Mechanical engineering is based on relevant natural sciences and technical sciences, combined with technical experience in production practice, to study and solve all theoretical and practical problems in the development, design, manufacturing, installation, use and repair of various machinery Subject.
Machinery is one of the five elements (people, capital, energy, materials, and machinery) for production and services in modern society, and it participates in the production of energy and materials.
Before the 15th to 16th centuries, the development of mechanical engineering was slow.
After the 17th century, the capitalist commodity economy developed rapidly in Britain, France and other countries. Many people devoted themselves to improving the working machinery needed by various industries and developing new power machinery-steam engines.
In the late 18th century, the application of steam engines was extended from mining to textile, flour and metallurgy industries. The main material for making machinery has gradually changed from wood to metal.
The machinery manufacturing industry began to take shape and gradually became an important industry. Mechanical engineering has evolved from a decentralized technique that mainly relies on the individual talents and craftsmanship of the craftsman to a systematic and independent engineering technique guided by theory.
Mechanical engineering was the main technological factor that contributed to the industrial revolution and capitalist mechanical production in the 18th to 19th centuries.
The development of machining technology
Before the industrial revolution, most of the machinery was wooden structures made by carpenters. Metal (mainly steel and iron) was only used to make instruments, clocks, locks, pumps, and small parts on wooden machinery. Metal processing mainly relies on the meticulous workmanship of the mechanic to achieve the required precision.
With the widespread use of steam engines and the subsequent development of large-scale machinery such as mines, metallurgy, ships, and locomotives, more and more metal parts need to be formed and cut. The metal materials used have evolved from copper and iron to steel. the Lord.
Mechanical processing (including casting, forging, welding, heat treatment and other technologies and equipment, as well as cutting processing technology and machine tools, cutting tools, measuring tools, etc.) has developed rapidly, thereby ensuring the supply of various mechanical equipment required for development and production.
At the same time, with the increase in production batches and the development of precision processing technology, the formation of a large number of production methods (part interchangeability production, professional division of labor and collaboration, assembly lines, assembly lines, etc.) has also been promoted.
Mechanical Engineering and Human Living Environment
While the development of engineering technology improves human material civilization and living standards, it also has a destructive effect on the natural environment. Since the middle of the 20th century, the most prominent problem is resources, especially the massive consumption of energy and pollution to the environment.
In the future, the development of new mechanical products will take as important tasks to reduce resource consumption, develop pure renewable energy, and treat, reduce and even eliminate environmental pollution.
Mechanical engineering specialization and integration
In the second half of the 19th century, mechanical engineering became an independent discipline. The decomposition trend reached its peak in the middle of the 20th century (before and after the end of the Second World War).
Since the total amount of knowledge of mechanical engineering has expanded far beyond what one person can grasp, it is impossible to take a comprehensive view and co-ordinate the overall picture and overall situation of large-scale engineering, and reduce the scope of technical exchanges, hindering the emergence of new technologies and the overall progress of technology , The ability to adapt to changes in external conditions (such as the emergence of new technologies, new materials and new products, the supply of materials and semi-finished products, and price changes, etc.) is poor.
Therefore, starting from the middle and late twentieth century, mechanical engineering has seen a comprehensive trend. People pay more attention to basic theories, broaden professional fields, and merge over-differentiated majors.