Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Degradation of Building Materials 2

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Metallurgy and Materials Engineering

DESCRIPTION This study-unit covers coursework related to the degradation of construction materials, specifically metals (steel, copper, aluminium and their respective alloys), polymers, glass, ceramics and bituminous products. Ways of mitigating the degradation phenomena are also briefly discussed. The emphasis of course material will be on electrochemical corrosion phenomena.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide a basic understanding of:

- Aqueous corrosion processes pertaining to a number of important metals employed in the construction industry;
- Physico-chemical degradation of ceramics, glass and polymeric materials used in building and construction.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain basic terminology and concepts related electrochemical corrosion of metals;
- Describe conditions that potentially lead to accelerated/uncontrolled corrosion in metals e.g. pitting and crevice corrosion;
- Outline basic methods of mitigating aqueous corrosion degradation in metals;
- Explain basic physico-chemical processes leading to the degradation of the following non-metallic materials: glass, ceramics and organic polymers.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Utilize a simple thermodynamic Potential-pH diagram to predict corrosion of metals in a given corrosive environment;
- Recognise the different types of electrochemical corrosion processes and correlate them with metallurgical and environmental factors;
- Implement appropriate measures of material selection/protection at design stage to reduce/limit future failure by corrosion degradation.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text/s:

- Davis, J.R., (2000), Corrosion: Understanding the basics, ASM International, Ohio (ISBN: 0-87170-641-5).
- McCaffery E., (2010) Introduction to Corrosion Science, Springer (ISBN: 978-1-4419-0454-6).

Supplementary readings:

- Corrosion: fundamentals, testing, and protection, Volume 13a, ASM Handbook.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 No 25%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 75%

LECTURER/S Daniel Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.