for further deepenening of the course contents.

Reference books

E.O. Doebelin, Strumenti e Metodi di misura , McGraw Hill

G. Rossi, Misure meccaniche e termiche: basi teoriche e principali sensori e strumenti, Carocci

Other references

R. Figliola, D. Beasley, Theory and design for Mechanical Measurements, Wiley&Sons

G. Minelli, Misure meccaniche , Patron

Teaching methods

Teaching is divided into lectures in the classroom and in the Laboratorio di Meccanica e Aeronautica of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale. Hands-on lessons are useful to get a deeper insight of some of the topics treated in the course.

Depending on the situation regarding the pandemic, they will be held in the classroom/laboratory or remotely.

Assessment methods

The assessment of the learning outcomes is done through a written examination. The latter aims at verifying the knowledge acquired during the course, related to the execution and related issues of measurements under both static and dynamic conditions, and the operation and calibration of instruments analysed during the course.

The written test consists of three open questions, composed of some sub-questions, of which at least one is focused on the first part of the course, i.e. static and dynamic performance of measurement systems.

In the event of full pass, the obtained grade can be confirmed or an oral examination taken.

Teaching tools

Video Projector, pc

Office hours

See the website of Raffaella Di Sante