Materials engineering.


  1. You are asked to select materials for the manufacture of pistons fitted to a modern petrol engine car. The piston has to be able to withstand the conditions of the environment within which it operates.


State the selection criteria of the chosen materials taking into account the material properties, their cost and their suitability for manufacture.

  1. State the main properties of the materials used in the manufacture of:
  1. Copper wire
  2. Steel “I” section beams
  3. The front stub axle of a car
  4. A lathe high speed steel cutting tool
  5. Electric heating element in an electric fire
  6. Transformer core

Give detailed explanations of your answers and illustrate them with diagrams.

Explain the particular characteristics related to the microstructure and macroscopic behaviour of the four categories of engineering materials

  1. Discuss any three microstructural characteristics (e.g. the grain size and shape or the phase structure) of the following:
  1. Ceramics
  2. Composite Materials
  3. Polymers
  4. Metals

The discussion must be limited to a maximum of 1000 words in total.

  1. Discuss any three characteristics related to the macroscopic behaviour (e.g. chemical, physical or mechanical properties) of the four categories of materials mentioned previously in Q1


The discussion must be limited to a maximum of 1000 words in total

Generate and process test data to assess material properties for two categories of material

  1. The following data is for cold-worked carbon steel tested in a tensile test:

Original diameter:                     12.725 mm

Final diameter:                          8.433 mm

Original gauge length:              50.8 mm

Final gauge length                    60.71 mm





5.5 11.7 17.0 22.1 27.4 40.5 53.1 60.5 64.7 66.9 68.7 70.5 71.5 72.1 72.8




0.010 0.020 0.030 0.040 0.050 0.076 0.102 0.127 0.152 0.178 0.203 0.254 0.305 0.356 0.508


The maximum load was 74.3 KN. Plot the stress – strain (Extension-Load) graph and determine:


  1. Modulus of elasticity
  2. Tensile strength
  3. Percentage elongation
  4. Percentage reduction in area
  1. The following results were obtained from a tensile test of a polymer:




0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.63 0.65


0.0 0.08 0.17 0.35 0.59 0.88 1.33 2.00 2.40


The test piece had a width of 20 mm, a thickness of 3 mm and a gauge length of 80 mm. Plot the stress – strain graph and determine:

  1. a) Modulus of elasticity
  2. b) Tensile strength
  3. c) The ductility, in percent elongation
  4. d) Yield strength at a strain offset of 0.002

You are required to comment on the values obtained in parts (a) and (b) for both       questions and draw comparisons between the two values for both materials

Investigate and assess the quality of suitable data from three different sources

  1. Search, look up and identify the suitable data (British Standards, International Standards, product data sheets, manufacturer’s literature, specification sheets, test data and engineering drawings) available for the manufacture of two engineering components of your choice. (a kitchen sink, a stainless steel adjustable spanner or the casing of a fire alarm control panel are just few examples of many such products).

The engineering products chosen must be able to be manufactured out of one of the following metal, ceramic, polymer and/or composites.

Provide at least three samples of the data obtained above and critically assess their reliability for use in the general world of materials engineering.

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