Project Examples

Research Chemical Structure, Morphology, History, Properties, and Applications of a Synthetic Polymer used for Fibers

Course: 226.215 Plastics Process Lab I
Semester: Spring 2007
Instructor: Carol Barry
Partner:American Textile History Museum

SDiane Fagan-Affleck presented the American Textile History Museum and its needs to the students. Then the student teams were asked to 1) research the chemical structure, morphology, history, properties, and applications of a synthetic polymer used for fibers, 2) create a PowerPoint presentation covering the results of their research, and 3) develop concepts for hands-on activities using the synthetic fiber. These presentations and activities were presented during the final exam.

26.215ResearchChemicalStructure

The students teams were asked to 1) research the chemical structure, morphology, history, properties, and applications of a synthetic polymer used for fibers, 2) create a PowerPoint presentation covering the results of their research, and 3) develop concepts for hands-on activities using the synthetic fiber. All eight groups produced good presentations that provided the American Textile History Museum with information about a range of synthetic fibers, including cellulosics (rayon), nylon, elastane (spandex), polyacrylonitrile (acrylic), polylactic acid, polypropylene, carbon fibers, and polyester. Several groups created hand-on exercises, such as a activity examining wicking fibers, that need further development. The polyester group, however, produced an excellent mock of conventional and microdenier fibers. This demonstration was tested with high school students in an after program, middle school students in women in science event, and with the general public for the NanoDays events at the Museum of Science, Boston. This last activity is a winner and the Museum of Science also asked for working copy.