Faculty of Engineering

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Dr Bernard Chen/Professor Chris Davies



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Light weight composite materials are used widely in aerospace structures. They include carbon fibre reinforced plastics, glass fibre reinforced plastics, carbon laminates, composite panels, carbon mats and woven fabrics. Honeycomb structures, metal matrix composites, thermal ceramics and advanced materials. Light alloys: aluminium, titanium and magnesium. Thermoset and thermoplastic systems. Manufacture, processing and fabrication of aerospace materials. Net shape forming and structure-property relationships. Joining of composites. Properties and selection of aerospace materials. Degradation, failure modes, delaminating, bond failure, environmental and thermal degradation, fatigue and wear.


  • Understand the properties of aerospace materials, in particular the material anisotropy and how they relate to directional properties.
  • Understand processes used to manufacture and fabricate different composite materials and light alloys and how their properties can be altered by varying composition and process conditions and fabrication techniques.
  • Understand the factors that influence the performance and degradation of aerospace materials.
  • Appreciate the wide range of aerospace materials with high strength-to-weight ratios and advanced materials with specialized properties.
  • Optimize the performance and life of aerospace structures or components.
  • Appreciate research and new developments of advanced aerospace materials.
  • Ability to correlate of properties of aerospace materials with the design of aerospace structures and components.
  • Identify failure modes in composite materials and assess the impact of environmental and thermal degradation.
  • A practical understanding of the relationship between properties and performance of aerospace materials and applications in various aerospace components or structures.
  • An awareness of the advantages and limitations of aerospace materials.


Problem solving 15%
Laboratory work 15%
Examination (3 hours): 70%
Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

Six hours of contact time per week - usually 3 hours lectures and 3 hours practice sessions or laboratories as well as 6 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


18 engineering credit points at level two