Asee peer logo

Testing Commercial Grade Threaded Fasteners As A Culminating Laboratory Project In Material Science For The Engineering Technology Curriculum

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Laboratories in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1174.1 - 14.1174.21



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jason Durfee Eastern Washington University

visit author page

JASON DURFEE received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He holds a Professional Engineer certification. Prior to teaching at Eastern Washington University he was a military pilot, an engineering instructor at West Point and an airline pilot. His interests include aerospace, aviation, professional ethics and piano technology.

visit author page


N.M. Hossain Eastern Washington University

visit author page

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology,B.S. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, M.S., Ph.D. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

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. 10.18260/1-2--5057

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015