Materials Failure (MECH5304)


Develop advanced knowledge and skills in diagnostic analyses of materials failure using advanced techniques; enhance students' ability in handling complex engineering cases using interdisciplinary technologies; and provide students an opportunity to understand project research.
Students will attend a series lectures on failure analyses of engineering materials addressing brittle rupture/fracture, yielding, cleavage fracture, fatigue and creep failure of engineering materials under static and dynamic loads. Students will also attend short introduction courses on optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to gain some essential knowledge in diagnostic and forensic analyses of materials failure. Each student participates in a couple of group projects relevant to diagnostic analyses of failure of typical engineering materials such as steel, aluminium, magnesium alloys, engineering plastics and advanced fibre composites. Under the guidance of the supervisor, the student will learn how to initiate a proposal on failure analysis, how to do the project investigation and how to prepare and carry out technical communications (oral presentation and discussion between groups). In any of these scenarios, the student is directly responsible for the progress and quality of the results. At the end of the semester, the student is required to submit a written project report and to give a seminar presenting the aims and achievements of the project.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures, Tutorials, Laboratories


Through semester assessment (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(AMME9301 OR AMME2301) AND (AMME9302 OR AMME2302 OR AMME1362) AND (MECH9361 OR MECH3361) AND (MECH9362 OR MECH5362 OR MECH3362)

Assumed knowledge

Fundamental knowledge in materials science and engineering: 1) atomic and crystal structures 2) metallurgy 3) structure-property relationship 4) mechanics of engineering materials 5) solid mechanics

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.