The task proposed here has not been tested by any staff, nor by students from previous years. There is no unique solution to the problem posed. You also do not have access to a graduate supervisor.

The Task

You are provided with samples of:

		(a)	Steel 
		(b)	Aluminium 
		(c)	Copper 

Use an appropriate method to efficiently and economically produce a grain structure of size 25 micrometers in each sample.


You have access to the Class Laboratory, to the Departmental Library, and to some fabrication facilities. For safety reasons, fabrication facilities can only be used with supervision.


You have a maximum of two weeks to complete the task, including the submission of a single group report. The planning is otherwise up to you. Marks will not normally be given to those groups who fail to meet the deadline, which is a week after the completion of the experiments.

Suggested Method

  • (a) Begin with a brainstorming session within your own group. This means a free floating and listing of ideas, without worrying about the soundness or practicality in the first instance.

  • (b) Formulate a reasoned plan on paper. You can then consult a member of the academic staff. Each such consultant will only deal with one group, and will discuss the matter for no more than 30 minutes. The academic consultant will also ensure the safety of whatever you propose to do.

  • Implementation

    Implement the plan at will, making appropriate adjustments as necessary.


    Produce a group report which should include:

        (a) Proof of success. 
        (b) Cost analysis of the optimum methods proposed. 
        (c) Science in sufficient detail to enable a reproduction of your work. 


    The project will carry the usual mark for a single practical and all undergraduate members of a team will receive the same mark. Each member of the most successful team (including the academic consultant) will be rewarded with a Materials Designer T-shirt. Note that it is in your interests to avoid discussing your work with any other team.