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Module Descriptor

MECH3012 Production Engineering & Non-metallic Materials

Alt. Code(s)
Title Production Engineering & Non-metallic Materials
Level 3
UCL Credits/ECTs 0.5 / 7.5
Start September
Taught by
Dr Adam Wojcik (50%) Module Coordinator
  Mr Manish Tiwari (50%)


Students considering registering for this course would normally be expected to have completed intermediate courses in stress analysis and engineering materials, e.g. MECH2005 and MECH2011.

This is a level 3 course and students are therefore expected to have a sound basis in materials science as applicable to engineering contexts. This entails an understanding of the structure-property relationship in materials and the way in which manufacturing methods affect the latter. A grasp of the way in which mechanical properties are determined and how engineers utilize materials data to design with, and select, materials is assumed, (second level materials and mechanics knowledge is required). Additionally, a basic understanding and knowledge of polymer types and processing, how materials can be strengthened, how products and components are manufactured from materials, and the fundamental principles behind the benefits that composites offer engineers, are of great utility to this course.

Course Aims

The course splits into two basic threads covered by different lecturers and content. These are the advanced materials science of ceramics, polymers and composites, and the way in which applied mathematics (mechanics) can be applied to production engineering processes (of all materials, but particularly of metals). The principal aims are as follows:

1) To cover the three major categories of non-metallic materials that are encountered by engineers in the real world, namely ceramics, polymers and composites, in similar detail to the survey of metals in Year2.

2) To examine the role of non-metallic materials as adhesives in engineering.

3) To understand how all four categories of material are manufactured and how components and products are manufactured from them.

4) To review and apply analytical solutions to selected production processes.

Method of Instruction

The course is delivered using lectures, tutorials and two laboratory based sessions.


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 production engineering; 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 two reports which are written in response to the laboratory sessions which are used to illustrate aspects of the course and to introduce students to advanced concepts of materials testing and aspects of manufacturing.

Recommended Reading

The wide and detailed course content precludes the recommendation of one single course text, and students will benefit from searching out books on specific materials in order to answer detailed queries. The books listed below should prove useful as a method of supplementing lecture notes. The list is not exhaustive and a range of books need to be sought out. The list begins with general “background” books, which students should already have from their Level1 and 2 courses, but also includes those detailed texts relevant to the course.

  • Materials Science & Engineering. An Introduction*. (8th/7th ed). W. D. Callister & D. G. Rethwisch. Wiley. Hardback with good coverage of most topics, both have an associated CD or web access. You may already have this book from Year1/2. Its general coverage of polymers and composites is quite good.
  • The Science and Engineering of Materials*. (4th ed.) D. R. Askeland & P. P. Phule. Thompson (4th ed). Hardback, covers more than Callister but less deeply in some places, good on ceramics and polymers, comes with CD.
  • An Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers. (7th or 6th ed). J. F. Shackelford. Pearson. Up to date general text with emphasis on engineering applications. Better on processing methods than the two above.
  • Engineering Materials, Properties and Selection, 9th or 8th ed., K. G. & M. K. Budinski. Pearson. Very good on how & why materials are used, less good on theoretical aspects.


Polymers, viscoelastic behaviour, degradation. Ceramics, classes, mechanical properties, processing, strengthening mechanisms and structures. Fibres, types and classes, fabrication, mechanics of composite materials, failure mechanisms, interactions between fibres and matrix, applications and analysis. Slip line field: indentation, extrusion. Upper bound methods. Plate bending. Deep drawing; reverse drawing; wire-drawing. Orthogonal machining theories: cutting forces.

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