jwstanly
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Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:40 pm

I have to do an IB Chemistry IA and I wanted to relate it somehow to aviation; however, I can't do anything super complicated though because I'm only a high schooler. Here are some possible topics along with research questions...

    *Fuels - comparing qualities, response to different variables/environments
    *Aluminum alloys - strength testing, response to different weather, idk
    *Antifreeze - how it works, how to strengthen, etc
    *Paint - UV radiation corrosion, high temperatures

This list could go on and on, but I'm curious what you all think is a good idea. All a topic really needs is just a chemical reaction(s) that can be extensively studied and extended. Also it's important to note I don't actually have to do any experimentation, I just have to find information online in papers and databases. Sorry if these ideas sound ridiculous/outlandish, this is my first time attempting to tackle aviation from a scientific perspective. Thanks for any help.
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WPvsMW
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:05 pm

Fuel is usually the largest ops cost for an airline. If fuel is cheap, labor is the largest ops cost.
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fr8mech
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:27 pm

jwstanly wrote:
*Antifreeze - how it works, how to strengthen, etc


Pretty much, not a thing in commercial aviation.

I guess you can talk about aluminum alloys and their properties. You can expand on how those properties change based on aircraft environment, e.g. bleed air temperature, exposure to various fluids (both organic to the aircraft and as cargo or contaminant), ambient temperatures and pressures, etc.
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fr8mech
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:45 pm

I was just familiarizing myself with the Nitrogen Generation System (NGS) on some of our aircraft. What happens is a chemical reaction. I'm sure there's plenty of open-source literature about the process.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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DocLightning
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:03 am

Airplane hydraulic fluid is an interesting topic. Why do they choose the ones they do? (Hint: temperature tolerance.)
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teachpdx
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:46 pm

It might be interesting to broaden it just a little bit and do a compare/contrast between aviation and another transportation sector or two... for example: the refining process for aviation fuel vs. diesel vs. gasoline. Or if you want to keep it totally within aviation, you could compare/contrast aluminum alloys with newer carbon fiber used in airplane structure.
Just whatever you do, make it a compare/contrast because it’ll make your project much more engaging than a single topic.
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Max777fan
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:38 pm

Going from the base, if physics is a choice, because chemicals would be referred only to certain parts of the airplane (which at its most you can find the major part also in any transportation media), why not how air trough speed vs a wing profile, generates lift. That could be extended to propellers and engines as well, as long they turn blades. Same principle. Tell us how it goes. Best of luck.
 
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Erau82
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:36 pm

If you’re allowed to use a small amount of mercury (1-2 cc), study the contamination effect on aluminum alloy. I remember 2 spills in the cargo area and one plane was scrapped years ago when I was at a large airline. Urine degradation is another big issues with horse transportation.

I did a quick study of corrosion inhibitors on aluminum years ago and since we were in Florida, I had the panels cycle in and out of seawater using tidal affect. Great accelerated test.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:21 pm

Erau82 wrote:
Urine degradation is another big issues with horse transportation.


In human transportation also. I’ve see a whole lot of corrosion in the ass end of air transport aircraft before.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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FlyHossD
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 pm

De-icing and anti-icing fluids might be worth some investigation, too. Good luck.
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afterburner
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:34 am

How about writing about chemical oxygen generator?
Both my kids were IB students. So I know how important this project is. Good luck! :)
 
TOGAThrust
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:38 am

Lots of interesting suggestions from people far more experienced and knowledgeable than myself. In fact, I looked into the fuel tank inerting system mentioned by a previous poster when I was doing my Chemistry IA back in 2016.

However, the trouble with the IA is that your lab time is strictly limited, which restricts what you can study. You've got to strike a balance between streamlining your experimental method and oversimplifying to the point that your findings are of too little significance. Speaking from experience, data- and simulation-based investigations don't always go down well with the external auditors.

At the end of the day, I relented and did something very conventional for my SL Chemistry IA, instead opting to investigate the characteristics of various aerofoils for my Extended Essay and HL Physics IA. My advice would be to start with your textbook - Materials (Option A) and Energy (Option C) would be where I'd look - and work from there. The challenge is to investigate relatively pedestrian concepts in the context of aviation.

Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you need to bounce your ideas off someone.
Regards,
TOGAThrust
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Topics for high school chemistry project (IB Chemistry IA) related to aviation?

Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:04 pm

Anodising versus paint, improved corrosion protection and fatigue life.

The latest F-35 bulkheads are anodised. In 10 years time I reccon most airline parts will shift from paint to anodised.

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