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Illustrating Materials Science Concepts Through Research On The Crystallization Kinetics Of An Amorphous Soft Magnetic Ribbon

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Novel Upper-Level Materials Curricula

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.683.1 - 9.683.9

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Paper Authors

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Amy Hsiao

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2164

Illustrating Materials Science Concepts Through Research on the Crystallization Kinetics of An Amorphous Soft Magnetic Ribbon

Amy C. Hsiao

Union College


This paper will present the use of research on the crystallization kinetics of Fe88Zr7B4Cu1, a soft magnetic metallic glass produced in ribbon form, to illustrate various fundamental concepts in materials science. This integration of research into teaching is part of the syllabus of the sophomore-level materials science course that is required of all mechanical engineering students at Union College. The course begins with an understanding of the crystalline and noncrystalline nature of solids, and Fe88Zr7B4Cu1 glassy ribbon is used as one example of a solid without long- range atomic order, i.e. that of a glass. Secondly, the glassy nature of this material is attributed to its method of fabrication, via melt spinning, which illustrates one example of the correlation of materials structure to materials processing. Third, students learn to use a binary phase diagram of iron and zirconium (Fe-Zr) to determine that a body-centered cubic (BCC) iron (Fe) phase will crystallize first out of this material, and they use transmission electron microscope images to calculate the volume fraction of solid phase that forms after a sample of this material has been heated for a given time. This quantification of the fraction of nanocrystallites that form out of the glassy matrix illustrates the model of crystallization kinetics and equations for nucleation and growth learned in lecture. Through the presentation of a specific research topic, principle materials science concepts of structure, property, processing, and performance are illustrated. In addition, several students respond to this example shown in the course by participating in on- campus and off-campus individual projects with the professor.

Description of Research and Pedagogical Method

The materials science course at Union College is taken by all mechanical engineering majors during their sophomore year. A chemistry prerequisite is required before taking this course. The course meets every week for three one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory session with the professor. Besides weekly laboratory sessions that enhance the weekly lectures, demonstrations and examples presented in lecture serve important roles in the teaching and learning process in this course.

Fe88Zr7B4Cu1, also named Nanoperm® by Alps Electric in the power electronics industry, is made via a rapid solidification process called melt spinning. Melt spinning allows for cooling

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hsiao, A. (2004, June), Illustrating Materials Science Concepts Through Research On The Crystallization Kinetics Of An Amorphous Soft Magnetic Ribbon Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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