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Course description

Fully accredited by the IoM3, graduates will have the underpinning knowledge for later professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

It's a fantastic time to be a specialist in aerospace materials, and there are many exciting and revolutionary technologies being developed in industry with many requiring new ways of thinking about materials. 

The UK has 17% of the world’s aerospace industry, second only to the USA, and Sheffield is in the heartland of the UK aerospace industry, meaning many international aerospace companies look to the Department to discover ways to improve both materials and processes for use in their products. 

Teaching

Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes delivered by academic and industry experts.

Students will gain a hands-on experience using our outstanding experimental state-of-the-art facilities, including:

  • Thermomechanical processing
  • Rapid solidification and additive manufacturing
  • Surface engineering facilities for the deposition of both functional and structural coatings

All of this is supported extensively through characterisation and world-leading microstructural facilities.

You’ll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.

Modules Studied

  • Engineering Alloys - This unit covers engineering alloys ranging from light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) to steels (carbon, stainless, and advanced high strength steels). The course centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and its implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural pipeline steels, large scale forgings and aerospace components in both airframe and aero-engine applications. Some parallels will also be drawn with the automotive industry, when discussing both steels and light alloys.
  • Science of Materials - This module introduces key concepts involved in materials science to cover general aspects and applications of metallic, polymeric and inorganic materials. Topics covered include; chemical bonding; basic crystallography of crystalline materials; crystal defects; mechanical properties and strength of materials; phase diagrams and transformations; overviews of metals and alloys; polymers and inorganic solids.
  • Materials Processing and Characterisation - This module introduces the processes and technologies involved in the production of metals, polymers, ceramics and composites and the experimental methods used to characterise these materials. Topics covered are broken into two areas: Fabrication and processing of materials, e.g. powder, thermomechanical and polymer/composites; and Analysis of materials using a range of techniques, e.g. diffraction, spectroscopy, and thermal analysis
  • Practical, Modelling and Digital Skills - This module develops students’ skills in 3 linked areas: materials characterisation laboratory skills including safe methods of working, completion of COSHH and risk assessments, and measurements using a range of practical techniques; the use of computers for data handling and analysis together with an introduction to modelling; the skills needed to search for scientific literature as well as technical skills for presenting data, including how to avoid plagiarism, referencing, formatting documents, drawing high quality graphs, critically reviewing literature and giving presentations.
  • Design and Manufacture of Composites - This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of both the design and manufacture of composite materials and is presented in two sections. In the design of composites section, classical laminate theory is introduced followed by both hand and computer based calculations to design effective composite materials. In the manufacturing of composites section, the materials and manufacturing techniques are described, along with important practical issues such as repair, defects, testing and SMART materials.
  • Advanced Materials Manufacturing Part I - This unit covers a range of advanced materials manufacturing techniques that are either widely used or emerging in industry. Techniques include Additive Layer Manufacturing, Electron Beam Welding, Superplastic Forming, lithium battery manufacturing and advanced machining approaches. In addition, non-destructive evaluation techniques to ensure high levels of manufacturing integrity will be described.
  • Deformation, Fracture and Fatigue - Deformation, fracture and fatigue are important mechanical phenomena in both metals processing and use. The role of dislocations in and the effects of microstructural features on the plastic deformation of metals is initially explored. Consideration of fracture starts with linear elastic fracture mechanics including the Griffith equation and Irwin stress intensity factors. The effects of plasticity effects on fracture in metals including plastic zones at crack tips and cyclical fatigue are considered in some detail. Both total lifetime approaches and damage tolerance approaches to fatigue are considered.
  • Heat and Materials with Applications - This module examines both the transfer of heat to/from materials and thermally activated processes that occur during the manufacture of materials due to the transfer of heat into materials. There is also some consideration of the effects of heat during use. Thus conduction, convection and radiative heat transfer, on their own and in combination are considered, followed by an examination of diffusion and sintering (solid state, liquid phase and viscous glass sintering). Finally creep phenomena are considered.

Visit the MSc(Eng) Aerospace Materials page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

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