Learning about materials science and technology by deconstructing modern products

Andy Horsewell (Invited author)

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

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    Get the attention of young engineering students, interest and inspire them. Encourage them to think about materials science and technology by looking at the consumer products and gadgets that interest them. Analyse what modern products are constructed of, and how and why the materials and the processes have been chosen in their manufacture i.e. deconstruct modern products. Suitable items can easily be found in personal communication and entertainment, including all manner of sports goods. Further, the current pace of materials product development ensures that using these objects to focus teaching encourages and demands constant modernisation of the course and the materials being presented. A consideration of material and process selection for components in a modern product can be a dynamic starting point for a course on materials science and engineering; providing inspiration and showing the direction in which the course is to be developed from the very beginning. The approach provides a direct illustration of the microstructure - process - properties triangle. As the course progresses and as theory is interleaved between regular analysis of the decisions and reasons behind the choice of a specific material or process, learning activities can include analysis of a number of given products by separate groups, with their results presented as a set of reports, oral presentations or as posters in a conference-like poster session. Progression in difficulty and complexity throughout a series of materials courses can be achieved by including the application of metallography and microanalysis practicals. Final year and Masters' students can be given more complex and demanding tasks such as failure analysis of components and / or re-design of multi-component products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventEuropean Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes - Nürnberg, Germany
    Duration: 10 Sep 200713 Sep 2007


    ConferenceEuropean Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes
    Internet address


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