Module 2 - Choose one option

This is the first of two option modules designed to give students the chance to investigate an area of materials that is of interest to them.  Students must choose one of the following:


OPTION A    Materials in aerospace

Students will explore the materials used in turbofan jet engines.  At the end of this module students should be able to:

 Explain in simple terms how a turbofan engine works.

  • Explain the key factors affecting materials selection for the fan, compressor and turbine sections of the engine.
  • Explain how a change in processing technique has allowed larger, lighter fan blades to be made.
  • Explain how control of processing, microstructure and chemical composition has improved turbine blade technology.


OPTION B    Materials in medicine

Students will investigate the area of biomaterials and how modern materials are helping to improve our quality of life.  At the end of this session students should be able to:

  • Explain in simple terms the main requirements of a biomaterial
  • Describe how the materials used in total hip replacements have changed.
  • Explain in simple terms how materials are used in tissue engineering
  • Describe briefly some of the other body parts that can be replaced and the materials used.


OPTION C    Materials in sport

Students will explore how modern materials have helped to improve the performance of athletes.  At the end of this session students should be able to:

  • Recall how composites the required properties for a number of applications can be designed.
  • Materials can be used to protect the body from impact.
  • Describe the evolution of the materials used in one particular sport, for example bicycles.


OPTION D    Smart materials

Students will explore the different groups of smart materials and their properties.  At the end of this session students should be able to:

  • Explain simply the definition of a smart material.
  • Understand how thermochromic polymers work and where they might be used.
  • Understand how shape memory metals work and where they may be used.
  • Understand how piezoelectric ceramics work and where they may be used.
  • Understand how Quantum Tunnelling Composite works and where it may be used.


OPTION E    Nanotechnology

Students will explore the relatively new field of Nanotechnology.  At the end of this session students should be able to:

  • Define the nanoscale using key example to describe a particular size range.
  • Describe an example of nanotechnology from nature and how this has been copied using man-made nanomaterials.Describe how nanocoatings can be used to clean surfaces, make surfaces scratch resistant or give a surface a smoother appearance.
  • Describe how nanocomposites can be used to improve the performance of tennis balls, clothing and structural materials.
  • Appreciate how nanomaterials can be made and the issues associated with this.


OPTION F    Fuelling the future

The aim of this module is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of traditional fuels and allow students to explore and compare alternatives which could fuel our future.  At the end of the module students should be able to: 

  • Explain how we have come to be so reliant on fossil fuels
  • Give three alternatives to fossil fuels with their advantages and disadvantages
  • Describe how a hydrogen fuel cell works