These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Which material and why

This is one of a set of resources produced in conjunction with the engineering company Arconic. The resources are designed to support teaching of key engineering concepts at both key stage 3 and key stage 4, including the new GCSE in Engineering. This resource focusses on selecting appropriate materials for an aerospace application.

When selecting materials for engineering applications, their properties must be considered. This ensures that that they are fit for purpose.

In this activity, learners will use their knowledge of properties to select an appropriate main material for the fan blades of a turbojet engine. They will learn about properties such as toughness, thermal resistance and creep resistance. It will build understanding of how to apply this knowledge when selecting a material for a real engineering application.

This could be used as a one-off main lesson activity, as part of a wider unit of work focussing on material properties and selection, or as part of a scheme on aircraft design using all of the resources developed in association with Arconic.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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