MECH ENG 7020 - Materials Selection & Failure Analysis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

To introduce students to various tools that can be used to select the appropriate material 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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7020
    Course Materials Selection & Failure Analysis
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Assumed Knowledge Basic understanding of the properties and behaviour of engineering materials
    Course Description To introduce students to various tools that can be used to select the appropriate material 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.
    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 completion of the course, students should:

    1 Understand the process of materials selection and be able to use available tools for making decisions on materials selection for engineering applications.
    2 Understand 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 applications
    3 Understand the importance of environment with respect to energy consumption and recyclability of engineering components in selection of materials and fabrication process
    4 Understand and be able to identify the common modes of failure of engineering components
    5 Have, and be able to use, a framework for assessing engineering failures, including determining the mode of failure and making recommendations on failure prevention.
    6 To be able to incorporate the materials failure knowledge in selecting appropriate materials for engineering applications
    7 To work as a team member, plan and make decisions through effective communication.
    8 To be able to write a professional engineering report.
    9 Understand the need to undertake lifelong learning.
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 7-9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-9
  • 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

    Teaching and learning modes for this course are through contact lectures, tutorials, case studies and mini projects. The lectures provide the background theory for the subject, while the tutorial and case studies give students hands-on experience on materials selection and failure analysis. For the mini projects, the students learn how to implement the gained knowledge in manufacturing engineering components through appropriate selection of materials and manufacturing processes. The tutorial questions are expected to be answered by the students before the tutorial sessions (all marked as part of assignment) where the answers and explanations will be provided by the Tutor/Lecturer.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lecture Contact Hours: 24 hours
    Tutorial Contact Hours: 24 hours
    Assignments: 24 hours
    Mini Projects 24 hours
    Exam Preparation: 34 hours
    Total: 130 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    To introduce students to various tools that can be used to select the appropriate material for a given application.

    Examination of various failure modes to allow students to identify these modes in real samples

    Apply material selection and failure analysis techniques to failure prevention,

    Content: The concept of Materials Selection and Failure Analysis is an important issue in engineering design and fabrication, since on one hand the application of proper procedure for materials and process selection guarantees the production of sound and reliable engineering artefacts and on the other hand provides insights as why and how an engineering part has failed. The latter helps to identify the short comings of as-manufactured components and provide guidelines to avoid or mitigate future failures.

    For engineers to be able to implement the proper procedure for materials and process selection, they require to have a broad knowledge of materials properties and manufacturing techniques. Therefore, the current lectures are designed to provide such broad knowledge and cover the following topics;

    1- An introduction to design
    2- Engineering Materials and manufacturing processes
    3- Mechanical properties of materials
    4- Ductile and Brittle fractures
    5- Fatigue
    6- Creep
    7- Wear
    8- Corrosion
    9- Materials selection procedures and methods
    10- Effect of shape on materials selection
    11- Materials Processing selection
    12- Environmental/energy consumption issues
    13- Failure analysis of engineering parts
    14- Failure analysis-case studies
    15- Revision-Summary

    The above-mentioned topics are presented as overheads covering the main points while the details will be discussed during the lectures.

    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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

    The following is an outline of the assessment for this course. Please note that while every effort has been made to ensure that this information reflects an accurate plan, the coordinator reserves the right to make changes that ensure the continual improvement of the course. Any such changes will be made clear during the lectures and via MyUni.

    Component Weighting
    Course work 40%
    Final exam two-hour written examination 60% (compulsory)
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Completion of the tutorial work is required.
    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

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