Testing Wood Composite Strengths

Testing Wood Composite Strengths


Cutting-edge research, at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, investigates methods that infuse polymer resins into fabrics, wood, concrete, ceramics and other materials to produce stronger, more durable composites. These composites have been found to be extremely useful for marine, automotive, construction industries and more. This activity allows students to create simple composite planks with baker’s dough and sawdust. The planks can then be tested and either different ratios of sawdust to dough or different types of sawdust can be compare to see which creates the strongest composite.

Next Generation of Science  Standards:

  • Properties of matter
    • MS-PS1-3, synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
  • Forces and interactions –
    • MS-PS2-2, motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • Engineering design
    • MS-ETS1-1
    • MS-ETS1-2
    • MS-ETS1-3
    • MS-ETS1-4,

NSTA Science Scope Article: Innovative Composite Research Modeled in the Middle School Classroom

Student Handout:  WoodCompositeStudent-PDFWoodCompositeStudent-doc

Video Overview:  Making&TestingComposites

Teacher Resources:

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