Tutorial Modules for the Study of Phase Equilibrium Diagrams


Understanding and interpreting phase equilibrium diagrams is an essential skill for materials engineers. Extensive collections of diagrams are available, making this a resource that can be used to design process cycles, determine reaction paths, and predict thermodynamic compatibility. Hence, courses in phase equilibria are ubiquitous in materials programs. The most difficult skills to master in these classes involve the visualization of the response of complex systems to changes in temperature and composition. At the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR), students have developed a series of computer-based tutorial modules that cover topics from the undergraduate course in phase equilibria. Students designed the modules to help future classes understand difficult concepts. Each student selected a subject, outlined the approach, prepared a detailed plan, and then constructed the presentation. Students were also required to present their modules to the class. Individual modules cover one, narrow topic that is important when studying one, two, or three component phase diagrams. Topics range from the use of the lever rule to the construction of vertical sections in ternary systems. With student permission, the modules were posted on the class web page. 1 This past year, students prepared twenty-two tutorial modules. Because the tutorials are graphics-intensive, they provide the greatest help when they cover topics that require visualization skills. After posting on-line, the modules are a source of help that supplements material covered in lectures and in the text. The modules are available for students in future classes and for anyone else that needs to learn to interpret or analyze phase diagrams.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors (2001: Jun. 24-27, Albuquerque, NM)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Lectures; Materials engineer; Phase equilibrium diagrams; Tutorials; Composition; Curricula; Engineering education; Engineers; Phase equilibria; Planning; Students; Thermodynamic; Phase diagrams

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2001 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

27 Jun 2001

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