MTE3541 - Materials durability - 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


Professor George Simon

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


ENG1050 or MSC2011 or MTE2541


MTE3510 or MSC3111


Corrosion of surfaces, chemical and electrochemical properties of interfaces, localised corrosion, protection of surfaces, techniques of protection, organic and inorganic surface treatments, bonding at surfaces, thermodynamics of surfaces and interfaces, adhesion and mechanical properties.


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

  1. Describe the factors that causes material wear and the practice of techniques for improving the properties of surfaces for engineering applications.
  2. Analyse and discuss the possible wear mode of a particular substrate and propose two ways of surface protection and properties improvement taking into account the selection factors for wear-resistant surface treatments.
  3. Conduct, interpret and analyse a laboratory experiment to understand two widely-used surface treatments for the production of surface with useful engineering properties.
  4. Discern the various causes and manifestations of corrosion, in particular with regards to metallic corrosion. Draws on practical examples from the built environment.
  5. Analyse the mode of corrosion occurring as a result of various material and environment combinations. Apply practical and relevant engineering solutions to a corrosion remediation scenario.
  6. Execute corrosion testing on a range of metals in the context of a laboratory experiment using environmental exposure and electrochemical methods. Appreciate the results in the context of materials selection and durability.
  7. Describe the factors that cause liquids to spread and adhesives to bond on a variety of surfaces of different structure and surface energy.
  8. Discuss in detail the factors that affect the adhesion of a particular adhesive-substrate pair from an example in the adhesion literature.
  9. Conduct, interpret and analyse a laboratory experiment which looks at the relationship between wetting and adhesion in a real system.


Practical classes: 15%

Multiple choice tests: 15%

Assignments: 30%

Examination (2 hours): 40%

Workload requirements

48 lecture/tutorials and 3 x 3 hour laboratory experiments per semester and seven hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

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