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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5375M Surface Engineering and Coatings

15 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Liuquan Yang

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in Physical or Engineering Sciences

Module replaces

MECH 5390M Tribology and Surface Engineering

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The development of Surface Engineering and Advanced Coatings is a National Competency according to the Technology Strategy Board. Materials interact with the environment through the surface interactions. The appropriate surface technologies are vital for the added value of engineering products. This module will introduce surface technologies across different manufacturing sectors from mechanical, automotive, medical, space and aerospace applications. It is expected the surface engineering methods and the surface characterisation techniques will be generally introduced.


(i) Justify the need for surface engineering and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of surface engineering and coating technologies.
(ii) Propose and justify the potential of surface engineering and coating technologies for the functionality of engineering products.
(iii) Analyse and evaluate surface solutions based on materials behaviour.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will have learned how to:
1. Adapt and relate the key concepts of surface engineering and coatings to create engineering solutions
2. Analyse and evaluate on surface engineering problems.
3. Evaluate mechanical engineering designs with regards to different surface engineering and coating methods
4. Explain/Describe the cutting edge and state of the art methods in the area of surface engineering and coatings research.
5. Propose/Propose the surface engineering and coating solutions to investigate new and emerging fields/industrial applications.

Upon successful completion of this module the following UK-SPEC learning outcome descriptors are satisfied:
A comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of the specialisation (SM1m, SM7M)
Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply a range of mathematical and statistical methods, tools, and notations proficiently and critically in the analysis and solution of engineering problems (SM2m)
Awareness of developing technologies related to mechanical engineering (SM4m)
Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to undertake critical analysis of key engineering processes (EA1m)
Ability both to apply appropriate engineering analysis methods for solving complex problems in engineering and to assess their limitations (EA6m, EA6M)
Awareness that engineers need to take account of the commercial and social contexts in which they operate (EL2, EL9M)
Advanced level knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components (P2m, P12M)
Understanding of the use of technical literature and other information sources (P4)
Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others, and the effective use of general IT facilities (G1)


- Introduction to Surface Engineering and Coatings
- Surface modifications techniques including heat treatment processes; diffusing principles
- Surface texture technologies
- Coating technologies 1: thin film depositions (PVD and CVD)
- Coating technologies 2: spray coatings
- Coating technologies 3: wet chemical processes including anodising, electroplating and light metal coating processes (PEO).
- Advanced Surface characterisation techniques
- Case studies in biomedical, space, aerospace, automotive/formula one, and mechanical engineering sectors based on surface modification techniques and coating technologies introduced.
- Surface improvement techniques such as advanced polishing methods for metal additive manufactured components.
- Focus topic 1 tribological applications
- Focus topic 2 corrosion resistance applications
- Focus topic 3 energy materials and surfaces (hydrogen, battery, and nuclear technologies)
- Focus topic 4 energy harvesting
- Focus topic 5 self healing coatings

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours115.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

5 x Seminars with open discussion on surface technologies with moderator and external industrialists
Group assignment seminar presentation/report and feedback
Monitoring of Minerva/Teams discussion board

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectWork in groups from the third week of the semester for 8 weeks to produce a group report and a group presentation40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 09/05/2023


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