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Materials Science

Lecture 2, Week 28:

(a) Materials: An Overview

(b) Atomic Structure 1

Module 16-4168-00S
Dr. Paul Bingham
Recap: errors in products
and quotients
Error ruler +/- 0.0005 m; stopwatch +/- 0.05 s
g = 4 π2 L / T2
Q1. Derive the S.I. units of g
(m s-2 or m/s2)
Q2. Calculate g, using L = 0.248m and T = 1s
g = 4 x π x π x 0.248 / (1 x 1)
g = 9.7906 m s-2 (actual value of g is 9.8067 m s-2)
Q3. Calculate max. & min. g
Max. g = 4 x π x π x 0.2485 / (0.95 x 0.95) = 10.8702 m s-2
Min. g = 4 x π x π x 0.2475 / (1.05 x 1.05) = 8.8625 m s-2
Introduction to Materials
Science and Engineering

• What is a material?
What is a Material?
• Webster's Dictionary says "the substance or substances
of which something is composed or made "
• or…"Anything that serves as raw or crude matter to be
used or developed”
• or…"Any constituent element”
• What seems like a simple concept is actually not easy to

H. Keller, U. Erb, Dictionary of engineering materials, Wiley, New York (2004)

What is Materials Science
and Engineering?

• Materials Science is the specific study of materials,

their makeup and their behaviour
• Includes elements from many disciplines: Chemistry,
Physics, Thermodynamics, Geology, etc.
• Materials Engineering applies this knowledge so that
materials can be converted into products needed by
• Focuses on the structures of materials on an atomic
scale and also on their macroscopic properties
What is Materials Science
and Engineering?
• Questions
– What are the main sorts of materials that are
used in every day engineering?
– How do we process them to make products?
– What properties of these materials are
important for the job or function we require?
– How do we select the right material for the
right application so they do not fail in service?
What use is Materials
• New applications of a material can be found
• This tends to happen when the properties of
material are explored further than before, such as:
– Carbon Fibre
– Bulletproof Ceramics
– Toughening Alloy Coatings
• Can design the properties of materials for a very
specific use.
Material Classifications
A metal is:
Certain elements
Alloys (combinations of metallic elements)
Definition of an alloy:A homogeneous mixture or solid solution of two or more
metals, the atoms of one replacing or occupying interstitial positions between
the atoms of the other: Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper.
Good conductors of heat and electricity
Malleable (formable) and ductile (can be drawn out)
Metals are extracted from the earth’s crust by mining and ore beneficiation
Metals are generally strong but can fail under stress and under
cyclic loading (fatigue)
React with air, water
Can react violently (e.g. Na, Mg)
Can react slowly (e.g. steel corrosion (rusting))
Generally react with acids and alkalis
• Failure can be catastrophic
• Many mechanisms / modes

• Brittle / ductile
• Fatigue
• Creep

Source: A. M. Green via Wikimedia

• “Polymer” is derived from the Greek
• “poly” meaning many
• “meros” meaning part
• Natural polymers have been used for
• Wool, silk, paper, natural rubber….
• Man-made polymers developed in early
1900’s, more commonly since the 1940’s
and 1950’s
• Common polymeric materials used today:
• Polyethylene (PE)
• Polypropylene (PP)
• Polyvinylchloride (PVC)
• Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
(1) Chain polymerisation (2) Stepwise polymerisation
Polymer classification
• Source:
• Natural
• Synthetic
• Types:
• Thermoplastics (set upon cooling, soften with reheat)
• Thermosetting (set or cure permanently, cannot reheat)
• Elastomers (deformable, viscoelastic)
• Type of structural unit:
• Homopolymer (same monomer repeat unit)
• Copolymer (2 or more different units)
• Crystallinity:
• Amorphous
• Partly crystalline
• How do we define a ceramic material?

Ceramics are defined as solid compounds, formed by

the application of heat (or heat + pressure)
comprising at least one metal and one non-metal
e.g. Al2O3, SiO2, SiC, AlN, GaN, etc.

• Question : is glass a ceramic?

• Question: each name one item you have with you

today which contains a ceramic material
• Name originated from the Greek region of Cerami
• Pottery product names derived from the Greek
"Keramos" which means "burnt earth"

• Question: which materials below are not ceramic?

Al2O3 Ag UO2 Ca3(PO4)2

SiO2 Pt ZrO2 ZrB2
SiC WC [-CO-C6H4-CO-NH-C6H4-NH-]n
AlN O2 H2O ZnO
Properties of ceramics:

Electrically insulating, heat resistant, can be light &


Brittle and difficult to process (therefore expensive)

Porcelain, earthernware, bricks etc are simple examples

Engineering ceramics include:

Silicon nitride bearings
Glass ceramics
Structurally modified ceramics e.g. armour
• Definition: an inorganic product of fusion that has cooled to
a rigid state without crystallisation
• Melted from inorganic materials at high temperature
• Glasses lack long-range (crystalline) atomic order
• Technical glasses are based on SiO2 (sand) and B2O3 as
network-forming oxides, with Na2O, CaO as network
• Materials characteristics:
• Suitably arranged mixture of 2 or more materials….
• With an interface separating them,
• That differ in form and chemical composition,
• And are essentially insoluble in one another

• Combination of the best properties of

each material whilst compensating

• Example: fibre-reinforced plastic (or

fibreglass) combines the strength and
low cost of glass fibres with the
processability of thermoplastic

Bulletproof ceramics Polymer/wood composite

Laminated glass CFRP Glass reinforced thermoplastics

Materials selection…

Source : Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, 2nd Ed, M F Ashby, Butterworth Heinemann, 1999 (620.0042)
Materials Selection
Materials Selection
Materials selection
• Property
• Strength
• Hardness
• Toughness
• Density
• Others?

• Materials selection will ALWAYS be a compromise

between competing factors

• Give one example…..

Advanced materials……
Property Ceramic Metal Polymer

Elastic Modulus
Thermal Expansion
Wear Resistance
Magnetic Properties
Property Ceramic Metal Polymer

Hardness Very High Intermediate Very Low

Elastic Modulus Very High High Low
Thermal Expansion High Low Very Low
Ductility Very Low High Very High
Corrosion High Low Low
Wear Resistance High Low Low
Electrical Depends on High Low
Conductivity Material
Density Low High Very Low
Thermal Depends on High Low
Conductivity Material
Magnetic Properties Depends on High Very Low
Materials Selection
1. List 6 common engineering materials

2. What are the main classes of engineering materials?

3. List some important properties of each of these engineering materials?

4. Define a composite material. Give an example of a composite material.

5. Discuss ONE materials selection change that you have observed over a
period of time in a manufactured product or products. What do you believe
is the reason for the change/s?

6. What factors might cause materials usage predictions to be incorrect?

Atomic Structure
Atomic structure
• By the end of this section of the session you will be
able to demonstrate understanding of...

• Basic structure of the atom

• Protons
• Neutrons
• Electrons
• Isotopes
• Atomic number
• Mass number
• Relative atomic mass
• The relevant nomenclature
Atomic structure
Atomic Structure
• Atoms are the smallest stable
components of matter which can
exist on their own in nature
• Atoms retain their identity in all
chemical and ordinary physical
• Composed of other smaller particles,
but these cannot usually exist in
isolation for long.
• >20 sub-atomic particles have been
• Of importance to us are: protons,
neutrons, electrons
Atomic Structure
• Protons and neutrons have similar
mass, approx. 1.67 x 10-27 kg.
• Electrons much lighter, 9.1 x 10-31 kg
– about 1/1837 of the mass of a
• Neutron has no charge - it is neutral
• Proton and electron carry a charge of
1.6 x 10-19 Coulombs. The proton is
positively charged and the electron is
negatively charged
Question 1

The nucleus of an atom of aluminium (Al)

contains 13 protons. What is the charge on
the nucleus in:

(a) Units of electronic charge ?

(b) Coulombs ?
• Atoms are electrically neutral,
having the same number of
protons and electrons.
• The neutrons and protons form
a positively charged nucleus at
the centre of the atom
• The negative electrons move in
discrete orbitals some distance
from the nucleus.
• The nucleus is very small,
typically around 1x10-14 m in
diameter, but accounts for most
of the mass of the atom.
• The nucleus is surrounded by a
thinly dispersed electron cloud
with a diameter of the order of
10-10 m.
• This can be visualised as a
miniature solar system - like the
planets orbiting about the sun
(Niels Bohr - 1913).
• A carbon atom contains 6 protons, 6 electrons and
6 neutrons.

• Sketch the atomic structure of a carbon atom

A carbon atom contains 6 protons, 6 electrons and 6
neutrons. This might be imagined to look like the
following sketch:
• In reality atoms are more complex:
– Orbitals are a “cloud” not fixed orbits
– Electrons can move between orbitals
– >1 electron can exist in one orbital
Atomic size
• Atomic diameter is > 10,000 times the nuclear
• Thus atomic diameter principally determined by
number of electrons and number of orbitals
– Typical nuclear diameters 2-20 femtometres (10-15 m)
– Typical atomic diameters 60-600 picometres (10-12 m)
• Example atomic diameters:
Uranium 2.5 x 10-7 mm
Hydrogen 1.0 x 10-7 mm
A proton 1.2 x 10-12 mm

• Now convert these into atomic radii in base S.I. units

Atomic arrangement

• Do atoms exist as individual entities?

• What is a grouping of atoms?
– Give examples
• Groups of atoms bond together as
• Bonding involves electronic interactions
between atoms
• Modification of electron pattern due to
bonding alters the nature of the atom!
• Hence properties of molecules are very
different to those of constituent atoms
• Example:
O 1 atom, does not exist in nature
O2 2 atoms, oxygen gas, supports life
O3 3 atoms, ozone gas, poisonous!

Now work with the person next to you to

find two other simple molecules which
display different properties from those of
the constituent atoms
Atomic characterisation
Atomic characterisation
• Atomic Number, Z
– The number of protons in the nucleus
– Equal to…….what?
– Z defines chemical identity and properties
– E.g. H Z = 1 1H
He Z = 2 2He
O Z=8 8O
Cu Z = 29 29Cu
U Z = 92 92U
Atomic characterisation
• Mass number, A
– Number of (protons + neutrons) in the
– So the number of neutrons in nucleus
equals A minus what?
– E.g. H A=1 1H

He A=4 4He

O A = 16 16O
Cu A = 63 63Cu
U A = 238 238U
Atomic characterisation
• So when we combine nomenclature, we get:
– E.g. H Z=1, A=1 1 H
He Z=2, A=4 4 He

O Z=8, A=16 16 O

Cu Z=29, A=63 63

U Z=92, A=238 238 U


But many elements occur as more than one

isotope, we will discuss this later…..
Atomic characterisation
• So an atom of a particular element can be
represented by:

• Where X is the elemental symbol
• How many protons, neutrons and electrons are
present in the following?

35 27
17Cl 13 Al
Periodic table
• Question 1: How many protons, electrons and
neutrons are present in a 147N atom?

• Question 2: How many electrons would you

normally expect to find around the nuclei of atoms
of the following elements?
• All atoms with a particular value of Z have the same
name, i.e. the following atoms have the same Z:

35 37
17 Cl 17 Cl
• So what is different about them?
• Many naturally occurring elements consist of a
combination of isotopes, others just one.

• 35Cl = 75.53% abundance

• 37Cl = 24.47% abundance

• However, 27Al = 100% abundance

We can calculate the isotopic combination of any

element based on its relative atomic mass
Oxidation states
• Degree of oxidation of an atom in a
• Assumes 100% ionic bonding
• In molecules will be present as ions and net
e.g. Cl-, Ca2+, Fe3+, etc.
• So, how does this affect Z and A?

35  37  27 3
17 Cl 17 Cl 13 Al
Atomic masses
• The actual mass of an atom of any element can be
determined but these values are extremely small….
• For convenience we use relative mass units
• These are based on the atomic mass unit (amu)
• 1 amu = 1/
12 the mass of an atom of C

• i.e. 1 amu = 1.660 x 10-27kg

• On this basis:
Proton = 1.007277 amu
Neutron = 1.008665 amu
Electron = 0.0005486 amu
Atomic masses
• Examples of absolute and relative atomic masses
of some atoms:

• Hydrogen (A=1) 1.673 x 10-24 g 1.0073 amu

• Carbon (A=12) 1.993 x 10-23 g 12.000 amu
• Uranium (A=235) 3.903 x 10-22 g 235.003 amu
Molecular weights
• Also based on the amu scale, being the sum of the
atomic weights of the constituent atoms in a

• H2 = 1.0 + 1.0 = 2.0 amu (to 1 d.p)

• Now calculate molecular weights to 1 d.p. for:

• H2O
• H2O2
• Ethane, C2H6
• Aluminium sulphate, Al2(SO4)3
• P2O5
• Mass of protons and neutrons approx. 1.67 x 10-27 kg
• Electrons much lighter, 9.1 x 10-31 kg
– about 1/1837 of the mass of a proton
• Proton and electron carry a charge of 1.6 x 10-19 Coulombs
• Atoms and atomic arrangement
• Atomic number, Z and Mass number, A
• Isotopes – same Z, different A
• Atomic mass unit, amu
Proton = 1.007277 amu
Neutron = 1.008665 amu
Electron = 0.0005486 amu
• Naturally occurring silver is 51.84% Ag-107 and
48.16% Ag-109.
• Calculate the relative atomic mass of silver.

• Copper consists of two isotopes, copper-63 and

• Its relative atomic mass is 63.62.
• Find the abundance of each isotope.
More questions...

• Sketch a diagram to illustrate the simple

structure of a boron atom

• State the total number of electrons in each

of the following atoms :- oxygen, sodium,
strontium, tin, gold
• Materials
• Metals
• Ceramics (glasses)
• Polymers
• Composites

• Materials selection

• More in the Seminar with Simon Urquhart.....