Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Materials 2

Module aims

Provides the tools and understanding to predict component failures under multiaxial loading 

conditions due to yielding, fracture, fatigue and creep mechanisms, to identify these failure mechanisms in practice, and to design against them.

ECTS units: 5

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to:

• Understand the basic dislocation behaviours in single crystals and polycrystals 

• Understand the key strengthening processing in alloys  

• Recall the common corrosion types and understand their mechanisms  

• Recall the principal phenomenological laws of material behaviour under stress and strain

• Discuss, using appropriate terminology, the factors leading to failure of materials and the procedures needed to avoid it

• Solve  problems involving the predication of fracture, fatigue and creep failure of engineering materials under multiaxial stress conditions

• Correlate possible failure mode with experimental conditions and material properties

Module syllabus

• Strengthening of metals: Understand the basic of plasticity in metals via. dislocation flow. Then build on this to understand basic strengthen mechanisms such as work hardening, solid solution strengthening, grain size strengthening and precipitate hardening.

• Corrosion:  Principles of dry oxidation and wet corrosion; anodic-cathodic reactions; rusting of iron; inhibition by coating and alloying; galvanic corrosion; types of localised corrosion; corrosion protection; stress corrosion cracking.

• Yielding: Deformation under uniaxial loading; elastic and plastic deformation; true stress and strain; explanation of necking behaviour; effect of temperature; grain size effects; hydrostatic and deviatoric stresses; Tresca and von Mises criteria; isotropic and kinematic hardening. 

• Fatigue: High cycle fatigue, fatigue crack initiation and propagation (intrusions/extrusions, stage I and stage II cracks), S-N approach to fatigue; the effect of mean stresses, multi-axial stresses, and stress concentration; Miner’s rule, use of linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) in fatigue, Paris law, low cycle fatigue. 

• Fracture: Concepts of  brittle and ductile fracture; use of LEFM; fracture toughness KC (KIC for Mode I plane strain); plane stress and plane strain condition; mode of fracture on the microscale by microvoid formation and coalescence (ductile) or cleavage (brittle); the effects of temperature on fracture behaviour, the ductile-to-brittle transition, thermo-mechanical treatments for grain size control.

• Creep: Uniaxial creep behaviour of metals; concepts of primary, secondary, tertiary creep (revision of ME1 concepts); relation of creep to composition and microstructure; concept of diffusion, and homologous temperature; equation for strain rate in secondary creep; concept of creep rupture; equation for stress, time and temperature dependence of creep in metals; material selection criteria for creep.



Teaching methods

Allocation of study hours  
Lectures 22
Group teaching 11
Lab/ practical 0
Other scheduled 0
Independent study 92
Placement 0
Total hours 125
ECTS ratio 25


Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Grading method Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 1.5 Hour exam 95% Numeric 40% Y
Examination Progress test 5% Numeric 40% N

Reading list



Module leaders

Dr Catrin Davies