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Ceramics and Brittle Materials (MREN90004)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMREN90004
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students are introduced to ceramics in structural, electronic, magnetic and functional applications. Students are introduced to crystal structures of ceramics, including defects such as vacancies and interstitials. The attributes and features of different classes of ceramics including clays and porcelains, oxides and mixed oxides, carbides, nitrides, borides are presented as well as the attributes and features of glasses, cements and zeolites. The role of flaws in ceramics and brittle materials mechanical behaviour including Weibull statistics and processing defects is explained. Current and developing processing techniques for ceramics including dry pressing, colloidal (wet) powder processing and drying are taught. The science and technology of controlling suspension behaviour such as rheology and particle packing is covered. Sintering, densification and grain growth mechanisms are elucidated. The typical properties of ceramics are presented and explanation is given as to why ceramics have such properties, including, melting temperatures, stiffness, strength, toughness, electrical and magnetic properties and thermal behaviour. How thermal stresses develop is described and why these are important in ceramics is explained. The students are introduced to brittle fracture including Griffith’s approach as well as toughening mechanisms including phase transformation and interlocking grains.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Analyse processing-structure-property relationships in ceramics and brittle materials
  • Compare and select ceramic materials for structural, electronic, magnetic and optical applications
  • Explain the fundamental concepts behind brittle fracture
  • Explain how flaws and defects influence brittle material behaviour
  • Recommend the most appropriate processing to minimise flaws and defects in advanced ceramic materials
  • Manipulate phase equilibria and microstructural features to increase toughness

Generic skills

  • Capacity for independent thought Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution The ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding The ability to confront unfamiliar problems In-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline Ability to use a systems approach to design and operational performance Ability to plan work and to use time effectively Ability to apply engineering methods to solve complex problems.

Last updated: 22 January 2019