I thought I had all the time I could possibly need when my final projects were assigned on the first day of classes. But the amount of work I seem to be putting into them recently has justified why they were assigned on the first day of classes. I have two final projects this semester, one for my Steel Design class and the other for my Mechanical Behavior of Materials class. But the one I find to be most interesting is my Mechanical Behavior of Materials project, mainly because we were given the chance to choose our topic, the material we want to test and the type of experiment we want to do to test the material. Basically, we were told to do whatever we want to do, not really a choice one gets when it comes to most final projects.

My partner and I chose to work with carbon fiberglass, we decided to wrap a concrete column with the fiberglass instead of using steel reinforcement and bend the column to see how much load it can take before it breaks. We will compare this result with the result from a regular steel reinforced concrete column. The technical details of the experiment might be slightly boring for a blog, but however, the amount of unanticipated labor we had to put into this project definitely is entertaining enough to be part of my weekly blog. One of the very first things I learned when we started working on this project was not to wear my favorite pair of jeans on the day we would be mixing concrete, I very much was enjoying the hand-on learning experience, but having concrete mix all over my jeans wasn’t a collateral damage I had anticipated. I also learned that while I’m working with a large amount of epoxy glue, having such a strong glue all over my hand wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  It made me appreciate the small details that go into construction though when I had to measure the amount of water to put into the concrete mix into the accuracy of a second decimal.

We haven’t started testing our columns yet so I can’t really say how successful it will be, but I sure am curious as to how the final results of our project will turn out to be.