Materials ARC2723

Nils Gore, Assistant Professor

Materials Lab 3D: Drawing Conclusions about Mixes from Test Cylinders

You now have a spreadsheet half-full of data pertaining to the test cylinders we made. (See Brian Conner's sheet here.)

On Thursday, April 6 we're going to make some full scale blocks. Between now and then you (as individuals, not teams, because I want everyone to experiment with Excel.) need to analyze the data from the tests, and make some recommendations about appropriate mixes to use for different purposes.

First of all, you need to fill in the empty columns of the spreadsheet, and make a few adjustments to it, as follows: (Save your work frequently, as you experiment with Excel)

  1. For color and finish, make up a classification system and terminology which makes sense to you. It's probably not worth it to have more than 3 or 4 classifications. I realize these are judgement calls.
  2. Eliminate the Suitability for Molding column as it's not that meaningful.
    (How to delete a column: have your cursor somewhere in the column you wish to delete. Go to Edit/Delete… A little box pops up, and you select Entire Column).
  3. Use Excel formulas to derive the Density, by dividing mass/volume.
    (How to: type "=" in the formula box, then enter the formula using algebraic notation; click on the boxes you wish to use as "numbers". To multiply, use the "*" key. If you make a mistake Excel will let you know. [Example: =b7/c7<enter>.]
    If you do the formula right for the first row, then you can grab the little handle on the bottom right of the cursor box and drag it down, it will insert the formula in all of the boxes you highlight.
  4. Change the title of the Compr. Strength column to Weight Supported.
    (How to: Put you cursor box on the title, and type in a new name. Hit enter when done)
  5. Add a column to the right of Weight Supported where you will convert the Imperial weight supported to metric. Title it WS (Metric). Type a formula which converts pounds to kilograms. There are .4539231 kilograms per pound. Get it working right for the first row, then distribute the formula to the remaining rows as in step 3, above.
    (How to insert a column: Put your cursor box where you want to insert the column. Go to Insert/Columns. Excel will push everything to the right and insert the new column.
  6. Insert a column which is the new Compr. Strength column. Here type a formula which divides the WS (Metric) data by the area of the Cylinder. The diameter of the cylinder is 8.5 cm. (You figure out the area of the face of the cylinder.)
  7. Change the Strength/Weight title to Strength/Density. Type a formula which will fill in this final column using the metric strength divided by the metric density.

You will have to fix any inconsistencies in the lines/boxes/borders with the formatting tools. Use Bold as appropriate. Be professional in your presentation and output.

[Important: Confirm that all of your metric units are consistent. As I look at the above, I can see we are using grams, centimeters, kilograms, milliliters, etc. We need to have enough consistency that when we divide these units into each other, the answer will be right.]

In your Lab team: Using Excel as an analytical tool, by sorting different columns, mine the data to propose the following 8 mixes:

  1. The Strongest mix
  2. The Lightest (lowest density) mix
  3. The Strongest mix with the Best Finish
  4. The Lightest mix with the Best finish
  5. The Strongest, Lightest mix with the Best Finish
  6. The Strongest, Lightest mix with the Best Finish in 3 different colors. (3 mixes)

Provide your Excel data supporting each of the proposed mixes, in a concise format. (Don't hand in an entire spreadsheet for each mix.) Present this by having a Word document with the proposed mixes, and then paste in portions of the Excel spreadsheet as evidence for each mix.
(How to: Highlight the information in Excel. Go to Edit/Copy. Switch to Word, and paste. It will paste in the sheet with lines/boxes and everything.


On Thursday:

  1. As an individual, hand in the whole spreadsheet, with new columns added and data calculated.
  2. As a team, hand in a document which proposes different mixes and which is supported by evidence.
  3. Be professional in your presentations.