June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1174.1 - 14.1174.21
Testing Commercial Grade Threaded Fasteners as a Culminating Laboratory Project in Material Science for the Engineering Technology Curriculum
The major emphasis of a material science course is to provide the student with a broad level of information on different industrial materials. In our institution, working on a quarter system, this course becomes very aggressive and challenging in the amount of information that is presented to the students. In addition, the course involves time in the laboratory learning different practices used to obtain various properties of these materials. This leaves very little time to require the students to apply their knowledge to perform any kind of detailed analysis. In light of this, the authors proposed a new and final laboratory project that required the students to synthesize the overall course outcomes to conduct a thorough analysis of a commercial threaded fastener, widely used in household and industrial applications. As with most screws and bolts purchased from typical commercial stores (such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc.) size is the only information provided. The mechanical properties and even the material they are made from are usually not given. During this project students analyze one of these commercial fasteners and begin by listing different physical properties. The students are asked to sketch the expected shape of the stress-strain diagram for the material they suspect it is made from. Students will also speculate on the ultimate force that the fastener will be able to withstand. A bracket was manufactured so that the students can then place the fastener in a tensile tester and use it to determine the mechanical properties. Once the students obtain the stress-strain diagram they will compare the experimental response with their guessed result. In addition, multiple tests are done and the variation in maximum tensile force can also be examined. The students will also generate micrograph pictures of the fasteners to help them understand the chemical properties of the fastener material. Using all of this information the students must then be able to identify the base material used to make the fastener and any material treatments it may have gone through. This has turned out to be a great experience in showing the student how to use the knowledge they have gained to analyze an engineering component. The purpose of this paper is to explain the details of this laboratory project as well as discussing the educational results obtained by including this new project in our material science curriculum.
One of the challenges in education today is trying to bridge the gap between students who often view education as an effort to try and push as many important facts into their brains as possible versus the understanding that we as educators have that students need to be able to synthesize that knowledge and be able to use it to make decisions (what we often call Design). Certainly, many courses that students take early in their program emphasize the learning of information and tools that are necessary foundations to making good engineering decisions. We all want our students to be able to create and design, but the questions of when and how (and sometimes how much) make the issue of introducing students to design less than straight forward. Of course, all of this is merely a discussion of an idea presented in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom in his Taxonomy.1 Bloom identified three types of learning, one of which is the cognitive domain.
Durfee, J., & Hossain, N. (2009, June), Testing Commercial Grade Threaded Fasteners As A Culminating Laboratory Project In Material Science For The Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5057
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