Metallic Bicycle Components

Length: 5 weeks (1 introductory lecture, 3 practical sessions, 2 group sessions and a presentation session)

Level: 2nd year Sports and Materials Science course

Aims: To illustrate why given materials are used for a particular application. To give students the opportunity to produce and analyse experimental data in conjunction with carrying out independent research on the topic. To help them to understand and interpret microstructures in relation to material properties.

Key skills: Group work, presentation skills, time management

Assessment: Group report and presentation and an individual executive summary



This is a group-based case study that investigates a number of bicycle components; frames, spokes and rims.  A range of metallic components have been obtained and prepared for experimental analysis.  You are expected to carry out practical work in

Optical Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Hardness Testing

You are also expected to carry out independent research on the topic.

Session 1

Introductory lecture

Background information

Group allocation

Practical Sessions

Due to time lab size restrictions, it is not possible for all students to attend all the experimental sessions. To tackle this problem, each experimental session is limited to two members from each group and different pairs are required for each session. This ensures that all students attend at least one practical session. Each group then has access to a complete set of experimental data, but this depends on good group management and communication 

Maximum 4 people per session

Maximum of 2 groups per session

Maximum of 2 people from each group

Bring a floppy disc

Group Session

All group will attend this session, and are expected to produce an A4 sheet outlining the progress of the group.  A 10 minute interview will be conducted with all group members and an attendance sheet will be used.  Marks will be lost for not attending.  The aims of the group sessions are as follows:

To ensure that progress is being made.

To enable appointments to be made with post-graduate students to answer specific technical questions.

To provide an opportunity for the group to meet and detail activities for the following week.

To ensure the egalitarian operation of groups.

Tasks

Explain why given materials are used for a particular application. 

Produce and analyse experimental data in conjunction with carrying out independent research on the topic.

Interpret microstructures in relation to material properties

Assessment

Each group must submit a single written report addressing the above tasks and summarising the main findings and conclusions drawn. The report is to be 1500 words long (about 4 pages) not including diagrams. Each group must also give a 10 minute presentation (40% of the case study mark). Ensure you introduce who you are and the main areas of your talk. Finish with a slide showing the main conclusions. Click for tips on presentations and reports.