MTE2546 - Mechanics of materials - 2018

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 Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nick Birbilis


Dr Laurence Brassart

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


This unit deals with the mechanical behaviour of solids subject to external loads. The basic principles of solid mechanics will be introduced, including kinematic relations, equilibrium equations and constitutive theories, in order to formulate a set of governing equations needed for solving general boundary value problems. In addition to presenting solution techniques, this unit puts emphasis on model development, since many problems in materials mechanics first require the formulation of modelling assumptions. Solid mechanics principles and modelling assumptions will be illustrated in a number of cases of practical engineering relevance, including axial and torsional loading of bars and bending of beams. Failure criteria for brittle and ductile materials (the yield criteria) will also be introduced.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Describe the mechanical state of a material element using the concepts of stress and strain, starting from a physical description of the applied loads.
  2. Formulate an appropriate set of governing equations and boundary conditions needed for solving solid mechanics problems, including kinematic relations and assumptions, equilibrium equations, and constitutive relations.
  3. Calculate the fields of displacement, strain and stress in slender bodies subject to axial loads, torsional loads or bending.
  4. Predict the onset of failure in loaded bodies using brittle fracture criteria or yield criteria.
  5. Describe and compare the main features of constitutive theories for elastic, thermo-elastic and elasto-plastic behaviour of materials.


Continuous Assessment: 40%

Laboratory work: 10%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

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

2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of tutorial and 8 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study