ME203: Materials and Materials Processing

Course Syllabus for "ME203: Materials and Materials Processing"

This self-contained course presents a sampling of the fields of Materials Engineering and Materials Science. This course is intended primarily for engineering students who are not planning to major in either Materials Engineering or Materials Science. We will focus primarily on the concerns of the materials engineer—the person interested in choosing materials to make a finished product. This selection is determined by compromises among material properties, ease of fabrication, and cost. In contrast, the materials scientist is concerned with understanding the relationships between material properties and the internal structure of a material—that is, atomic bonding, arrangements of atoms, grain structure, and other microscopically observable features. We leave most of these associations to advanced courses, which will use more chemistry and physics than needed for this course. The course is divided into four units: - Unit 1: Ways That Materials Can Fail – What Can Go Wrong? - Unit 2: Classes of Engineering Materials – What Do We Have? - Unit 3: Comparison of Engineering Materials – ­Which Is Best? - Unit 4: Processing of Materials – How Can We Shape It?

In Unit 1, we will look at available handbook properties and laboratory test results that characterize a material’s strength or weakness to failure. We will concentrate on mechanical property failures, leaving electrical and other types of breakdown to other courses. Our concerns will be: - Static, steady-state applied forces (Elastic Deformation) - Ductile materials (Plastic Deformation) - Brittle materials (Fast Fracture) - Cyclic, vibration forces (Fatigue Failure) - High temperature environments (Creep Deformation) - Corrosive environments (Oxidation and Wet Corrosion)

In Unit 2, we will identify four major classes of the tens of thousands of available materials: metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials. We will examine specific examples from each category. Unit 3 is a synthesis of the first two units. We will see the consequences of the numerical handbook values defined in Unit 1 in evaluating the materials in Unit 2. In Unit 4, we will look at how we process our materials to obtain the desired configurations for our products. Your study will include a look at casting, mechanical forming, sintering, and joining. Not all materials can be processed with all procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe the common mechanisms by which engineering materials fail;
  • associate common descriptive words like strong, tough, and brittle with engineering handbook values;
  • describe the laboratory tests that measure these handbook values;
  • describe the general internal structure of each major class of engineering material: metals, plastics (also known as polymers), and ceramics;
  • compare the strengths and weakness of the major materials classes;
  • identify examples of combining materials from different classes to fabricate composite materials, often with unique properties;
  • select candidate materials for various engineering design scenarios;
  • rank competitive materials using handbook data;
  • identify the principal concerns of common materials processing techniques; and
  • examine advantages and disadvantages of alternative processing techniques when selecting materials.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have mathematical competence to at least the level of MA001: Beginning Algebra. It is recommended that you complete the following courses, though these are not prerequisites: MA101: Single-Variable Calculus; PHYS101: Introduction to Mechanics; and CHEM101: General Chemistry I.

Course Information

Welcome to ME203. General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer: Professor Richard J. Greet

Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials: text material specifically written for this course, videos to illustrate and amplify the course material, and computational exercises with worked-out solutions.
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. You will also need to complete the Final Exam.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all of the resources in each unit.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 100 hours to complete. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories, to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take 30 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 4 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 5 hours) on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: This course deals with the engineering materials that surround us and that we use every day. Identifying associations in addition to those mentioned in the course will enhance the excitement of learning. Throughout the course, key words that might be typed into search engines to help enhance your knowledge about definitions of terms and concepts will be identified by bold font. A word of caution: most searches will contain references to Wikipedia. Generally, the accuracy of Wikipedia in the sciences is very good, but because anyone can post on a wiki, Wikipedia information should be checked with other references.