Course Title: Apply Advanced Principles of Material Science to Engineering Applications

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: PROC5234

Course Title: Apply Advanced Principles of Material Science to Engineering Applications

School: 130T Vocational Engineering

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6069 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology

Course Contact: Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

George Zouev

+61 3 9925 4935

Dr. Frank (Yanan) Wang

+61 3 9925 4130

Dr. Daniela Achim

+613 9925 4523

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency sets out the knowledge and skills required to apply advanced principles of materials science to engineering problems applications. This includes the identification and description of structure and properties of materials, metallography, heat treatment processes for metals, strengthening mechanisms, surface engineering and failure mechanisms.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP264 Apply Advanced Principles of Material Science to Engineering Applications


Determine the requirements for applying advance principles of materials science to an engineering application.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 OH&S and environmental requirements for a given work area are obtained and understood.
1.2 Established OH&S requirements and risk control measures and procedures in preparation for the work area are followed.
1.3 Safety hazards which have not previously been identified are documented and risk control measures devised and implemented in consultation with appropriate personnel.
1.4 The materials science task is determined through request, design briefs or equivalent and clarified with appropriate personnel.
1.5 Expert advice is sought with respect to the materials science task and according to enterprise procedures where appropriate.
1.6 Safety hazards which have not previously been identified are documented and risk control measures devised and implemented in consultation with appropriate personnel.
1.7 Appropriate personnel are consulted to ensure the work is co-ordinated effectively with others involved at the work site.
1.8 Resources and equipment needed for the task are obtained in accordance with enterprise procedures and checked for correct operation and safety.


Select the appropriate testing regime.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 OH&S requirements for carrying out the work are followed.
2.2 Industry codes, regulations and technical documentation relevant to the materials science task are interpreted and understood.
2.3 Where appropriate, tables and graphs are used to obtain computational data.
2.4 The appropriate assumptions underlying the materials science task are made and recorded.
2.5 Resources required are identified, obtained and checked as fit for the purpose
2.6 The most appropriate computational method is selected and can be justified.


Undertake a solution.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 OH&S requirements for carrying out the work are followed.
3.2 Materials science task is performed and results recorded.
3.3 Decisions for dealing with unexpected situations are made from discussions with appropriate personnel, job  specifications and enterprise procedures.


Verify and interpret results

Performance Criteria:

4.1 OH&S requirements for completing the work are followed.
4.2 Results are verified, interpreted and discussed with appropriate personnel.
4.3 Where appropriate results are graphed or charted.
4.4 Results are recorded, stored and archived according to enterprise procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

The total number of scheduled hours of teaching, learning and assessment involved in this course includes all planned activities.

Students will participate in a variety of learning methods including: lectures, tutorials, practicals, class discussion,
group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations, and interaction with individuals and groups as required

Teaching Schedule

 Session Topic Content Delivery
Including Learning activities
Performance Criteria  Assessment
 1-2Structure of Materials

• Structure of Crystalline Solids
• Unit Cells
• Solidification
• Grain Boundaries
• Crystallography and Microstructures
• Microscopy
• Nucleation and Crystal Growth
• Amorphous Structures
• Metallic Crystal Structures
• Crystalline imperfection in solids
• Solid Solutions
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 3-4Polymer Engineering
• General Properties of Plastics
• Polymeric Materials
• Classes of Plastics
• Amorphous and Crystalline Plastics
• Designing with Plastics, Composites, Structural Foam and Elastomers
• Mechanical Properties
• Degradation
• Polymerisation Reactions
• Polymer Chemistry
• Structure of Polymers
• Glass Transition Temperature
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 5-6Ceramics Engineering

• Structure and Properties of Ceramics
• Mechanical Properties of Ceramics
• Physical Properties of Ceramics
• Traditional Ceramic Products
• Advanced Ceramics
• Structure and Properties of Glass
• Engineered Glass
• Glass Ceramics
• Sintering
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 7Composite Materials
• Classes of Composite Materials
• Structure of Composite Materials
• Designing With Composite Materials
• Processing Composite Materials
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
Laboratory Practical: Composite Materials

 1, 2, 3, 4 You will perform a laboratory practical investigation on previously manufactured composite material. You will determine the physical and mechanical properties of this composite. You will then write a typical scientific report on your investigation, presenting results and discussing your analysis and conclusions
 9-10 Alloy Systems
• Eutectics
• Solid Solutions
• Intermetallic Compounds
• Equilibrium Diagrams
• Solubility
• Precipitation
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 11 Laboratory Practical: Secondary Hardening of Alloy Steels 1, 2, 3, 4 You will perform a laboratory practical investigation to witness the effect of heat treatment on particular steel alloys. You will then write a typical scientific report on your investigation, presenting results and discussing your analysis and conclusions.
 12-13 Heat Treatment
• Steel Metallurgy
• Iron-Carbide Equilibrium Diagram
• Heat Treatment of Metals
• Strengthening Mechanisms
• Precipitation and Age Hardening
• Tempering of Martensite
• Thermal Processing of Metals Alloys
• Surface Hardening
• Surface Modification
 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 14-15 Failure Mechanisms

• Ductile and Brittle Fracture
• Fatigue Fracture
• Transition Temperature of Steels
• Toughness
• Stress Concentrations

 1, 2, 3, 4 Test scheduled for session 16
 16 Unit Competency Test 1, 2, 3, 4 Closed Book Test

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Workbook: PROC5234 (VBP264) Apply Advanced Principles of Materials Science to Engineering Applications, available from RMIT Bookshop
Textbook: Materials Science and Engineering, an Introduction; 7th Edition or later. William D. Callister, Jr. John Wiley & Sons – Publisher, available from RMIT Bookshop


Other Resources

Student Network Drive ’S’-drive

S:\Mechanical and Manufacturing Students\PROC5234 (VBP264) Apply Advanced Principles of Materials Science to Engineering Applications\George Zouev\

Overview of Assessment

2 x Practical laboratory reports 
1 x End of course exam

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1 – Laboratory Practical 1: Composite Materials

This assessment will focus on your ability to perform experimental work, record resultant data, observe outcomes, perform calculation and produce a report. This will involve the following criteria:

• Always take the view that you are writing it for people other than yourself and so make it simple, attractive, and readable by others.
• Your report must be concise and in your own words.

Typical elements of a good report are: 

1. Objective, purpose, or goal of the experiment or activity – a title.
2. Equipment used. Name and identify what you will need or use to accomplish your goal.
3. Brief outline of procedure to be followed in your own words.
4. Collect data and display either in tabular or graphical form. You may attach your raw data separately to your report but your final table or graph must be in a clean form to be seen by others.
5. Analyze data. What do those numbers mean? How to interpret the graph(s)?
6. Calculations. Show your calculations clearly. Be mindful of the accuracy – significant figures, percent error etc.
7. Conclusions. What have you learned from this experiment or activity? How well was the goal met? How reliable is your result? What further predictions can you make based on your findings? How do you account for any inaccuracies and how do you propose to remedy these if possible?

This assessment will focus on your ability to research and write a standard technical report focusing on the following criteria:

Locating (finding) 

Once the purpose, scope and requirements of the assignment have been defined, the process of locating relevant resource material begins. This involves:
• identifying what to look for and where to find it
• determining search terms and research parameters
• consulting library catalogues, databases, bibliographies, search engines, recommended texts, knowledgeable experts
• considering a range of sources, including books, journals, websites, people, images
• collecting and managing resources
• recording all relevant bibliographical details.

Selecting (sifting/choosing)

The information collated during the location stage may generate a redefinition or refocusing of the research project. Selection and evaluation of resources takes place to a certain extent during the location stage, but it is often better to collect more information than you need, at least initially. Careful evaluation of the assembled resources is necessary to ensure they are appropriate, authoritative and relevant. Selecting resources involves:
• identifying the source of the information
• focusing on the assignment topic to determine the objectivity, accuracy, currency, suitability and academic merit of the information
• skimming and scanning resources to sort information into categories
• taking brief notes and observing how different sources may relate to one another
• identifying questions or areas which may require further research
• establishing which are your principal and supplementary resource materials.

Organising (sorting/structuring)

This step of the research process requires a more detailed reading of the resource material and the development of a structure for the assignment. Here, the skills of notetaking and arranging information are necessary, as is:
• keeping your notes focused on the topic
• writing in your own words
• sorting information into categories
• considering how various elements of the topic connect to one another
• establishing a detailed plan or outline of the assignment
• developing an argument
• integrating sources and quotations effectively.

Presenting (synthesising/communicating)

Following the plan established in the organising stage, the task now is to write the assignment. Presentation of the research entails:
• pulling all the information together
• checking that information relates to the original question
• considering the sequence in which the information is arranged
• drafting and editing the assignment
• considering the purpose and audience for the assignment
• writing concisely, clearly and accurately
• proofreading
• following all appropriate academic conventions.

Evaluating (reflecting)

Although many people consider the research process to be over as soon as the assignment is submitted, it is important to reflect on what has taken place, in order to consider what has been learnt and improve next time. The evaluation stage involves:
• thinking about performance at each step of the process
• analysing how research skills or techniques could be improved
• reflecting on knowledge gained
• considering how this knowledge may be applied in other contexts.
The process of researching is iterative: this means that what you find will help determine what more you need to do. You will find that you collect information, think about it, return to it, discard it, add to it in the process of developing your response to an assignment topic. This process involves organising your approach.

This laboratory practical will have a weighting of 20% of the final overall assessment mark.

Assessment 2 – Laboratory Practical 2: Secondary Hardening of Steel

As per assessment 1.

This laboratory practical will have a weighting of 20% of the final overall assessment mark.

Assessment 3 – Final Test (closed book)

This assessment will focus on your ability to:

1. Prepare for materials testing and evaluation task, 2. Perform materials testing and evaluation task and
3. Complete and document materials testing and evaluation task.

It will require you utilise the underpinning skills and knowledge that has been demonstrated in the previous  sessions in your classroom and laboratory. You will be required to identify appropriate materials suitable for engineering applications, describe the classification of materials, describe the properties of materials and describe the factors that influence those properties to adequately demonstrate this competency’s elements.

The test consists of short answer questions and you will be required to perform calculations applicable to determining the strength of materials and be able to draw and identify graphs applicable in the determination of the strength of materials.

This test will have a weighting of 60% of the final overall assessment mark.

Assessment Matrix

Competency / ModuleAssessment 1
Assessment 2
Assessment 3
Performance Criteria 1YesYesYes
Performance Criteria 2YesYesYes
Performance Criteria 3YesYesYes
Performance Criteria 4YesYesYes

Other Information

Please note: while your teacher will cover all the material in the above schedule, the weekly teaching and assessment order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of resources.

Study and learning Support:

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to you.
Services offered by SLC to support your numeracy and literacy skills are:

assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
maths and science developmental support and advice
English language development

Please Refer to find more information about Study and learning Support

Disability Liaison Unit:

If you are suffering from long-term medical condition or disability, you should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek

advice and support to complete your studies.

Please Refer to find more information about services offered by Disability Liaison Unit

Late submission:

If you require an Extension of Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) for 7 calendar days or less

(from the original due date) and have valid reasons, you must complete and
lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior

Educator/ Program Manager.
The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. You will be notified within
no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

If you seek an Extension of Submittable Work for more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an

Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2

working days after the official due date.

Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special consideration:

Please Refer;ID=riderwtscifm (unresolved) to find more information about special consideration


Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University.

Please Refer: to find more information about plagiarism.

Other Information:

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview