Course detail

Degradation Processes in Engineering Materials

FSI-EDEAcad. year: 2019/2020

The course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamental mechanisms of production and operation degradation of the properties of engineering materials, in particular steels and other metals. The knowledge obtained will provide, on the one hand, a more accurate determination of the limit state and a more effective exploitation of the materials used and, on the other hand, a qualified estimate of the failure causes.
Production degradation (metallurgy, purity, chemical and structural heterogeneity, and effects of welding as an example of the effect of the technological process itself). Issues of production degradation will be complemented by an overview of defects occurring in castings, formed iron and steel products and in welds.
Operation degradation (corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, wear, radiation embrittlement, and structural stability). Methods of analysing the causes of defects in machine parts, including practical examples.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course will provide students with the basic information on production and operation degradation in engineering materials. Students will learn to regard material as a chemically and structurally heterogeneous body, whose states can be greatly affected by exploitation conditions.


The knowledge of mathematics and physics on the level of basic courses as given at technical universities and science faculties. The basic knowledge in the field of materials engineering and related manufacturing technologies (metallurgy, foundry engineering, metal forming, and welding). The knowledge of the following experimental methods is also assumed: metallography, scanning and transmission microscopy, X-ray spectral microanalysis (EDS and WDS).


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

STRNADEL, Bohumír. Řešené příklady a technické úlohy z materiálového inženýrství, Ostrava 1998, 334 s. ISBN 80-238-3082-1. (CS)
STRNADEL, B. Nauka o materiálu II, Degradační procesy a design konstrukčních materiálů (učební text) VŠB TU:Ostrava 2011. (CS)
Wulpi, D.J. How Components Fail, 2nd ed., ASM International 2001, 293 s. ISBN 0-87170-631-8. (EN)
WULPI Donald J. How Components Fail, Second Edition, ASM International 2001, 293 s. ISBN 0-87170-631-8. (EN)
ČSN 42 0015 - Vady tvářených ocelových hutních výrobků. Názvosloví a třídění vad (CS)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Exercises are focused on practical topics presented in lectures.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Conditions for awarding the corse-unit credit: Attendance at seminars , demonstrating the basic knowledge of the topics dealt with in the course of exercises when solving model problems. Exam: The knowledge of concepts, definitions and essentials of the topics discussed is tested. The emphasis is laid on testing the ability to apply the knowledge obtained. The exam is oral, in the case of second resit there is also a written part.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The course objective is to familiarize students with problems of production and operation degradations in engineering materials on such a level that they should be able to assess the effect of the technologies used as well as of the conditions of exploitation on the properties of the materials of component parts and structures.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Education is controlled via the attendance at seminars; the attendance is recorded by the tutor. If the serious lack of knowledge or absence from exercises is found, the tutor assigns a topic for an individual written report.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B3A-P Bachelor's

    branch B-MTI , 3. year of study, summer semester, 7 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Fractography of metallic materials (basic mechanisms and selected defective fractures).
2. Effect of metallurgy on the properties of steels.
3. Purity and its effect on the properties of materials.
4. Chemical and related structural heterogeneity.
6. Production and operation degradation in weld joints, stability of structure.
7. Defects of casings and weldments.
8. Damage due to corrosion.
10. Hydrogen embrittlement.
11. Damage due to radiation.
12. Wear öf materials.
13. Analyses of the causes of machine part failures.


26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Fractography - basic failure mechanisms.
2. Fractography - some types of defective fracture.
3. Deoxidation of steels by aluminium (pinholes, rocky candy fractures, types od suphide inclusionns).
4. Dendritic segregation, microsegregation - calculation, effect on properties.
5. Defects of casting and weldments, demonstrations.
6. Defects of formed iron and steel products, demonstrations.
7. Excursion to the metallurgical company (ŽĎAS).
8. Presentation of cases hydrogen embrittlement.
9. Wear of materials, calculations.
10. Wear of materials, presentations.
11. Presentation of cases of corrosion damage.
12. Analyses of causes of machine part failures.
13. Final consultation, corse-unit credit: