First Day (26 May, Tuesday)

  • What did you do today? (Briefly describe your day’s activities)
First, we were given a short introduction on NTU followed by a safety briefing in case of an emergency. We were then given a tour of the different types of labs dedicated to materials science. 

Next, we were split into sub-groups and each group proceeded to the various labs assigned. Group 7-4 was assigned to challenge A, tensile testing of engineering materials. We observed the behaviors of different materials(polystyrene, aluminium copper alloy, polypropylene) and learnt about their mechanical properties. 

The images shows a polypropylene bar being stretched by the universal testing machine

Next, we went for a lunch break.
After the lunch break, we proceeded to our next challenge, C, Composite Material Processing. We were introduced to composite materials and how impactful they are. We did a hands-on activity where we used carbon fibre matts and glass fibre matts which are soft and flimsy at first. However, after applying a mixture of epoxy and hardener solution onto each fibre matts, the materials became extremely tough and hard to break. 

Order of layers for making fiber-reinforced composites

After completion of the two challenges, we used our spare time to work on our group's final presentation and we were subsequently dismissed from NTU at 4pm.

Group 7-3 and 7-4 preparing for presentation.

  • What did you learn today? (Discuss any learning points from today’s activities)
I learnt that when a force is applied to a material, it undergoes engineering stress. This stress leads to the material getting deformed and it would not be able to return to its original shape again. 
1. Engineering Stress can be calculated by the following formula,
The amount of deformation a material has gone through is hence defined as engineering strain.
2. Engineering Strain can be calculated by the following formula,

  • How do you feel about today’s activities? (Describe how the project has affected your understanding of the discipline and how it may be applied elsewhere and share your insights for the day)
I felt that today's activities were very engaging and enjoyable as there were a lot of hands-on tasks and we got to explore an area which we haven't touched in school yet.
I believe challenge A where we carried out a tensile test, can be applied when building structures to ensure that the weight applied on the materials do not cause a lot of stress and strain which may cause the structure to collapse eventually. Challenge C, where we explored composite materials, can be applied when making products like cars. This is especially helpful when wanting to develop stronger yet lighter and more efficient products.

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