1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with composite materials and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate and prevent, and respond to these hazards. Describe the appropriate safety gear and clothing that should be used when working with composite materials.
Scouts should review this requirement and its component and be prepared to explain and describe as necessary their ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered in when working with composites and on this merit badge as well as proper safety gear and clothing that should be used. Scouts may find it beneficial to make notes to bring to class for reference when completing this part of Requirement 1.
b. Explain the precautions that must be taken when handling, storing, and disposing of resins, reinforcements, and other materials used in composites. Include in your discussion the importance of health, safety, and environmental responsibility and awareness.
Scouts should utilize the Composite Materials Merit Badge pamphlet to review and prepare for explanation during the class to the counselor their understanding of precautions that need to take place when working with composites.
c. Describe what a material safety data sheet (MSDS) is and tell why it is used.
Scouts will have an opportunity to share their understanding and findings for this requirement
component during the class. It is strongly recommended that Scouts review the merit badge pamphlet to be prepared for completion of this requirement
component during the class. Only Scout that have prepared and are able to show competence in understanding the details of this requirement
component will be considered for sign of on this component of the requirement.
2. Do the following:
a. Explain what composite materials are. Include a brief history of composites and how they have developed.
Scouts will want to utilize the Composite Materials Merit Badge pamphlet and other sources to formulate their response to this component. It is recommended that Scouts prepare any notes or other items to bring to class in order to help support their explanation during the class.
b. Compare the similarities and differences between composites and wood, aluminum, copper, and steel. Describe the physical, electrical, mechanical, corrosive, flammability, cost, and other such properties. For each of these raw materials, give one example of how it can be shaped and used for a specific application.
While the counselor will help facilitate the first part of this component of Requirement 2, Scouts will need to be prepared to give examples of how each of the mentioned materials are shaped and their applications. Only Scouts who have shown they have come to the class prepared and knowledgeable on this component will have an opportunity to be signed off.
3. Describe how composite materials are made. Then do the following:
Scouts should be prepared to describe and discuss how composite materials are made. The counselor will facilitate this discussion during the class.
a. Discuss three different composite reinforcement materials, their positive and negative characteristics, and their uses. Obtain the MSDS for each one and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these materials.
Scout will need to bring to class with them the MSDS sheets for the materials they chose for this component and be ready to discuss and share their findings.
b. Discuss three different resins used in composites, their positive and negative characteristics, and their uses. Obtain the MSDS for each one and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these materials. Include thermoset resins and thermoplastic resins in your discussion.
c. For each of the three resins you chose for requirement 3b, think of a new application that might be worth developing.
Scouts will want to be prepared for discussion by reviewing the merit badge pamphlet and other available sources to complete these parts (3b and 3c) of Requirement 3.
4. With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval do ONE of the following:
a. Visit a company that manufactures or repairs products made with composites. Discuss what you learn with your counselor.
b. Find three composites-related Web sites. Share and discuss what you learn with your counselor.
This requirement will NOT be covered in the class, however Scouts coming to the class having already completed one of these components will have an opportunity to share with the class and review with the counselor their accomplishment and findings for consideration of sign off on this requirement.
5. Do the following:
a. Use composite materials to complete two projects, at least one of which must come from the Composite Materials merit badge pamphlet. The second project may come from the pamphlet OR may be one you select on your own that has been approved by your counselor in advance.
b. With your counselor's assistance, find an appropriate site where the projects can be safely completed under your counselor's supervision and/or the supervision of an adult approved by your counselor who is knowledgeable about composites.
c. With your counselor, determine how the finished projects will be evaluated. Using those guidelines, evaluate the completed projects with your counselor.
While the class is structured to produce two projects, time will be the determinant as to whether they both will be completed as well as the Scouts attentiveness and ability to work efficiently. Each counselor chooses their own projects for each class. Scouts are welcomed and encouraged to bring any composite project they may have done ahead of time to share with the class and to be evaluated by the counselor.
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO BRING WORK CLOTHES FOR USE WHEN WORKING WITH COMPOSITES
6. Find out about three career opportunities in composite materials. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor and explain why this profession might interest you.
Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for completion of this requirement.