Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Over the past couple decades the use of finite element analysis (FEA) has spread to many different sectors of engineering especially the small engine field. However, even though its use is widespread there have not been many studies into the accuracy of FEA in applications relevant to the small engine makers. The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of FEA to stress tests performed on a muffler guard and determine if it is possible to bypass experimental testing of muffler guards. The muffler guard was chosen due to its common use on small engines and the ease at which it can be modeled. Data obtained from the stress tests on the muffler guard was then used as the parameters for the finite element model. Also, some of the tests on the muffler guard were used to discover optimal placement of strain gages for vibration table tests and for finite element analysis. After studying and comparing all of the acquired data conclusions were made as to the validity of using FEA in this case.



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