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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMK082 - Materials characterisation and failure analysis  
Materialkaraktärisering och haverianalys
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAEM
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 09113
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination, part A 4,0c Grading: TH   4,0c   17 Jan 2020 am SB_MU   07 Apr 2020 am DIST   27 Aug 2020 pm J
0211 Project, part B 3,5c Grading: UG   3,5c    

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Mats Norell

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MMK081   Materials characterisation and failure analysis


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic courses in Materials Science and Engineering.


The students should gain knowledge about modern analytical techniques and testing methods, with focus on their use to assess material structure and properties. The course is oriented towards the application and use of specific techniques to examine material related problems in technical systems. Problems that are addressed include for example how the appearance and composition of both outer surfaces and internal material structures can be determined, measurement of material properties, choice of testing methods and analytical techniques and how the overall problem can be examined in a systematic way.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Describe the most important methods and techniques used in materials testing and characterisation.
  • Motivate the choice of analytical methods based on the capabilities of the method and the relevance of the results to address a problem
    in materials engineering.
  • Apply some of these methods in practical analysis and interpret the results to examine potential causes for materials related failures.
  • Apply some of these methods in practical analysis and interpret the results to examine potential causes for materials related failures.


Within the course different techniques are discussed primarily aiming at different material characteristics.

  • The methodology of failure analysis is discussed and fractography is introduce.
  • An overview is given on techniques for mechanical testing, how they can be applied to different material groups and give information related to their mechanical characteristics.
  • Concerning especially metals, information about the structure, composition, defects and residual stresses by using electron microscopy, non-destructive techniques and X-ray diffraction is discussed.
  • Phase transformations and other reactions can be studied with DCS.
  • The surface analysis methods XPS and AES can be used to obtain compositional and chemical information on different materials.


The different techniques and procedures are presented and discussed in overview lectures.
The students will work in a materials project that includes characterization. The problem should be discussed considering knowledge from previous courses, and from the literature. The students select the analysis methods that are suitable to resolve the problem considering analytical, financial and other feasibility factors. Then they perform the analysis, report and present the result and conclusions.


ASM handbook and other electronic sources, handouts and lecture notes.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written examination.

Attended laboratory visits.

Active participation in reported, presented and approved project

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.