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Fall SAVY 2019: Day 2 – Strength and Structure of Engineering Materials (Grades 5/6)

Posted by on Monday, September 30, 2019 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY blog.

This Saturday was our day of failure! We covered two types of sudden catastrophic failures.  The first failure type we covered was buckling. Buckling strength is affected by many things, not just the material selected. To explore buckling strength, we got into groups and made beams with different heights, cross sectional shapes, and materials.  Ask your student how buckling strength is affected by these parameters.  Which combination was the strongest?  We also discussed fatigue failure (another sudden catastrophic failure), and how it caused the Aloha Airlines disaster.  We made our own experiment to determine the cycles to fatigue of paperclips.

After lunch, we tested the strength of our composites.  Our composites were a lot stronger than everyone expected, and we had a lot of trouble getting any of them to fail!  Our composites were at least 3-4 times stronger than the base fiber.  I know a lot of students took theirs home to test with even heavier things, so I’m excited to hear those results.

See you Saturday for our final day together!

Kelsay