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.


Smith & Hashemi, Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill


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. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Explain the concept of microstructural defects, and understand basic microstructural experimental techniques. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Explain diffusion driven processes such as creep, rupture, and solidification. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Correlate material properties to constitutive behavior (hardness, stiffness, etc). [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Predict fundamental fracture and fatigue properties of materials. [e, a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Define and classify metals and alloys. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Describe equilibrium, phase and degrees of freedom for a materials system. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Define and classify polymers (thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers). [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Define and classify ceramic materials. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Define corrosion and the corresponding electrochemical reactions associated with it. [a][PUL 1b,2]
  • Explain basic non-mechanical aspects of materials such as conductivity, semi-conductors, magnetic properties and optical properties. [a][PUL 1b,2]

Note: The letters within the brackets indicate the general program outcomes of mechanical engineering. See: ME Program Outcomes.

  • 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
  • Failure Analysis; Mechanical Testing; and Material Characterization
  • Corrosion
  • Optical/Magnetic Properties of Materials