Design Engineer's Handbook (Hardback) book cover

Design Engineer's Handbook

By Keith L. Richards

© 2013 – CRC Press

384 pages | 260 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

Student design engineers often require a "cookbook" approach to solving certain problems in mechanical engineering. With this focus on providing simplified information that is easy to retrieve, retired mechanical design engineer Keith L. Richards has written Design Engineer’s Handbook.

This book conveys the author’s insights from his decades of experience in fields ranging from machine tools to aerospace. Sharing the vast knowledge and experience that has served him well in his own career, this book is specifically aimed at the student design engineer who has left full- or part-time academic studies and requires a handy reference handbook to use in practice. Full of material often left out of many academic references, this book includes important in-depth coverage of key topics, such as:

  • Effects of fatigue and fracture in catastrophic failures
  • Lugs and shear pins
  • Helical compression springs
  • Thick-walled or compound cylinders
  • Cam and follower design
  • Beams and torsion
  • Limits and fits and gear systems
  • Use of Mohr’s circle in both analytical and experimental stress analysis

This guide has been written not to replace established primary reference books but to provide a secondary handbook that gives student designers additional guidance. Helping readers determine the most efficiently designed and cost-effective solutions to a variety of engineering problems, this book offers a wealth of tables, graphs, and detailed design examples that will benefit new mechanical engineers from all walks.

Table of Contents


Basic Theory

Stresses Induced by Bending

Deflection in Beams

Shear Deflection in Beams

Section Properties

Torsion of Solid Sections


Basic Theory

Modulus of Section

Angle of Twist

Pure Torsion of Open Sections

Thin-Walled Closed Sections

Curved Members

Torsional Failure of Tubes

Sand Heap Analogy for Torsional Strength

Design and Analysis of Lugs and Shear Pins


Analysis of Lugs with Axial Loading: Allowable Loads

Analysis of Lugs with Transverse Loading: Allowable Loads

Bearing at Lug-to-Pin or -Bush Interface

Shear Pin Analysis

Bush Analysis

Special Cases

Stresses Due to Interference-Fit Pins and Bushes

Stress Concentration Factor at Lug-to-Pin Interface


Mechanical Fasteners

Threaded Fasteners

Tensile and Shear Stress Areas

Tension Connections

Torque-Tension Relationship

Proof Load and Proof Stress

Fastener Preload

Fasteners Subject to Shear and Tension

Eccentric Loads

Prying Forces

Fasteners Subject to Alternating External Force

Limits and Fits


Tolerance Grade Numbers

Fundamental Deviations

Preferred Fits Using the Basic Hole System

Surface Finish

Thick Cylinders


A Thick-Walled Cylinder Subject to Internal and External Pressures

General Equations for a Thick-Walled Cylinder Subject to an Internal Pressure

The General Equation for a Thick-Walled Cylinder Subject to Internal and External Pressures

Example: Interference Fit

Example: Radial Distribution of Stress

Compound Cylinders


Shrinkage Allowance


The Design and Analysis of Helical Compression Springs Manufactured from Round Wire

Elastic Stresses and Deflections of Helical Compression Springs Manufactured from Round Wire

Allowable Stresses for Helical Compression Springs Manufactured from Round Wire

Notes on the Design of Helical Compression Springs Made from Round Wire

Nested Helical Compression Springs

Introduction to Analytical Stress Analysis and the Use of the Mohr Circle



Two-Dimensional Stress Analysis

Principal Stresses and Principal Planes

Construction of the Mohr Circle

Relationship between Direct and Shear Stress

The Pole of the Mohr Circle


The Analysis of Strain

Comparison of Stress and Strain Equations

Theories of Elastic Failure

Interaction Curves, Stress Ratio’s Margins of Safety, and Factors of Safety

Introduction to Experimental Stress Analysis


Photoelastic Coatings

Introduction to Brittle Lacquer Coatings

Introduction to Strain Gauges


Introduction to Fatigue and Fracture

Introduction and Background to the History of Fatigue

The Fatigue Process

Initiation of Fatigue Cracks

Factors Affecting Fatigue Life

Stress Concentrations

Structural Life Estimations

Introduction to Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics

Fatigue Design Philosophy

Cycle Counting Methods

Introduction to Geared Systems


Types of Gears

Form of Tooth

Layout of Involute Curves

Involute Functions

Basic Gear Transmission Theory

Types of Gear Trains

Power Transmission in a Gear Train

Referred Moment of Inertia, (Ireferred)

Gear Train Applications

Introduction to Cams and Followers



Requirements of a Cam Mechanism


The Timing Diagram

Cam Laws

Pressure Angle

Design Procedure

Graphical Construction of a Cam Profile

About the Author

Keith L. Richards brings more than 55 years of practical experience as a design engineer to his Design Engineer’s Handbook. After completing an apprenticeship program and earning a Masters degree in Engineering Design from Loughborough University, UK, he worked in a wide range of industries, including work on steel and aluminum rolling mills, power transmission systems, aircraft components, power plants, offshore structures, and pneumatic/hydraulic circuits. He is proficient in CAD and computational software, and in applied stress analysis. Additionally, he has worked in project management, purchasing, contracts, and creation of design plans. He has tapped his broad range of engineering activities to make Design Engineer’s Handbook an indispensable guide for both new and experienced engineers.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Design / General