AME 60645 - Mechanical Behavior of Materials



The mechanical behavior of engineering materials shapes human history. Historians tell us that the Chinese discovered gunpowder centuries before the western world developed the cannon in the 14th century. What was the reason for this time-lag? Gunpowder was of little use (or misuse) without the technology of malleable metal barrels capable of containing and directing the explosion! So, how would you predict the forces required to permanently deform a metal into a prescribed shape? How would you design a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite for specified mechanical loads, e.g. aircraft wings, automobile leaf springs, etc. After billions of dollars spent developing “advanced” materials, why do biological materials like wood and bone remain among the most weight-efficient structural materials? How can a synthetic material be made to mimic a natural tissue, like bone? These questions and a host of similar questions will be addressed in AME 60645 – Mechanical Behavior of Materials.


AME 20241, CBE 30361 (or consent of the instructor).

The course content will be taught an introductory graduate level and will be suitable for undergraduates in good academic standing. Undergraduates with an interest in graduate school and/or materials will especially benefit from this course. 

Objectives and Content:

The goal of this course is to provide a fundamental framework for understanding and manipulating the mechanical behavior of engineering materials. For all types of mechanical behavior covered, emphasis is given to the (1) underlying physical mechanisms, (2) material structure-property relationships, and (3) theories, models, and their limitations. The course will cover content applicable to a diverse spectrum of career interests – such as aerospace structures, bioengineering, manufacturing, materials engineering, mechanical design and quality control – enabling students to engineer materials for current and future generations of technology. Many actual case studies will be used to support the concepts. Specific concepts and topics to be covered include the following: Anisotropy, biomaterials, ceramics, composites, creep, crystallography, deformation mechanisms, dislocations, elasticity, material testing, metals, micromechanical modeling, microstructure, plasticity, polymers, slip, strain, strain rate, strengthening mechanisms, stress, tensors, texture, viscoelasticity, yield criteria.

Coursework will include homework assignments, a class project, a midterm and a final exam. Homework and possibly exams will require the use of modern mathematical software such as Matlab, Mathcad, Mathematica, and the like. The class project will comprise written critical review and oral presentation of a relevant topic chosen by the student.