Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Introduction to Engineering Materials

ME 34400 / 3 Cr. (3 Class)

Introduction to the structure and properties of engineering materials, including metals, alloys, ceramics, plastics, and composites. Characteristics and processing affecting behavior of materials in service.


Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering, Smith & Hashemi, McGraw-Hill, any Edition


To identify the effect of structure and processing on the properties of materials including polymers, composites, ceramics, glasses, metals, alloys and semiconductors.


After completion of this course, the students should be able to:

  • Apply the concept of atoms, bonding, crystals and their effect on properties and applications of materials.
  • Explain the concept of microstructural defects, and understand basic microstructural experimental techniques.
  • Explain diffusion driven processes such as creep, rupture, and solidification.
  • Correlate material properties to constitutive behavior (hardness, stiffness, etc). 
  • Predict fundamental fracture and fatigue properties of materials.
  • Define and classify metals and alloys. 
  • Describe equilibrium, phase and degrees of freedom for a materials system.
  • Define and classify polymers (thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers). 
  • Define and classify ceramic materials.
  • Define corrosion and the corresponding electrochemical reactions associated with it. 
  • Explain basic non-mechanical aspects of materials such as environmental impact, conductivity, semi-conductors, magnetic properties and optical properties. 
  • Material Structure and Bonding
  • Crystal Structure and Defects
  • Solidification and Diffusion
  • Metals: Phases, heat treatments, processing
  • Polymers: properties, fabrication and  processing
  • Ceramics: properties, fabrication and processing
  • Composites: properties, fabrication and processing
  • Environmental Impact of materials
  • Failure Analysis; Mechanical Testing; and Material Characterization
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical / Optical/Magnetic Properties of Materials