Abstract

This paper presents the implementation and preliminary analysis of a multi-scale material and mechanics education module for the improvement of undergraduate solid mechanics education. 3D printed and conventional wrought aluminum samples were experimentally characterized at both the micro- and macro-scales. At the micro-scale, we focus on the visualization of material’s grain structure. At the macro-scale, standard material characterization following ASTM standards is conducted to obtain the macroscopic behavior. Digital image correlation technology is employed to obtain the two-dimensional strain field during the macro-scale testing. An evaluation of students understanding of solid mechanics and materials behavior concepts is carried out in this study to obtain the student data and use it as baseline for further evaluation of study outcomes. We plan to use the established multi-scale mechanics and materials testing dataset in a broad range of undergraduate courses, such as Solid Mechanics, Design of Mechanical Components, and Manufacturing Processes. Our current effort is expected to demonstrate the real materials’ multi-scale nature and their mechanical performance to undergraduate engineering students. The successful implementation of this multi-scale approach for education enhances students’ understanding of abstract solid mechanics theories and establishing the concepts between mechanics and materials. In addition, this approach will assist advanced solid mechanics education, such as the concept of fracture, in undergraduate level education throughout the country.

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