Technical English for Mechanical Engineering - Basic Technical Vocabulary

Technical English for Mechanical Engineering - Basic Technical Vocabulary
F. Giopp
F. Giopp
Wed 5 Jan, 2022


When understanding technical English, it is necessary to introduce some basic vocabulary and grammar. Technical English is different from the English taught at secondary schools. This article covers the essential tools for every mechanical engineering student to enlarge their knowledge and work in an international surrounding.

Tools in the Workshop

The first and essential thing to know is all the tools and machines in the workshop. This enables an engineer to give precise instructions to the trained workers about what to do and how. Therefore, we will provide an overview of the content of a toolbox, valuable verbs, measurement tools and the most common units needed during daily working processes.

Content of a Toolbox: ring spanner | open-ended spanner | file | chisel | ratchet | sockets | side cutter | screwdriver | Allen keys | pliers | socket wrench | electric drill | metal saw | torque wrench | strap wrench (oil filter wrench) | grip vice pliers | centre punch | combination pliers | hammer | rim wrench | soldering iron | vernier callipers Content of a toolbox

Measuring

When measuring workpieces, there are various methods and many tools are available. The first differentiation has to be made between gauges and measurement equipment. The first represents either a measurement or a form that refers to limit dimensions of tolerances. These have to be fulfilled in fits and usually provide information about whether a fit is within the limit of tolerances or not. This group includes gauging tools, e. g. slip gauges and accidences, straightedge, square and limit gauges, cylindrical plug gauges, gauging rings and calliper gauges. We can use the latter for acquiring information on the measurements of a workpiece and provide information on the length, width and depth of the outer or inner edges of a workpiece, hole or slot. The most common instruments in mechanical engineering are vernier callipers or calliper rules which we can use universally in the workshop. They provide information on lengths and are precise to 0.1 mm. When it comes to smaller tolerances, we usually use micrometres. They measure accurately to within 0.001 mm.

Measuring Tools accidence | straightedge | cylindrical plug gauge | gauging tool | calliper gauge | gauging ring Content of a toolbox

Common Units

For a long time, every country has used its measurement system and units, which led to many problems, as the workpiece measurements were not comparable to each other. In an internationally operating industry, a standardized measurement system is essential, and for this reason, the International System of Units (SI-units) has been developed from the metric system. Engineers in the United Kingdom still often use the imperial system instead of the metric one, now the international standard system. Therefore, every engineer should at least have basic knowledge of the units of the imperial system and how the conversion between the two systems works.

Overview about the basic units and their symbols

Basic quantity Symbol Unit Abbreviation
1 Current I ampere A
2 Voltage U volt V
3 Thermodynamic temperature T kelvin K
4 Length l metre m
5 Mass m kilogram kg
6 Time t second s
7 Luminous intensity l2 candela cd
8 Molecular weight M molar mass kg/mol
9 Electric resistance R ohms Ω
10 Temperature T celsius °C
11 Force F newton N
12 Speed v Meter per second m/s
13 Electric capacity C farad F
14 Pressure p pascal Pa
15 Frequency f hertz Hz


Essential Vocabulary

Term
accidence
Allen keys
calliper gauge
centre punch
chisel
clamp screw
to draw
to drill
electric drill
to enlarge
essential
file
fixed jaw
gauging tool
to grind
grip vice pliers
hammer
inside jaws
to loosen
to measure
metal saw
micrometre
to mill
milling tool
movable jaw
ratchet
rim wrench
ring spanner
to saw
to screw
screwdriver
to sharpen
side cutter
slider
socket wrench
to solder
soldering iron
square
straightedge
strap wrench
to tighten
tool
toolbox
torque wrench
vernier calliper
calliper rule
vernier scale

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