MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Textiles Technology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Structural Integrity

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS31601
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit introduces key factors that influence the performance and failure of materials in service with particular emphasis on wear/corrosion protection and asset management/ lifetime prediction, in energy and transport applications.

The unit will cover fracture, fatigue, wear processes, failure mechanisms and life prediction. Aspects of aqueous corrosion of metals and coating processes to provide protection will also be considered.  Students will develop an understanding of how materials performance may be managed to improve economic benefits and optimise use of scarce resource.



  • Provide an overview of failure mechanisms, the different forms of corrosion and tribology, and their effect on properties and applications of industrial alloys.
  • Deliver an understanding of the performance of materials in industrial service with a focus on transport, petrochemical, nuclear and process plant.
  • Introduce strategies for component testing and life-time prediction and the management of assets.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group tutorials (problem sessions), recommended textbooks, web resources, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard)



Knowledge and understanding

a)      Describe and discuss corrosion resistant alloys, their application and degradation mechanisms.

b)      Analyse key material problems and failure mechanisms in typical industrial sectors and create strategies for corrosion protection.

c)      Apply structural integrity principles in the prediction of materials performance and evaluate the residual life of an asset.

d)      Relate statistical failure assessments to materials performance.

e)      Recognise the socio-economic benefit, impact and risk of material degradation and protection of infrastructure assets.

Intellectual skills

a)      Relate how material degradation mechanisms can affect component life-time behaviour.

b)      Interpret how physical assets may be managed to optimise lifetime performance.

c)      Apply structural integrity principles in the prediction of materials performance.

Practical skills

a)      Explore and analyse the different forms of corrosion/ wear material degradation.

b)      Apply failure in service analysis.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

a)      Presentation and communication skills.

b)      Demonstrate the ability to understand practical problems.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal

Recommended reading

  •  “Materials engineering, science, processing and design”,  M.F. Ashby, H.R. Shercliff and D. Cebon. Butterworth-Heinemann, 3rd edition, 2013.
  • “Corrosion Engineering”, M.G. Fontana, McGraw-Hill, 2005
  • “Handbook of Corrosion Engineering”, McGraw-Hill, Roberge, P.R., 2000.
  • Shreir’s Corrosion Handbook, 4th Edition, Vols. 2 & 4, Elsevier, 2010


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 68

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Fabio Scenini Unit coordinator

Return to course details