These laboratory procedures were developed at the University of South Carolina by Dr. Jed S. Lyons to help mechanical engineering students gain an understanding of the relationships between material structures, properties, and processing.
Atomic Bonding and Crystal Structure
After completing this module, the students should understand different types of atomic bonding and atomic arrangement in common engineering materials.
Characterization of microstructures
In this module, the students learn that engineering materials are nonhomogenous on the microscopic level.
After completing this module, the students should understand that mechanical properties vary within a material and that bulk properties result from combinations of constituent properties.
This module illustrates the nature of time-dependent permanent deformation. After completing it, the students should be able to select materials for and design components in strain- limited applications.
Upon completion of this module, the students should understand the different definitions of stiffness, strength and ductility used for metals and polymers.
After this module is completed, the students should understand that metals retain their load-bearing capabilities at ambient temperature, but plastics exhibit stress relaxation due to molecular displacement.
Once this module is completed, the students should be able to explain the behaviors of metals, polymers and ceramics under bending loads, and should understand the detrimental effects of surface flaws on the strength of brittle metals.
Casting and Phase Diagrams
The primary purpose of this module is to motivate the students to learn about equilibrium phase diagrams. In addition, they become familiar with an industrial fabrication process.
Precipitaion and Hardening
After completing this module, the students should understand solid-state precipitation phenomena and the relationships between the morphology of the precipitates and the hardness of the material.
Phase Transformation and Hardening
Upon completion of this module, the students should understand various austenite decomposition reactions. They also discover how to control the morphology of the constituent phases and hence mechanical properties.
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Special thanks to Rob Szypicyn of Drexel University for designing some of the graphics used on this page.