Second Day (27 May, Wednesday)

  • What did you do today?
      • The main learning that happened today was about tensile stress and strain, which is basically about how tension builds up in a material when pulled. We used different materials today, naming aluminium, polypropylene and polystyrene, and stretched it using the tensile machine. The polypropylene bar managed to stretch right up to the top/limit of the machine, and hence did not break at all, why the other two materials broke very easily. We also finished up the presentation on the 3 topics, composites, SEM, and tensile forces, after-which we presented it to the mentors and other groups.
  • What did you learn today?
      • I learnt about how the physical structures of substances give them properties of stretching or being brittle. For one example, the supervisor explained why glass or the plastic, polystyrene, we used was so brittle. This was due the molecular shape of the physical bonds between the molecules; The molecules in polystyrene and glass were shaped in such a way that barely any molecules could fill up the space between 2 separating molecules when being stretched, and hence the physical bonds broke very easily. In comparison, polypropylene were physically structured in such a way that on the molecular scale, it was like "entangled microfibres", or at least that is what I described it as. We also learned the equations that governed stress and strain, which are tensile forces, acting on the substances when being pulled. These equations can be plotted on a graph as data-points, which can then be tabulated to what a proper graph. If the graph followed the general shape of that of the substance used, then the experiment was positive,
  • How do you feel about today’s activities?
      • The project helped my understanding on engineering and removed my fear of the complexity of engineering, as I realised that it was conceptually simple. It inspired me today to have a career close to engineering, as I had always thought that engineering was tough and hence kept my thoughts away from engineering. But now that I'm a bit enlightened on the thing, I aspire to take a career close to engineering. Hence, I feel that this project has made a big impact on me, which can and will be applied to my life
    • Insights
      • Today I managed to clear the confusion I had about the topic of tensile forces in engineering with the mentor. After the long and troublesome moments of trying to understand about tensile forces while arguing with my mentor back-and-forth about it, I finally got the hang of it and understood the topic. I would like to give a shout-out to my mentor, Mr Zhong Han, for clearing my doubts. On a side note, I hope I didn't confuse him along with me too… XD

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