Study Abroad and Exchanges



MAR1015 : Materials in the Marine Environment

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


A1. To develop an appreciation of the materials and material properties that are important in the marine and offshore environment.
A2. To establish a relationship between materials selection, design and failure of engineering structures.
A3. To consider the role of microstructure and processing on material properties.
A4. To encourage students to consider the role of the material engineer in the workplace.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module teaches students to consider the role of materials in the marine environment and the particular challenges that this environment poses to the selection of materials. The syllabus is designed to develop a knowledge of the structure of materials, showing how the microstructure and manufacturing route can influence the properties of the material. It also considers material failure, typical mechanisms of failure and how failure can be prevented. The course will include case studies and examples of the marine industry.

1. Materials in Marine Engineering
Overview of metals, polymers and composites used in the marine environment
2. Fundamentals of Materials
Bonding in solids including atomic structure and interatomic bonding, crystalline structures and defects
3. Mechanical Properties
Concepts of stress, strain and ductility and the shapes of stress-strain curves for different materials. Tensile properties, hardness and toughness and appropriate testing methods. Fatigue failure and fatigue testing. Discussion of major failure modes of fracture (ductile and brittle) and fatigue illustrated with case studies. Mechanisms for controlling or preventing failure in marine structures.
4. Microstructure and Microstructural Control in Metal
Introduction to phase diagrams – including alloys, solid solutions and phases. Using phase diagrams for the Fe-C system to investigate structure/property relationships. Strengthening processes in metals.
5. Polymers and Polymer Composites
Main uses and classes of polymer and polymer composites including basic structures and bonding, polymerisation, cross linking, thermoplastics and thermosets. Applications of composites in the marine environment.
6. Manufacturing Processes
Introduction to manufacturing with metals and composites and the effects of processing on properties.
7. Corrosion and Corrosion Control
Principles of corrosion in marine and atmospheric environments. Mechanisms for controlling corrosion including painting systems and cathodic protection.
8. Laboratory Practical (4 hours)
Two laboratory practicals to demonstrate the theory introduced in lectures.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Including Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion25:0010:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading242:0048:00Includes background reading and review of lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study110:0010:00Examination Revision
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide the underlying material science required by the students (IKO 1 - 3). The tutorials and practical enable the students to demonstrate their knowledge of the lecture material through application to problems and to use their initiative to gain data through questioning, and guided reading to acquire analysis skills (ISO 1 - 6).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M202 lab reports - each 1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is an appropriate method for assessing basic understanding of the principles outlined in the syllabus and the ability of the student to appropriately apply these principles. The coursework will assess the required skills of report writing, information literacy, problem solving and analysis techniques by requiring the student to analyse and research materials issues. The coursework will also indirectly assess the student’s ability to perform to a deadline. The Graduate Skills Framework entries indicated as 'A' are also assessed in this way.

Semester 1 Study Abroad students would be required to sit an alternative examination in the December examination period.

Reading Lists