HOW TO RELATE PRACTICAL TEACHING TO THEORY: THE CASE OF ELECTROCHEMICAL CORROSION FOR CHEMICAL ENGINEERS
University of Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In technical studies, some theoretical concepts are especially difficult for students. Among them, it is worth noting those concepts that are not directly linked to the main topics developed throughout the teaching plan. For the case of chemical engineers, the majority of subjects deal with the basic design of unit operations: mass and energy balances, reactors design, fluid mechanics, separation technologies, etc. On the contrary, mechanical design of equipments is a subject that does not receive such importance in the curricula of chemical engineers. Corrosion processes are inside the main topics related to the mechanical design of process equipments. From our teaching experience in the chemical engineering degree, we can conclude that chemical engineers find it hard to understand the basic concepts of electrochemical corrosion processes.
In this paper, we present a practical teaching methodology developed with the aim of helping chemical engineers to understand the basic concepts of electrochemical corrosion. In this practice, students evaluate the role of different chemical environments in the corrosion rate of iron probes. Moreover, they test the efficiency of two different methods for corrosion prevention: metallic cover and cathodic protection. Finally, they compare the behaviour of iron and stainless steel. At the end of the practice, students should answer several questions that help them to apply theoretical knowledge to the results find at the laboratory.
Keywords: Practical teaching, chemical engineering, electrochemical corrosion.