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The University of Southampton

ELEC3216 Mechanical Power Transmission and Vibration

Module Overview

The module provides an overview of relevant topics in mechanical power transmission and methodology of vibration analysis for such mechanical assemblies. The main objective of the module is to learn methods of analysis and design of machines and their components, which are relevant to most industrial applications, including Automotive, Marine and Power Engineering transmissions. This module is taught together with Mechanical Power Transmission and Vibration (MSc). The two modules are mutually exclusive.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The key technological issues in mechanical power transmission
  • Mathematical techniques for the analysis of torsional vibration of drive systems and of flexible rotors
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Investigate a balance between power supply and demand and design an appropriate power transmission mechanism
  • Calculate natural vibrational frequencies and predict torsional vibration of drive systems
  • Examine the performance of fluid coupling devices or torque converters based on given torque-speed characteristics
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Implement methodology to tackle multidisciplinary problems as encountered in real engineering systems


- Matching power converters to their loads. - Gear trains: simple, compound, epicyclic and differential gears, gear tooth profiles, split-power drives, power flows. Automotive and marine applications. - Hydrostatic drives: Hydrostatic pumps and motors, capacities and leakage coefficients, flow-controlled and valve-controlled systems, efficiencies and torque-speed characteristics; comparison with electro-mechanical drives. - Hydrokinetic drives: The fluid coupling and the torque converter, torque-speed characteristics. - Automotive, marine and power-plant applications. - Belts and linkage mechanisms. - Energy storage elements and their limitations. - Natural frequencies of composite assemblies, incorporating component sub-systems, by the use of receptances. - Torsional vibration of drive systems which include gearing. - Rotor dynamics of flexible rotors and the influence of their support bearings.

Learning and Teaching

Wider reading or practice35
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Completion of assessment task7
Follow-up work18
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

C.E.Wilson, J.P.Sadler. Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery. 

S.S.Rao, Y.F.Fah. Mechanical Vibrations. 

R.Holmes. The Characteristics of Mechanical Engineering and Systems. 

A.Esposito. Fluid Power with Applications. 

F.S.Tse, I.E.Morse, R.T.Hinkle. Mechanical vibrations : theory and applications. 

D.J.Inman. Engineering Vibration. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 10%
Final Assessment  90%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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