25 Jun 2011

Demonstration on tempering of iron

In-Class Activity

Submitted by Lee Park, Williams College

This is a simple and quick demonstration of the process oftempering of a solid, and the dramatic change in physical properties that can result.  (Adapted from a suggestion made by Marc Richard, Richard Stockton College.)

This demonstration could be used in the context of a unit on solid phase morphologies or materials chemistry.  But it could equally well be used (with an abbreviate explanation) to illustrate the formation of kinetic vs thermodynamic products by altering the means of fabrication.

File Piano wire demo.docx157.84 KB
Learning Goals: 
The students will observe the effect of thermal history ("processing") on bulk physical properties and see an illustration of the variety of solid phase morphologies observed for an alloy. 
Equipment needs: 

A small Bunsen burner, three lengths (8 inches) of piano wire, a beaker of ice water

Time Required: 
5 minutes
Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

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