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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5720M Structure-Property Relationships

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr RF Cochrane

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


The objectives of this module are to:
- apply a quantitative treatment to the properties of materials, and their origin;
- provide the scientific basis for the relationship between materials properties and their microstructure;
- give students the necessary background to understand the design of suitable microstructures to give desired properties across the full range of materials classes.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module, students should:
- be able to apply a continuum approach to the elastic and plastic deformation of materials;
- understand the origins of elastic behaviour of solids and its relationship to structure;
- understand the principles of non-linear elasticity;
- understand the origin and application of linear elastic fracture mechanics to brittle fracture and fatigue crack growth;
- understand the macroscopic aspects of the deformation and failure of materials by fatigue and creep and perform simple calculations to predict the lifetime of a component subjected to fatigue or creep using data obtained from standard tests;
- understand the micromechanics of deformation and fracture in materials, their relationship to structure, and the principles of microstructural engineering to control mechanical behaviour;
- understand the influence of composition and structure on the physical and thermal behaviour of materials by applying classical and quantum mechanical approaches;
- understand the mechanisms of interaction of materials with their environment: oxidation, corrosion, and degradation;
- be able to apply thermodynamic and kinetic principles to the analysis and prediction of rates of corrosion, oxidation and degradation;
- understand the influence of composition and structure on the chemical interaction of materials with their environment;
- be able to discuss the selection, performance and protection of materials in aggressive environments.


Mechanical Behaviour
Stress-strain relationships in linear elastic and non-linear elastic solids; plastic deformation of metals; strengthening mechanisms; plastic deformation of polymers; fracture: fracture of brittle materials; brittle-ductile transition; fracture of semi-brittle materials-crack-tip plasticity; micromechanisms of plastic deformation and fracture; fatigue: characteristics of fatigue crack nucleation and growth; the Paris Law and lifetime predictions; creep: characteristics of the creep curve, creep mechanisms; rupture life predictions.

Physical Properties
Waves and vibrations in solids; thermal conductivity; electrons in solids: classical theory - Drude-Lorentz model; electrical resistivity of metals; ionic conductivity; semiconductors; p-n junctions; magnetism and magnetic materials.

Chemical Behaviour
High temperature oxidation of metals and degradation of non-oxide ceramics; corrosion of metals: types; thermodynamics and kinetics; protection methods; degradation of polymers.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours14.00
Private study hours74.00
Total Contact hours62.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent on-line blended learning which consolidates and extends the lecture material and allows students to assess their progress via integrated quizzes;
Revision of lecture material in preparation for tests (20 hours);
Preparation of case study and laboratory report (60 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance in formative tutorial and practical classes and in formative quizzes integrated into on-line learning resources. Performance in tests and assignments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentPractical Report40.00
In-course AssessmentClass Test (Physical Properties)15.00
In-course AssessmentClass Test (Chemical Behaviour)15.00
In-course AssessmentClass Test (Mechanical Behaviour)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:30


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