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Unit outline_

MECH8362: Materials 2

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit aims for students to understand the relationship between properties of materials and their microstructures and to improve mechanical design based on knowledge of mechanics and properties of materials. At the end of this unit students should have the capability to select proper materials for simple engineering design. Course content will include: short-term and long-term mechanical properties; introductory fracture and fatigue mechanics, dislocations; polymers and polymer composite materials; ceramics and glasses; structure-property relationships; selection of materials in mechanical design.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Mechanics of solids: statics, stress, strain

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Li Chang,
Lecturer(s) Li Chang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Type C, Canvas quiz (> 50 Hand 50% hand-written working analysis questions)
55% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Lab report
Students prepare the report to analyze the lab results independently
5% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Assignment 1
take-home, worked answer problems
5% Week 03 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Assignment 2
take-home, worked answer problems
5% Week 06 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
Canvas Quiz, including multiple choice, hand written analysis work question
10% Week 07 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 3
take-home, worked answer problems
5% Week 09 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
Canvas Quiz, including multiple choice, hand written analysis work question
10% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 4
take-home, worked answer problems
5% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Lab report: Each student is required to attend a lab session in one afternoon and submit a written report.
  • Assignments: There are a total of four assignments in the semester, Assignment 1 with some practical problems on basic mechanical behaviour of engineering materials. Assignment 2 on knowledge of failure analyses using failure and fracture criteria. Assignment 3 on fracture and fatigue analyses of engineering materials, and Assignment 4 on the exercises and the establishment of sound knowledge in fatigue, fatigue crack growth and creep analyses for engineering materials.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Please select a valid week from the list below Reading literature and practice assessment questions Independent study (80 hr) LO1 LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 01 1. Introduction and reviews on solids 1; 2. Engineering materials and material selection Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 The Elastic Moduli Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Composite materials, anisotropy of elasticity, case studies Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 04 Yielding strength, tensile strength and ductility Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 05 Strengthening methods and plasticity Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 06 Brittle fracture and fracture toughness Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Mechanisms of fracture and probabilistic fracture, case studies Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 08 Fatigue failure and characteristics of fatigue Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7
Week 09 Fatigue design, fatigue crack growth, life estimation on crack growth and case studies Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 10 Viscoelasticity, creep failure and case studies Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 Steel alloys and non-ferrous alloys Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 12 Oxidation and corrosion Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO2 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 13 Friction, abrasion and wear Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • M. F. Ashby & D. R. H. Jones, Engineering Materials 1: An Introduction to Properties, Applications and Design (4th).

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. graph simple equations representing material props, interpret graphs and communicate the outcomes
  • LO2. design simple engineering structural elements such as beams and thin-walled structures against plastic yielding, brittle failure, creep rupture and brittle fracture and fatigue with the concept of damage tolerance using the basic principles in materials selection
  • LO3. design a simple engineering structure by applying both criteria against plastic yielding and brittle fracture
  • LO4. evaluate fatigue failure in terms fatigue plot (S-N curve) and crack growth based on a fracture mechanics approach (stress intensity factor range)
  • LO5. analyse rupture life of stead-state creep as a function of stress and temperature
  • LO6. understand the processing-structure-property relationships of advanced engineering materials such as composite materials and high performance alloys
  • LO7. understand the general relationship between materials micostructure and mechanical properties (e.g. modulus of elasticity, yield strength, fracture toughness, fatigue, creep resistance, friction and wear)
  • LO8. characterize mechanical behaviours of materials including basic mechanical property, fracture, fatigue and creep resistance.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

According to students' feedback in last year, more online learning materials will be provided.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.