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School of Engineering and Design

SED06: Examinations Cover Sheet

SUBJECT AREA: Mechanical Engineering

Module Code: ME2601

Module Title: Professional Engineering Applications and Practices

Date-Month: MAY Year: 2011

Time allowed Hours: 2 (TWO) (plus 5 minutes reading time)

Answer-questions: Section A: Answer EITHER question A1 or question A2.

Answer question A3
Section B: Answer EITHER question B1 or question B2.

Examiner(s): Dr P. Coppo and Mrs P. Gratton

Special Stationery Requirements:

Approved Calculator

Only School approved calculators are allowed.

Use a separate answer book for each SECTION.

If you submit answers to more questions than specified, final marks for the
examination will be determined using the best marks which satisfy the rubric.
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A1. Steels are alloys of iron with variable amounts of carbon and other elements:
(a) Discuss the different microstructures of hypoeutectoid, eutectoid and
hypereutectoid steels. [40%]

(b) Discuss the role of elements (other than carbon and iron) and their
influence on the mechanical properties of steel. [30%]

(c) Discuss technologies to harden and/or protect the surface of steel.


A2. Polymers are a very versatile class of materials:

(a) Discuss crystallinity and order in polymers and how those relate to the
mechanical properties. [40%]

(b) Discuss modification to the polymer chain structure to achieve high

strength and modulus. [30%]

(c) Discuss processing and manufacturing methods suitable for polymers.


A3. Consider a metal alloy with a yield strength YS = 420 MPa and a Modulus of
Elasticity E = 140 GPa.
(a) What is the maximum load that can be applied to a specimen with a
cross sectional area of 120 mm2 without plastic deformation?

(b) If the original specimen length is 90 mm, what is the maximum length to
which it can be elongated without causing plastic deformation?
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(a) Ren and Stimpy are directors of a small engineering firm, who have
been using an old box truck in the operation of their business to make
collections and deliveries. The directors agree that this vehicle needs
replacement; however, each director has their own idea of what they
should get. Ren wants to buy a new box truck that will be capable of
collecting and delivering all of their potential orders, but Stimpy prefers
a small van that would accommodate most of their orders. He argues
that large orders could be dealt with, when the need arises, by leasing
an appropriate size truck or using a courier. He calculates that if they
have a similar number of journeys over the next year with a similar
number of large and small loads, then their average distribution cost
per product-mile will be 8. If they double their journeys and have to
use a courier more frequently, then the average distribution cost per
product-mile over the year will be 12.

Ren calculates that a box truck for double their journeys would only
cost 10 per product-mile, but agrees that if their loads are about the
same as this year the annual distribution cost will be 14 per product-

Both agree that their business has a 60% probability of doubling its
number of journeys in the forthcoming year, and a 40% probability of
remaining at the same level of activity as this year.

(i) Draw a decision-tree to show the decisions and chances in Ren

and Stimpys problem. [30%]

(ii) Calculate which decision, box truck or small van, would give them
the lowest cost per product-mile. [20%]
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(iii) The scenario described here is very much simplified. Describe

very briefly what other financial factors Ren and Stimpy should be
considering in their purchase decision-making. [10%]

(b) Describe the correct labels for the following figure

Point H
Point D
Line A Point G


Point E Distance C


Distance B Sales revenue
0 10 20 30 40 50
Production volume (number of units)

(i) Line A [5%]

(ii) The term for the sum of money represented by distance B [5%]
(iii) The term for the sum of money represented by distance C [5%]
(iv) Point D [5%]
(v) The area bounded by the triangle DEO (where O is the origin)
(vi) The area bounded by the triangle DGH (where D and G have the
same value for x, x = 40 units of production) [5%]

(c) Engineering companies compete with each other on the basis of four
factors each beginning with the letter P: product, place, price and
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promotion. Briefly explain two of these factors, and how they influence
competitive business. [10%]

(a) The following table (Table B2.1) shows comparison data for a
consumable item that is used in a manufacturing process. There are
four variations of the product, which is sold in standard-sized
cartridges. The cost () relates to the amount paid for a single
cartridge. The distance (km) is that to the nearest supplier of each
variation A, B, C and D. The cost of delivery is 1 per kilometre, and
an additional charge is made by each supplier for packaging. The
number of operations is an indication of the life of each product.

Table B2.1 Comparison of Consumable Item

Cost () Distance (km) Number of Cost of
operations packaging ()
Product A 480 60 30 12
Product B 500 50 50 10
Product C 720 120 60 12
Product D 810 90 180 9

Using the data in Table B2.1, develop a figure of merit and make a
recommendation as to which variation of the product provides the
cheapest option. [50%]

(i) Describe the difference between simple pay-back calculation
and discounted cash-flow analysis. [20%]

(ii) Discuss which method mentioned in (i) above would be

appropriate to apply when considering the following two
whether to rely on public transport for the next academic year,
or run a motor vehicle.
whether to build a new railway line from London to Birmingham.
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(iii) It costs 15,000 to install a new condensing boiler in a house,

which will yield savings of 200 per year over the next 15 years.
What is the term used to describe the sum of money calculated by
subtracting the accumulated savings the over the life-time of the
project discounted to their value today from the initial cost?

(iv) If the sum identified in (iii) above equals zero (0) after 15 years,
and the discounting factor for the project was x%, then what term
would also apply to the value x% for the project?