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A-level Engineering students from Liskeard Sixth Form recently visited the materials laboratory at Plymouth University to use their tensile testing machine and furnace to complete some destructive tensile tests on three samples of EN3B Bright Drawn Mild Steel. This was carried out to measure the behaviour of steel when it’s subjected to a tensile (pulling) force.

The students heated steel samples to 900°C in a furnace. One sample was left to cool in air, (normalised) to make the metal more ductile. The other was quenched in water; therefore, changing the properties to make it very hard and brittle.

As part of the A-level exam, students were required to test normalised steel by stretching the steel until it fractured and recording the results. As a load was placed on the steel bar, the elongation of the steel was recorded. Students could then plot graphs to determine the yield strength and ultimate tensile strength. Students used this information back at Liskeard School to calculate the correct steel sections to be used on frame work designs such as bridges or steel structures.

After the students completed this task they were shown around the materials lab. They had the opportunity to use microscopes and X-Ray machines to look at the grain structure of materials and the chemical composition. The students were really impressed with the products that had been brought in from industry to be tested. These included a broken bus axle, aeroplane turbine blades and an axle that had been sheared by a fatigue failure caused by an internal crack. One student stated it was like Crime Scene Investigations!

Liskeard School Engineering Plymouth Uni Visit 1

Liskeard School Engineering Plymouth Uni Visit 2

Liskeard School Engineering Plymouth Uni Visit 3

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Contact

Head Teacher: Mr Alex Lingard

Liskeard School & Community College
Luxstowe
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 3EA

How to find us

Tel: +44(0)1579 342344

School Attendance Line (24 hours): +44(0)1579 325730

Fax: +44(0)1579 343350

Email: enquiries@liskeard.cornwall.sch.uk

 

 

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