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ESA / Education

Quick Facts

Subjects: physical sciences and engineering
Level: upper secondary
Languages: English
Type: teaching materials and resources
Format: website

The IMPRESS Project, coordinated by ESA, combines the expertise of over 40 research groups from academia and industry. The scientific objective of the project is to fully understand the link between material processing, the microstructure of the resulting material and the final properties of new intermetallic alloys. These special crystalline alloys are one of the key materials of the future, with many different applications ranging from aerospace components to power generation systems.

The website

The IMPRESS educational resources are intended to support pre-university students in their studies of the physical sciences and engineering. They cover subjects as diverse as heat transfer, materials science, catalysis, and circular motion. The website also offers animations and simulations.

In detail, the topics covered are:

Heat transfer - convection, conduction and radiation, also heat pipes to control heat transfer by evaporation and diffusion.

Solidification - cooling curves for pure substances and mixtures. Phase changes, crystal growth, alloys, solid solutions and dislocations. Phase diagrams.

Mechanical properties - stresses, strains and strength. Young's modulus and many more. Hardness and toughness. Creep, fatigue and crack propagation.

Catalysis - homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, promoters. The Haber and the contact processes. Spongy nickel catalysts, hydrogenation and hydrogen fuel cells.

Circular Motion - centripetal or centrifugal? Centripetal forces and accelerations, centrifugal casting.

Microgravity - weightlessness or free fall? Achieving microgravity: drop towers, parabolic flights, rockets and roller coasters. Research in microgravity.

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