Ceramic and Composite Materials
This module allows the student to have a critical knowledge of engineering ceramics and composites. Engineering ceramics and glasses are in important classification of material and an understanding of these materials from their crystal structure and imperfections to their many astonishing applications including – thermal, electrical, mechanical and optical properties are explored. To evaluate the properties and gain knowledge of the various ceramic and glass structures and manufacturing processes must be characterised.
Composites in engineering are an amalgamation of metals, polymers or ceramics in various compositions or structures. This module will investigate the various manufacturing methods and properties of the different families of composites; metal matrix composites, ceramic matrix composites, polymer matrix composites, natural and structural composites. Applications of composite materials are very important in the world today due to the nature of the composites being tailored for a specific job. Within both classes of materials the non-destructive testing, joining and failure mechanisms and will be considered.
Materials in fuel cells, wind turbines, solar panels, offshore structures, pipelines, biomass, nuclear, hydrogen storage; catalytic materials, nanotechnology, processing techniques, heat transfer in materials, instrumentation.
Forensic Materials Engineering
Forensic materials engineering methods including macroscopic inspection, microscopic examination, chemical analysis and mechanical testing. Specifically this will cover:
Mechanical testing: stress-strain, creep, fatigue, impact, hardness, fracture toughness, abrasion, friction, tear, compression.
Thermal testing: Tg, Tm, flame testing, thermal analysis.
Optical and Electron Microscopy: lighting variations, scanning/transmission electron microscopy, preparation of specimens.
Detection and Identification: EDXA, chromatography, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption, mass and emission spectrography.
Optical testing: colour, haze, gloss, birefringence.
Non-Destructive Testing: X-radiography, -radiography, ultrasonic testing, dye-penetrant, magnetic particle inspection.
Processability testing: viscosity, cure shrinkage, orientation.
Test procedures: standards, need for testing
Environmental testing: chemical resistance, stress cracking, ageing, accelerated corrosion.
Fire performance testing: ignitability, spread of flame, smoke, toxic gases, LOI.
Solderability testing: solder balance, microscopic evaluation.
In addition to the above, the failure of products and processes will be considered together with case studies of major disasters where materials failures were considered significant contributors.
Metallic Structures: slip systems, imperfections, dislocation production and movement, diffusion.
Phase Diagrams and Transformations: eutectic, solid solution, partial, peritectic, intermediate compounds; structural transformations, hardenability; heat treatments.
Deformation: formability, superplasticity, hot and cold working processes; hardening and strengthening mechanisms.
Failure Mechanisms: creep, fatigue, stress raisers, fracture toughness.
Metal Processing: iron, steel, aluminium, copper, nickel
The student will learn about important elements of project management, such as planning, control, cost, problem solving skills, report writing and defend the outcome during a viva session. The project is normally completed during 13 weeks of full time research or part time equivalent, 26 weeks.
Structure, properties and applications of commodity, engineering and high performance thermoplastics and thermosets. Polymer blends, materials selection.
Smart Materials and Surfaces
Smart materials - structures, properties and applications
Substrate/coating bonding: structure of surfaces and interfaces, adhesion theory, surface energy.
Solid phase deposition: thermal spray, powder coatings, and enamels.
Liquid phase deposition: electrodeposition, electroless, and conversion.
Vapour phase deposition: CVD and PVD, ion implantation.
Surface properties and performance: residual stress, adhesion, friction, wear, lubrication, thickness, and roughness.