Materials into products

This module provides an overview of the manufacturing methods used to create components from metals, ceramics, polymers and fibre composites. Students will learn to identify the material, processing and design factors that determine a successful outcome in turning materials into products, covering form freedom, avoidance of defects, production rate, and the evolution of microstructure and properties.


Course leader

Dr Hugh Schercliff


Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module students should be able to:


  • Have a broad appreciation of the different materials processing methods used for metals, ceramics, polymers and fibre composites.
  • Understand the main interactions between process and material in design and process selection, for each of the main classes of material.
  • Understand the factors which control the microstructure of shaped castings, and their consequences for final properties and design of castings.
  • Know the main classes of polymers and composites, and understand the processing and design considerations in selecting these for a given component.
  • Know the main deformation processes for wrought alloys, and be able to conduct simple analysis of plastic deformation.
  • Know the microstructural characteristics of wrought alloys, and the reasons for alloying and heat treatment, with examples from Al alloys and steels.
  • Understand hardenability of steels, using CCT diagrams to select steels and heat treatments for a given component specification.
  • Understand the processes and issues in the manufacture of powder metallurgy and ceramic products.
  • Understand the importance of surface treatments and joining technologies, and know the main factors to consider in process selection.
  • Be able to apply their knowledge of materials processing, microstructure evolution, and the mechanisms of material degradation to analyse and predict failures and to improve product design.


100% by examination. Paper 1, single module paper common with IIA 3C1

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