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ON STRESS ANALYSIS LEARNING: STRESS MEASUREMENTS BY LASER ASSISTED SPECTROSCOPIC TECHNIQUES

The integration of new technologies in the learning process became a specific research field during last years. Mainly focused on information technologies, the formerly obsolete learning procedures were able to catch the fast progress of professional practice. In the framework of engineering curricula it is frequently accepted that new procedures and new equipment must be presented to the students as soon as introduced in the on-going activity. Moreover, the incorporation of innovative procedures and advanced equipment to daily lessons is one of the purposes of research activities carried out at engineering schools, which benefits the specific learning outcomes. The students’ knowledge of the newest technologies is considered an important contribution to modernize industrial networks; the consolidation of research activities in private institutions is a very important aspect in countries with low technological activity. In addition, the approach of non-traditional education procedures works as motivating agent for both students and lecturers. The incorporation of research facilities to practical learning promotes not only an expansion and an enhancement of the student understanding, but also the optimization of the lecturers’ knowledge in their role as learning conductors.

This work proposes the application laser assisted Raman spectroscopy combined with traditional testing methods as hands-on learning activity for mechanical engineering and materials engineering students. The fundamentals of the phenomena are presented to the students by means of an interdisciplinary approach from materials science to applied continuum mechanics. The analysis of the stress and strain fields of polymer samples, under different loads through the experimental determination of the Raman spectrum at different points, allows the students to realize the capabilities and limitations of this non-destructive method, and the comparison with those of other experimental methods, such as the employment of strain gages, x-ray diffraction, or the photoelasticity based method. The use of laser assisted Raman spectroscopy can constitute a step forward for the learning of experimental stress analysis. This work presents and discusses the design and development of this practical learning activity assisted by research technology