June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.833.1 - 11.833.7
Introducing Materials Engineering Concepts In a High School Automotive Technology Class
In an effort to motivate high school students to consider future career opportunities in engineering and to appreciate the importance of engineering technology in creating a pollution- free environment, an educational outreach program was developed as a partnership between a university. The program is designed to create awareness among students about the environment, the potentials hazards it could face from humankind and the possible methods to alleviate the problem.
The idea has been executed in a high school automotive technology class where students work hands-on with automotive engines. One of the experiments was to measure the exhaust emissions. Automotive exhaust has been of great concern in recent years due to its dramatic impact on the environment. Much research has been done on exhaust emission systems in order to control the levels of the potentially toxic components of exhaust gases. A major breakthrough in the exhaust emission systems was the invention of catalytic pollution control system. Commercial applications of catalytic pollution control from internal combustion engines were virtually nonexistent 40 years ago when the first volume of the Journal of Catalysis was published . Today, exhaust catalysts are found on nearly all US passenger cars, light- and medium-duty trucks, and even some heavy-duty trucks. The history of catalytic exhaust gas after-treatment — the largest application of heterogeneous catalysis by many measures — is a complex one, involving numerous players (automobile manufacturers, government agencies, catalyst suppliers, petroleum refiners, and fuel-additive suppliers, among others). Their contributions go far beyond advances in catalyst technology alone, and several detailed reviews have been published that cover the broad waterfront of automotive emissions control [2–9]. The catalytic advancement is through constant analysis of the exhaust gas using gas analyzers and the spectrometers. There are several different technologies used for gas analysis, but most exhaust gas analyzers built for shop use are infrared detectors. They work by measuring the infrared (IR) energy absorption of the exhaust gas. Energy radiates in different frequencies or wavelengths. The longest waves are radio frequencies; microwaves are the next shorter frequency, then infrared, followed by visible light. Though its wavelength is too long for our eyes to detect, IR energy is often referred to as infrared light because it behaves the same way; it is reflected by a mirror and is blocked - or more accurately, absorbed by non-reflecting surfaces. A simple example for the gas analyzer is the spectrometer.
A spectrometer is an optical instrument for measuring properties of light. The measured variable is often the light intensity but could also be the polarization state, for instance. The independent variable is often the wavelength of the light, usually expressed as some fraction of a meter. Spectrometer is a term that is applied to instruments that operate over a very wide range of wavelengths, from gamma rays and X-rays into the far infrared.
Pai, D., & Rajaram, G., & Lewis, R., & Lewis, O., & Waters, C., & Sankar, J. (2006, June), Introducing Materials Engineering Concepts In A High School Automotive Technology Class Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1198
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