MECH ENG 7020 - Materials Selection & Failure Analysis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

To introduce students to various tools that can be used to select the appropriate material and fabrication route for a given application. Examination of various failure modes to identify failure mechanism in real life examples. Apply material selection and failure analysis techniques to failure prevention. Reviews of available materials, manufacturing processes and mechanical behaviour of materials including fracture, fatigue, creep, corrosion and wear are also included in this course. In addition the effect of materials' production and fabrication on the environment is discussed briefly.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7020
    Course Materials Selection & Failure Analysis
    Coordinating Unit Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge MECH ENG 2020 or equivalent
    Assessment Mini research projects for teams of 3-5 students & tutorials, quizzes, final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Reza Ghomashchi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Explain the process of materials selection and be able to use available tools for making decisions on materials selection for engineering applications;
    2 Explain the variety of fabrication routes and be able to use available tools to identify an appropriate fabrication route for a selected material for any engineering application;
    3 Explain the importance of environment with respect to energy consumption and recyclability of engineering components in selection of materials and fabrication proces;
    4 Explain and be able to identify the common modes of failure of engineering component;
    5 Use a framework for assessing engineering failures, including determining the mode of failure and making recommendations on failure prevention;
    6 Apply materials failure knowledge in selecting appropriate materials for engineering application;
    7 Use effcetive communication to work as part of a team to plan and make decisions;
    8 Write a professional engineering report; and
    9 Recognise the need to undertake lifelong learning.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Entry to Practice Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer. The course develops the following EA Elements of Competency to levels of introductory (A), intermediate (B), advanced (C):  

    C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C B
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Text book: There is no specific textbook suggested for this course, but a series of books and articles are consulted for lecture materials.

    Since a wide range of topics covered, there is not any textbook or specified reference book, but the following books, articles, internet websites (pictures and diagrams) were consulted in conjunction with the Lecturer’s own experience over the last thirty years to prepare the overheads. However, the Book by Prof. M.F. Ashby (Materials selection in Mechanical Design) is particularly a useful book for this course and is recommended as a useful addition to your personal library as it contains a large amount of data on materials and their applications in mechanical design.

    1- Ashby 2004, M.F. Ashby, Y.J.M. Brechet, D. Cebon, L. Salvo, “Selection strategies for materials and processes”, Mats. & Design, 25, 51-67, 2004

    2- Charles & Crane book(2nd edition, 1989), J.A. Charles, F.A.A Crane, “Selection and use of engineering materials”, 2nd edition, Butterworths,1989

    3- R. Ghomashchi Book, 1999, M.R. Ghomashchi, “An introduction to Engineering Materials”, University of South Australia, 1999.

    4- L. Edwards & M. Endean, (Editors)”Manufacturing with Materials”, Butterworth-Heinemann,1995, Open University

    5- M.F. Ashby, Butterworth-Heinemann ,2003, “Materials selection in Mechanical Design, 2nd edition, 2003

    6- M.F. Ashby, Butterworth-Heinemann, “Materials selection in Mechanical Design, 4th edition, 2011

    7- Kalpakjian book, S. Kalpakjian, “Manufacturing Processes for Engineering Materials”, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1991

    8- Callister Book, W.D. Callister, Jr, “Materials Science and Engineering-An Introduction”, 3rd edition,, Wiley and Sons, 1994

    9- TWI

    10- indonetwork

    11- C.R. Brooks & A. Choudhry, “Metallurgical failure Analysis”, McGraw Hill, 1993


    13- Dieter Book, G.E. Dieter, “Mechanical metallurgy”, 2nd edition, 1976.

    14- Zum Gahr book, Karl-Heinz Zum Gahr, “Microstructure and Wear of Materials”, Elsevier, 1987.

    15- Lansdown Book, A.R. Lansdown and A.L. Price, “Materials to resist wear”, Pergamon press, 1986

    16- Focusing on In-Situ Filtration and Filtration of Stored Lubricants by Paul Dufresne, CLS, CMRP

    17- R. Ghomashchi, research work, 1989, i) Ghomashchi, M.R,, "Microstructural Observation of M50 and T1 High Speed Steel during Sliding Wear at Room and Elevated Temperatures", Surface Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 3, P 225-231, 1994. ii) Ghomashchi, M.R., "Sliding Wear of M50 and T1 High Speed Steel at Room and Elevated Temperatures", Surface Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 1. Pp. 55-60, 1992.

    18- Wear Handbook, M.B. Peterson and W.O. Winer, Editors, “Wear Control Handbook”, Amer Society of Mechanical Engineers (January 1, 1981) ASME, New York,

    19- gearshub--gear-failure

    20- W.F. Smith- Book, McGraw Hill 1993, W.F. Smith, “Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering”,2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, 1993

    21- Shackelford Book, J.F. Shackelford, “Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers”, 3rd edition, Maxwell-MacMillan, 1988.

    The lecture notes are complemented with a set of problems to be solved and discussed during the tutorial sessions.

    Recommended Reading: MF Ashby, 'Materials Selection in Mechanical Design', Second or Fourth Edition, Butterworth Heinemann Publishing

    Experiments: None

    Online Learning

    Course material provided via MyUni including lecture overheads and tutorial solutions. There are also some suggested readings and information on materials relevant to lectures and tutorial questions.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.