University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6240-6246
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1488
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Enhancing the practical learning of both undergraduate and postgraduate students is a crucial objective of new educational programs, as well as the current European Higher Education Area system (EHEA). Among other topics, teaching on Materials Science present numberless opportunities to develop new training programs by introducing practical learning and merging it with results provided by applied research.

A rinsing topic on Materials Science is the Polymer Foams, which are biphasic materials in which a gas phase is dispersed throughout a solid polymeric phase. Polymer Foams present several diverse applications and properties, focusing the work of several research groups and companies around the world, and reaching a global market of 100 billion euro in 2016. However, training programs dealing with polymer foams are generally limited to theoretical learning of classic concepts, which most of the cases are quite difficult to visualize or adequately understand without complementary practical learning. With the aim to overcome the limitations of classical training programs on Polymer Foams, the Cellular Materials Laboratory (CellMat) of the University of Valladolid (Spain) has developed an innovative training program, taking advantage of its vast research expertise on the field.

The development of this new training program on Polymer Foams has pointed out that the X-Ray imaging techniques (e.g., radioscopy and tomography) are an invaluable tool to provide comprehensive knowledge to the students, as well as to ensure the fruitful learning of the most relevant concepts taught in the training program. For instance, X-Ray tomography is one of the most powerful structural characterization techniques. It allows obtaining full 3D reconstructions of the scanned materials by combining a collection of 2D projections of the sample rotating in equidistant angles. On the other hand, X-Ray radioscopy allows studying the in-situ evolution of complexes process, such as the production routes of the polymer foams. This work describes how and when the X-Ray imaging techniques have been introduced on the new training program on Polymer Foams. In addition, practical examples of the new information or enhanced learning provided by these techniques are explained in detail.
Tomography, radioscopy, practical learning.