Innovative Physics: Structures and Materials
Innovative Physics: Connecting Physics to Industry
This is material from the CDROM produced by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) in partnership the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD).
The authors were Kathryn Butler and Roy Preece. The support of the following is acknowledged: Chamini Mendis, researcher at the CRC for Cast Metal Manufacturing at Monash University; Josh Pell, a carbon fibre designer and technologist; Dr Bronwyn Fox, the team leader at the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing; Ian Crouch, business development manager at the CRC for Advanced Composite Structures Ltd
Career profile of Ian Crouch, Business Development Manager at the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Advanced Composite Structures Ltd. A three page document includes his background, how the CRC is funded, courses and careers with links and recent CRC projects.
Bronwyn Fox is a chemistry graduate who got her PhD in engineering and is now doing engineering research into lightweight, high-strength, carbon fibre composite materials. The one page article includes her photo, but there is little information about her career and the industry.
Dr Georgie Kelly's research involves creating a set of ‘super steels’ as building materials of the future. She works at Deakin University. The two page article explains the purpose of her research, it also includes images and contact details.
Chamini Mendis is a PhD student at Monash University. She has a double degree in law and materials engineering and also a Masters in Engineering. Her PhD is in investigating low-cost magnesium alloys for use in the automotive industry.
While at school Josh Pell wanted to build a light weight bike for his triathalons using fibre glass and carbon fibre. This lead to an apprenticeship in boat building and then on to developing artificial limbs. See Shockwave video interviews below.
An article on Dr Bronwyn Fox's research on the use of carbon fibre composites in the automotive industry.
A two page pdf file on Chamini Mendis's research on the use of magnesium in the manufacture of engines.
A PowerPoint presentation of 16 slides, each with a photo of a bridge and a few questions.
The introduction to the experimental investigation on beam bending. It includes i) developing a plan, timeline, log book, equipment available and notes of uncertainties.
Materials Testing: Video of the test, spreadsheet and graph of the data and tasks
Worksheets for all 11 tests as well as comparative questions. For each test there are several tasks that guide the students through the video, graph and spreadsheet with follow up data analysis questions.
i. Plywood small cross section
ii. Plywood large cross section sample 1
iii. Plywood large cross section sample 2
iv. MDF small cross section
v. MDF large cross section
vi. HDPE in tension, milk bottle
vii. Plaster cylinder in compression
viii. Steel in tension
ix. Concrete in compression
x. High density foam in compression
xi. Low density foam in compression
Composite Materials - Online activities and excursions - Planes, bridges and structures - Nanotechnology - Organisations and publications
This website provides industrial information about a range of composites. Of particular value is the link to 'Composites 101'.
NOVA is the Science in the News website for the Australian Academy of Science. This page is about composite materials. The focus is on plastics, but like all NOVA sites there is an extensive range of support including: Key text, Activities, Glossary, Further reading and Useful sites.
A page showing how LEGO blocks can be used to illustrate reinforcement in a structure. This is a University of Wisconsin site and there is a link to there other educational projects in the Materials area.
A MicroWorlds page. It provides some information about Kevlar's properties and has links to five clues that explain them. The clues are mainly about polymer chemistry.
This is the home page for the CRC. The link to News has interesting articles on their research. The CRC is based at Fisherman's Bend in Melbourne.
A comprehensive and very visual coverage of carbon fibres. There is a section at the bottom of the web page on their mechanical properties.
The page by the inventor of Kevlar, DuPont. Technical specifications of the material can be accessed.
This website explains what carbon fibres are and some of the myths behind them.
The school of materials science and engineering at UNSW has information avaliable on their latest research. The articles contain short descriptions of what the outcome of the research was. If the research has been published in a journal the full reference can be found at the bottom of the article.
Online activities and excursions
A java application that allows students to study shear, moment and deflection distribution over the length of a beam under various transverse loads.
An activity using paper clips to model linear, branched and cross-linked polymers. This activity is part of clue one from the MicroWorlds page, which explains the properties of Kevlar.
An activity exploring how the orientation of fibers affects the strength of materials. This activity is part of clue two from the MicroWorlds page, which explains the properties of Kevlar.
This activity uses polarized light in certain plastics to reveal stress fractures. These can be used to illustrate stress fractures in bones.
A website that allows students to determine how different materials affect the production of a bicycle. It allows the examination of how different cross section designs and materials can affect bending, cost and weight.
This webpage provides details on the materials and structures workshop offered by the CSIRO. The activities include:
Materials and structures testing using specialised equipment
Axial tests to obtain accurate load extension data
Observing plastic and elastic behaviour
Using models of structures to identify and measure forces
Examining the effects of heat treatment on metals
Studying the effects of temperature on toughness
A java application from that uses a graph to demonstrate Hooke's law. It is one of many physlets avaliable from webphysics.
This is a multistep module that looks at Hooke's law from Schools Matter. There are many other modules that can be accessed from this site by using the site map.
A column that details some of the history of carbon fibres and suggests some of the possible uses for the future. There is also a column about shake shingles and the materials of the future for roof shingling that can be accessed via the next button.
Planes, bridges and structures
A page showing different bridges that Mark Ketchum has worked on. There are coloured photos and a description of most bridges. The bridges show a variety of different structural designs.
This document is a report into the project to strength Little River Bridge on the Princes Freeway in Victoria. It examines the problems with the original design of the bridge and how the new design was developed to overcome these shortfalls.
This Boeing media report from 2003 details how composite materials are being used in the design of Beoing 7E7 aircrafts. It discusses some of the reasons why the change is being made from the traditional aluminium design.
An article found in the Australia's National Local Government Newspaper about how bridges in Tasmania were being strengthened in 2001 to support the increased demands on the bridges. Please note that the link for further information provided by the article is no longer active. Instead an overview of the products used can be found at http://www.basf-cc.com.sg/en/products/ConcreteRepairandProtectionSystems/MBrace/Pages/default.aspx
A detailed explanation of how nanotubes are built using graphite as an example. A java applet illustrating different sized and types of graphite tubes is found at the bottom of the page.
This webpage contains illustrated information about the difference in structure of single wall and multi wall nanotubes. There is some information about the properties and uses of these nanotubes. There is also a short illustrated description of buckyballs.
This website contains numerous animations of different gears made from nanotubes. Animations are run from the website with Windows Media player.
This is the website of Scientific American. There are many articles, podcasts, vidoes, slideshows, images, columns and interactive pages avaliable for free access. It covers all areas of science including science education and is constantly updated with new content.
This is the website of the Centre for Nanotechonolgy, which is part of NASA. There is information about how NASA is utalising this technology, and career profiles. Of particular interest is the gallery which contains images, vidoes, animations, webcasts, presentations and animations.
E-drexler.com is a webpage devoted to exploring how nanotechnology is changing molecular engineering and manufactoring. There are many links to other interesting webpages relevant to each topic discussed. Nanofactories: The movie is worth looking at.
This journal focuses on the uses of nanotechnology across all areas of science. There are many recently published free articles avaliable to read and download, but be aware that older articles may require a subscription to view.
This webpage sells equipment for nanotechnology anaylsis. There are many different types of equipment featured with photos and specifications for each.
Organisations and publications
The homepage for the Materials Research Society. The link to news has interesting articles about new materials.
This website provides an interactive tour of research at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source. Of particular value is the link to Information for teachers which contains classroom activities.
Frank Potter's webpage is updated regularly with weblinks to all sorts of science pages. The focus of this page is science related to engineering which contains the materials and structures section. There are many other useful links under the physical science pages.
The homepage for the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS). It contains some information about what is happening in Australia in materials research.
The homepage for Cooperative Research Centers. This is a government project trying to link researchers with industry. Of particular interest may be the quarterly magazine 'Success Through Innovation' which contains information about the application of science research into industry. These magazines are found under the Publications, events and media page.
The homepage for CAST Cooperative Research Centre (CAST CRC). Information about the current state of research projects including if the research is possible to apply into industry yet can be found under the research, and news and events (media releases) pages.
The homepage for Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association of Australia a not-for-profit organisation to promote the pusuit of science. Media releases contains some interesting articles. Of interest may also be the Fact Sheet - The Impact of CRCs on the Australian Education System. It contains information on programs for schools developed by different industries.