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Materials of Engineering Laboratory

PhD opportunities at recently funded a €25 million Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI).

5 PhD Opportunities in Composite Materials and Structural Testing in Marine Renewable Energy

The PhDs are being funded at the National University of Ireland, Galway as part of the SFI Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre, starting from September/October this year.

The positions are as follows:

1. Application of Low-Cost, High Performance Thermoset Materials to Marine Renewable Energy Device Structures

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Experiment 11: Corrosion

Corrosion can be defined as the degradation of a material when it comes in contact with the environment. The dissolving of a material by a corrosive liquid is called chemical corrosion. The material continues to dissolve until either it is consumed or the liquid is saturated. A simple example is salt dissolving in water. The removing of metal atoms from a solid material as the result of an electric circuit is called electrochemical corrosion. In this form of corrosion, metal atoms lose electrons and become ions thus forming a byproduct. Electrochemical corrosion occurs most frequently in aqueous mediums, in which ions are present in water or moist air. In this process, an electric circuit is created and the system is called an electrochemical cell. Corrosion of a steel pipe or a steel automobile panel, creating holes in the steel and rust as the byproduct, are examples of this reaction.

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Homework: Ceramics

Homework: Ceramics

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Experiment 10: Ceramics

The primary drawback of using ceramic materials in structural applications is their inherent brittleness which results from strong bonding coupled with electrical balancing restrictions due to the metallic plus non-metallic nature of ceramic compounds. The Modulus of Rupture (MOR) test is the standard for determining the mechanical properties of ceramics (Flexural Strength and Flexural Modulus).

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Quiz: Metallography Specimen Preparation and Examination

Quiz: Metallography Specimen Preparation and Examination

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Experiment 9: Metallography Specimen Preparation and Examination

Proper preparation of metallographic specimens to determine microstructure and content requires that a rigid step-by-step process be followed. In sequence, the steps include sectioning, mounting, course grinding, fine grinding, polishing, etching, and microscopic examination. Specimens must be kept clean and preparation procedure carefully followed in order to reveal accurate microstructures. Each student will prepare and examine a brass, steel or aluminium sample for metallographic examination. Additionally, a brass, steel or aluminum sample with different composition, a eutectoid steel sample and a eutectoid Pb-Sn sample will be examined under the metallographic microscope. Photographs will be taken of the samples and the ASTM grain size number determined for each of the specimens if applicable.

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Quiz: Polymers and Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials

Quiz: Polymers and Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials

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Experiment 8: Composite Materials

Composites consist of two or more phases that are usually processed separately and then bonded, resulting in properties that are different from those of either of the component materials.

Polymer matrix composites generally combine high-strength, high-stiffness fibers (graphite, kevlar, etc.) with low-density matrix materials (epoxy, polyvinyl, etc.) to produce strong & stiff materials that are lightweight.

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Experiment 7: Polymers

The mechanical properties of polymers vary significantly from polymer to polymer as a result of atomic structure and bond strength. Thermoplastic polymers are generally composed of long coiling carbon chains that are primary bonded along the chains, but are secondarily bonded between chains. Thermoplastics tend to either contain crosslinks (primary bonds between chains) or are composed of three-dimensional space networks, but thermosets tend to be comparatively expensive and can’t be recycled. The tensile properties of representative samples from the three primary polymer types (thermoplastics, thermosets and elastomers) will be tested and evaluated. When a polymer is subjected to a constant strain yet realizes a decrease in stress as a function of time, it is said to be undergoing Stress Relaxation. Two experiments will be conducted on polymeric samples to investigate their stress relaxation behavior. The quantifying parameter, Relaxation Time Constant, will be determined for the two samples tested.

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Quiz: Fatigue Testing

Quiz: Fatigue Testing

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Experiment 6: Fatigue Testing

A perusal of the broken parts in almost any scrap yard will reveal that the majority of failures occur at stresses below the yield strength. This is a result of the phenomenon called fatigue which has been estimated to be responsible for up to 90% of the in-service part failures which occur in industry. If a bar of steel is repeatedly loaded and unloaded at say 85% of its’ yield strength, it will ultimately fail in fatigue if it is loaded through enough cycles.

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Quiz: Heat Treatment - Quenching & Tempering

Quiz: Heat Treatment - Quenching & Tempering

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Experiment 5: Heat Treatment - Quenching & Tempering

Conventional heat treatment procedures for producing martensitic steels generally involve continuous and rapid cooling of an austenitized specimen in some type of quenching medium, such as water, oil, or air. The properties of a steel that has been quenched and then tempered depends largely on the rate of cooling and tempering times and temperatures. During the quenching heat treatment, the specimen can be converted to a variety of microstructures including soft and ductile spheroidite to hard and brittle martensite. The production of pearlitic and bainitic steels is lower in cost and suffices for most applications. Martensitic steels must be tempered prior to use due to their extreme brittleness. A range of heat treatments producing a variety of microstructures and mechanical properties will be investigated in this experiment beginning with a set of initially equivalent samples of SAE 1040 steel. Pearlite, Bainite and Martensite will all be produced through variations in the cooling rates of initially austenized samples.

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Quiz: Precipitation Hardening of Aluminum Alloys

Quiz: Precipitation Hardening of Aluminum Alloys

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Experiment 4: Precipitation Hardening of Aluminum Alloys

The strength and hardness of some metal alloys may be enhanced by the formation of extremely small
uniformly dispersed particles of a second phase within the original phase matrix; this must be accomplished
by appropriate heat treatment.

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Quiz: Mechanical Testing- Tensile Testing

Quiz: Mechanical Testing- Tensile Testing

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Experiment 3: Mechanical Testing- Tensile Testing

The mechanical properties of a material are directly related to the response of the material when it's subjected to mechanical stresses. Since characteristic phenomena or behavior occur at discrete engineering stress and strain levels, the basic mechanical properties of a material are found by determining the stresses and corresponding strains for various critical occurrences.

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Quiz: Mechanical Testing- Impact & Hardness Testing

Quiz: Mechanical Testing- Impact & Hardness Testing

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Experiment 2: Mechanical Testing- Impact & Hardness Testing

The mechanical properties of materials are ascertained by performing carefully designed laboratory experiments that replicate, as nearly as practical, the service conditions.

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Experiment 1: Crystal Structure: X - Ray Diffraction

The X-Ray diffraction technique is used to determine the crystal structure and interatomic spacing of crystallinesamples through constructive interference of reflected x-ray beams.

Bragg's Law and X-Ray diffraction data, in combination with the expressions for interatomic spacing in terms of the lattice parameter and Miller indices for acrystal, can be utilized to identify crystal structures, determine lattice constants, and locate defects within astructure.

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materials of engineering laboratory

In the spring semester of 2002, Dr. Woldesenbet and I gave a hand-on laboratory course: Materials of Engineering Laboratory, to the junior undergraduate students at the Louisiana State University. In this Blog, I am also adding some state-of-the-art techniques for materials laboratory.

Class schedule: 

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