Faculty of Engineering

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Engineering
Organisational UnitDepartment of Materials Engineering
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Y-B Cheng


The first part of this unit will focus on structural ceramics including zirconium oxides, silicon nitride, sialons, silicon carbide and ceramic particulate and fibre reinforced composites, their processing and applications. The crystal structures of the different materials and their properties will be correlated. Examples include cutting tools, wear parts and advanced refractories. The second part of the unit will introduce functional ceramics, predominantly those used in electrical or electronic applications, their microstructure and nanostructure. Examples include thermistors, varistors, capacitors, multi-layer substrates, piezoelectric and electrooptic transducers, and gas sensors.


To develop:

  1. A knowledge of the fabrication methods, property measurements, sintering and microstructure of a range of advanced ceramics and an understanding of how these factors affect the mechanical, physical and electrical properties of the materials.

  1. An understanding of the different classes of functional ceramics used for example as electrical, optical, wear resistant and gas sensor materials

  1. An understanding of the criteria for selection of advanced ceramics for various applications. An analysis of the reason(s) for the selection of a particular material for a particular application

  1. A detailed practical appreciation of the fabrication and testing of several structural and functional ceramics.


Laboratory work: 15%
Two written assignments: 20%
Examination (3 hours): 65%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

3 hours lectures/tutorials, 8 hours of private study per week and 9 hours laboratory classes per semester