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Module Descriptor

MECH1006 Materials & Mechanics of Deformable Bodies

Code MECH1006
Alt. Codes(s) None
Materials and Mechanics of Non-deformable Bodies
Level 1
UCL Credits/ECTs 0.5/7.5
Start September
End June
Taught by
Dr Adam Wojcik (50%) Module Coordinator
  Ms Slyvia Schievano (50%)


This is a level 1 course and students are expected to have minimal base level knowledge of the subjects covered. An understanding of materials science benefits from a good working knowledge of basic physics and chemistry at pre-university level, although the course begins with a review of common school level matter such as atomic structure and bonding. For the mechanics side of the course, a competency with applied maths subjects, largely centred on statics, is assumed – so the ability to resolve forces and conceive of the action of moments, is expected. Some base level understanding of mechanical systems such as the way in which gears mesh or lever work, is beneficial.

Students considering registering for this course must have attained passes in A-levels or the equivalent that meet the minimum requirements for admission onto the undergraduate programmes in Mechanical Engineering.

Course Aims

The course splits into two basic threads covered by different lecturers and content. These are basic materials science and the way in which applied mathematics (mechanics) can be applied to materials and their use in structures and components. The principal aims are as follows:

  • To present students with the major theoretical concepts associated with materials science, such as bonding, atomic and molecular structure, phase equilibria, crystallography, and dislocation theory, so that a strong understanding of the relationship between structure and properties in materials can be developed.
  • To present and develop the principal methods and analyses associated with the mechanics and mechanical behaviour of engineering materials when under load, both in the elastic and plastic regimes, as appropriate to the material.

Method of Instruction

The course is delivered using lectures, tutorials and three laboratory based experiments.


The course is assessed via a conventional unseen written exam of 3 hours duration. This covers both major threads of the course – materials theory and mechanics. 75% of the credit for the course is predicated on this exam. The paper is split into two equal sections, with five questions to be answered in time available, and no more than three from either section. The course work (remaining 25%) consists of a three reports which are written in response to three laboratory sessions which are used to illustrate aspects of the course and to introduce students to the concept of materials testing and aspects of manufacturing. A mid sessional test is also used to assess students and forms part of the coursework mark.

Recommended Reading

General books on all materials (given below) provide the backbone for the bibliographic support for the course. Mechanics is covered by a range of book-based resources but a good representative offering is by Vable – Mechanics of Materials, OUP. Additionally, useful information on manufacturing techniques can be found in Kalpakjian & Schmid, Manufacturing Processes for Engineering Materials, Pearson.

  • Engineering Mechanics: Statics, R.C. Hibbeler (SI Units), Pearson. Prentice Hall
  • Engineering Mechanics - Vol 1: Statics, J L Meriam and L G Kraige. Wiley
  • Materials Science & Engineering. (8th ed, 2010 or 7th ed). W. D. Callister, D. G. Rethwisch. Wiley (hardback with good coverage of most topics, has either CD or web access).*
  • The Science and Engineering of Materials. (4th ed.) D. R. Askeland & P. P. Phule. Thompson/Brooks. (hardback, covers more than Callister in places + CD).*
  • Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers. (7th, 2009 or 6th ed). J. F. Shackelford. Pearson Education. (general text with emphasis on engineering applications, web access).


Basic materials definitions. Types of atomic bonding. Crystal structure of groups of atoms. Nucleation and solidification. Concept of alloys. Introduction to phase diagrams. Introduction to steels. Polymer basics, structure, formation and properties. Basic crystallography and the concept of slip in metals. Dislocation theory. Methods of hardening and strengthening materials. Stress and strain; analysis of bi-axial stress, thin walled vessels; Mechanical properties of materials; Design for axial loading; Torsion and bending.

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