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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Mechanical, Medical & Aero Engineering Short Name: SE0105
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: SMITH PA Prof (M, M & A Eng)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Autumn Semester

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
2 hr written examination
Coursework - One assignment

Both the coursework and the written examination will comprise multiple choice questions.


Module Overview



Normal entry requirements for Degree Programmes in Engineering

Module Aims
The main aims are to define and discuss the main mechanical properties and durability of engineering materials and to review the salient features of the main classes of materials in the context of these properties. In addition, factors relating to materials selection and design will be addressed. 
Learning Outcomes



The main aims are to define and discuss the main mechanical properties and durability of engineering materials and to review the salient features of the main classes of materials in the context of these properties.  In addition, factors relating to materials processing, selection and design will be addressed.



Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the mechanical behaviour of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites and the parameters which govern the use of these materials in engineering applications.


Module Content

(i) Generic topics in mechanical properties of materials


Introduction to topics to be covered and some definitions. [1L]



Stress-strain behaviour: Stress and strain – definitions.  Elastic, plastic and visco-elastic behaviour.  Stress/strain behaviour for metals, ceramics, elastomers and plastics.  Property data (modulus, yield strength, proof strength, tensile strength, ductility, toughness).  Structure-property relationships. [2L]



Materials selection in simple mechanical design: Specific stiffness and specific strength. Performance indices.  Case studies – materials selection for offshore structures, aerospace structures, bicycles and springs. [3L]



Overview of fracture and durability (creep, fatigue) of materials.  Definition of terms.  Fracture toughness as a material property.  S-N data in fatigue, strain-time response under creep conditions. [2L]



Fracture mechanics: Behaviour of materials containing stress concentrations and cracks.  Stress intensity factor and fracture toughness.  Energy release rate/toughness. [1L]



Fatigue: Predicting life of uncracked components (Basquin and Miner relationships).  Modelling fatigue crack growth – Paris relation and its application. [1L]



Visco-elasticity and Creep: Maxwell and Voigt models for polymers.  Dependence of creep rate for metals on stress and temperature.  Microstructural aspects of creep failure. [1L]



Oxidation: Linear and parabolic rate laws.  Mechanisms of oxidation (diffusion).  Effect of temperature. [1L]



Wet corrosion: Simple chemical cells.  Standard electrode potential and galvanic series.  Differential aeration.  Controlling corrosion in engineering structures. [1L]



(ii) Aspects of particular classes of materials


(a)    Metals – Overview of properties and processing [4L]


(b)   Polymers – principal classes, glass transition temperature, typical properties, processing and cost [2L]


(c)    Ceramics – engineering and traditional ceramics (including concrete); processing and properties (strength, “static fatigue”, thermal shock [1L]


(d)   Composites [1L]


(e)    Timber [1L]


(f)     Concrete [1L]



Revision [2L]


Methods of Teaching/Learning

26 lectures


6 supervised tutorial sessions


68 hours independent learning



Total student learning time 100 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading





Recommended texts for reference

M F Ashby and D R H Jones, Engineering Materials 1 and 2, Pergamon Press

Last Updated

30 October 2009