Objective:To demonstrate how the preparation (design) of a material can affect the final material properties and to provide an introduction to composites. Description: This is an experiment with various water to cement (w/c) ratios to determine the amount of water that should be added to a set amount of Portland cement and reinforcement to create a workable cement paste. · The students will evaluate the influence of the w/c ratio on the strength of their reinforced cement paste pucks. · The students will create a new mix design based on the results of the first round of pucks. ◊How much water should be added? ◊How much reinforcement should be added? · The students will evaluate the second mix design in terms of strength of their reinforced cement paste pucks.
Background information: · Composite materials exhibit characteristics different from the characteristics of the individual materials used to create the composite. · Concrete is the most commonly used human-made composite (and one of the oldest). · Concrete is composed of Portland cement, water, sand, and gravel. Its final material properties are dependent upon how much of each individual material is used. · Portland cement is a ceramic material that, when combined with water, forms the building block of concrete.