Curriculum Element: Mechanical Properties of Materials

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Author: Professor Beth Wyler, Anne Arundel Community College (eawyler@aacc.edu)

Short Description: The relationship between stress-strain and materials under certain conditions can be studied through experimentation. Working in groups, this curriculum element helps students learn about composite materials and enables them to apply the principles toward designing new and improved dental composites. 

Implementation Levels: Mechanics of Materials (EGR 211) at Anne Arundel Community College; Mechanics II (ENES 220) at the University of Maryland; or a course that follows Statics in the engineering curriculum for mechanical, civil and aerospace engineers.

Description

The relationship between stress-strain and materials under certain conditions can be studied through experimentation. Composite materials have specific properties that makes them ideal candidate for producing strong structures–as fillings in dentistry, for example. This curriculum element provides an opportunity for students to acquire and improve their quantitative, communication and critical thinking skills. Students are provided with additional reading materials and an online source to complete the homework (web.mst.edu/~mecmovie). It is a group project and students experience the design process steps while designing dental composites. The students are initially given sufficient background information related to modulus of elasticity, stress and strain of materials. Working in groups, this curriculum element helps students learn about composite materials (information literacy) and also enable them to synthesize the information and apply the principles towards designing new and improved dental composites. Student groups also write a summary on one composite material and present to the class. This curriculum element has components that evaluate the quantitative and scientific communication skills, in addition to their critical thinking skills and information literacy.

Materials