Module code: ENGM295

Module Overview

A lecture and tutorial based module building upon previous materials engineering modules which provides greater depth in the specific area of important surface and interface related processes for engineers.
The initial part of the module will introduce/recap important fundamental knowledge regarding atomic structure, bonding, crystal structure and microstructure of materials. This will be followed by an introduction to the most important materials characterisation techniques to determine surface and sub-surface chemical composition, morphology and crystal structure.
The remaining parts of the module describe surface and interface based topics important for engineers, namely corrosion and oxidation, adhesion, organic coatings and wear. For each topic, the following will be addressed: (i) fundamental concepts; (ii) processes to modify the surface enabling reduced degradation, enhanced adhesion or surface functionalisation; (iii) chemical and mechanical test methods; (iv) case studies. There will be a 2 hour laboratory session to embed knowledge on the principles and operation of important materials characterisation techniques. There will also be 2 hours of lectures from industry experts, giving further case studies and underlining the importance of knowledge and understanding of corrosion, wear and adhesion in an industrial engineering context.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

BAKER Mark (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 98

Lecture Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 9

Laboratory Hours: 2

Captured Content: 30

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Engineering Materials ENG3164

Module content

Indicative content:
• Introduction to surface and interface engineering and recap of atomic structure, bonding, crystal structure and microstructure of materials [2L]
• Surface and sub-surface materials characterisation techniques. Physical principles of each technique (RLM, SEM, XPS, SIMS, XRD, EDX) instrumentation, capabilities and applications [3L]
• Adhesion. The fundamental principles and thermodynamics of adhesion, including surface/interface energy and adhesive strength based on chemical bonding and mechanical interlocking. The importance of surface preparation and adhesive formulation. Polymer to metal adhesion and use of adhesives for different engineering applications. [5L]
• Polymer surface treatment and organic coatings. Polymer surface treatments for adhesion enhancement or functionalisation. polymeric coatings and paints as protective coatings. Case studies in the automotive and aerospace industries. [4L]
• Corrosion and high temperature oxidation of metals. Fundamental principles and thermodynamics of corrosion and oxidation, including the use of Pourbaix diagrams and the Ellingham diagram. The most important general/localised corrosion and high temperature oxidation processes. Methods for protecting against corrosion and high temperature oxidation, including the use of coatings, inhibitors, cathodic and anodic protection. Passivity and corrosion/oxidation test methods. Case studies of corrosion in different engineering applications [6L]
• Tribology – wear, friction and lubrication. Fundamental principles and mechanisms involved in wear, friction and lubrication. Surface engineering methods for reducing wear in machines, including thermochemical processes and PVD/CVD/thermal spray coating methodologies. Enhancing coating properties and multifunctionality through micro-/nano- structuring. Tribological test methods. Use of engineered surfaces and coatings to reduce wear and friction in manufacturing processes and machines. [5L]
• Laboratory demonstration of materials characterisation techniques important for surface and interface engineering applications [2L]
• Industrial perspectives of the importance of adhesion and corrosion/wear minimisation in engineering [2L]

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 25

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and professional abilities in this field: The summative assessment for this module consists of: • Assignment [learning outcomes 1 and 2]; 15 hours (25 %) • Examination [learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4]; 2 hours (75 %) Formative assessment and feedback on an interactive laboratory session.

Module aims

  • • To build upon the year 3 modules on material selection and process-structure-property relationships of materials to provide in-depth knowledge and understanding of surface and interface related topics, namely corrosion, wear and adhesion important for engineering applications.
  • • To explain the reasoning behind the selection of specific materials characterisation techniques for determination of chemical composition, surface morphology and (micro)structure of materials.
  • • To describe the rationale underpinning the selection of materials, processes and methodologies to reduced wear and corrosion and enhance adhesion for different environments and applications.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the rationale behind the selection of specific materials characterisation techniques to provide evidence in understanding the behaviour of a material in a particular system or environment. KCP M13
002 Describe different methodologies to mitigate corrosion and wear and identify causes of corrosion and wear failure for machines and structures in specific environments KCP M13
003 Describe different methodologies to enhance adhesion and identify causes of adhesion failure between different components in a structure. KCP M13
004 Explain the rationale behind the selection of specific coating materials and processes to enhance organic coating mechanical and functional properties. KCP M13

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with:
(i) an understanding of the capabilities of different materials characterisation techniques
(ii) knowledge of the fundamental principles underpinning corrosion, wear and adhesion processes
(iii) the ability to assess a mechanical system and select appropriate materials and processes to minimise wear and corrosion or maximise adhesion yielding enhanced performance and lifetime for specific engineering applications.
This is principally achieved through lecture and tutorial classes. In the initial 6 weeks, the degree of learning is evaluated through a summative assignment.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM295

Other information

Reading List ‘Introduction to Corrosion Science’, E.McCafferty, Springer, ISBN 978-1-4419-0454-6 (2010) ‘Surface Engineering for Corrosion and Wear Resistance’ Ed. J.R.Davis, ASM International, ISBN 0-87170-700-4 (2001) ‘Handbook of Adhesion Technology Volumes 1 & 2’ L.M.F. da Silva, A.Öchsner, R.D.Adams, 2nd Edition, Springer, Heidelberg, (2018). ‘An Introduction to Surface Analysis by XPS and AES’ J F Watts, J Wolstenholme, 2nd Edition Wiley, Chichester, UK, (2020).

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.