New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Students have difficulty conceptualizing concepts that involve abstractions of phenomena that are not directly visible. In particular, students struggle to understand the atomic-level processes responsible for plastic deformation in metals. This paper reports on an innovative laboratory lesson redesign that better integrates the simulation and traditional tensile test components of a unit on plastic deformation that is completed by second-year Materials Engineering students at [a large midwestern] University. The unit redesign is a joint effort of the Schools of Materials Engineering and Education Engineering, who have worked together over the past four terms to improve the teaching of this laboratory course. The overall goal of this endeavor is to assist students in learning fundamental material science concepts and developing skills of the profession.
The plastic deformation unit includes a traditional tensile-testing component, where students set up and test physical metal samples, as well as a simulation component, where they run a series of tensile tests on metal nanowires that have different orientations with respect to the strain axis. For both the physical and simulation lab components, students create and analyze stress-strain curves. Students compute characteristic parameters for elastic and plastic deformation, make comparisons between the simulation and physical test results and consider the role of dislocations and slip.
This paper will discuss the evolution of the unit and present findings from three semesters worth of data from students’ in-class assessments, laboratory reports, and end-of-semester exams. Lesson learned concerning the integration of the research grade simulation will be shared.
Coughlan, A., & Faltens, T. A., & Diefes-Dux, H. A., & Douglas, K. A., & Johnson, D. R. (2016, June), Integrating a Research-Grade Simulation Tool in a Second-Year Materials Science Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27317
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