Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)

DoITPoMS TLP Library

TLP Library

Teaching and learning packages (TLPs) are self-contained, interactive resources, each focusing on one area of Materials Science.

TLPs containing HTML5 animations/simulations are labelled with the tag . We have found that often the HTML5 animations render better in Microsoft Edge, so if your favourite browser does not work very well with them, please try an alternative.

Atomic Force Microscopy

Provides a brief introduction to atomic force microscopy (AFM), some of the ways it is commonly used and some of the problems faced.

Atomic Scale Structure of Materials

This teaching and learning package provides an introduction to crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous solids, and how the atomic-level structure has radical consequences for some of the properties of the material. It introduces the use of polarised light to examine the optical properties of materials, and shows how a variety of simple models can be used to visualise important features of the microstructure of materials.

Creep Deformation of Metals

Creep is a major concern, since it can cause materials to progressively deform, and possibly to fail, under applied stresses below their yield stress. This is particularly likely at elevated temperatures. In this package, the main mechanisms of creep are outlined and some analytical expressions presented that are used to represent its progression. Testing procedures are described, covering both simple uniaxial loading and more complex test geometries. It is shown how creep characteristics can be inferred from the outcome of such tests, requiring in some cases numerical (finite element) modelling of the process. Information is also presented about the design of highly creep-resistant materials.

Crystallinity in Polymers

An understanding of polymer crystallinity is important because the mechanical properties of crystalline polymers are different from those of amorphous polymers. Polymer crystals are much stiffer and stronger than amorphous regions of polymer.

Finite Element Method

This teaching and learning package (TLP) is an introduction to the finite element method. It covers basic concepts including meshes, nodes, degrees of freedom and boundary conditions. The direct stiffness method is also introduced, as is the global stiffness matrix and interpolation functions. The basic steps in constructing a finite element model are also covered.

Mechanical Testing of Metals

This teaching and learning package (TLP) introduces the basic mechanics involved in mechanical testing of metals, first outlining the meaning of deviatoric and hydrostatic stresses and strains, followed by definitions of true and nominal values and then covering the idea of constitutive laws that characterise the development of plastic deformation. The issues involved in carrying out conventional uniaxial (tensile and compressive) tests, and interpreting experimental outcomes, are then described. Finally, hardness testing is explained, followed by the development of a related technique involving indentation testing that allows full stress-strain curves to be obtained. All of the analyses are based on a continuum treatment of plastic deformation, with extensive numerical modelling, using the Finite Element Method (FEM).

Microstructural Examination

This teaching and learning package (TLP) looks at how what we see in micrographs relates to equilibrium phase diagrams and cooling routes for alloy systems.

Phase Diagrams and Solidification

Phase diagrams are a useful tool in metallurgy and other branches of materials science. They show the mixture of phases present in thermodynamic equilibrium. This teaching and learning package looks at the theory behind phase diagrams, and ways of constructing them, before running through an experimental procedure, and presenting the results which can be obtained.

Solid Solutions

This teaching and learning package is based on a practical used within the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. The package is aimed at first year undergraduate Materials Science students and focuses on the different types of solid solution and the thermodynamic principles involved in understanding them.