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Course year 1
CFU 12
Teaching units Unit Manufacturing and Assembly Technologies
Mechanical Engineering (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: ING-IND/16 CFU: 6
Teachers: Elena BASSOLI
Unit Science and Technology of Metallic and Composite Materials
Related or Additional Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: ING-IND/21 CFU: 6
Teachers: Roberto GIOVANARDI, Paolo VERONESI
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language inglese
Contents download pdf download




The main objectives are:
- to provide the student with a wide range of information on the effects of the microstructure of metallic and composite materials on the final properties of such materials, to understand their behaviour during manufacturing and assembly, and to know how their processing affects them.
- to show the main processing, thermal and thermo-chemical treatments on advanced metallic materials.
- to give operative knowledge of the manufacturing and assembly technologies used in the automotive field.
- to present an overview of polymeric, metallic and ceramic matrix composites and their manufacturing.

Specific objectives are:
- understanding microstructure-properties relationships in metallic and composite materials
- making critical choices among several manufacturing/assembly options for a given product, recognizing the main process parameters and their effect on part quality, evaluating possible manufacturing problems
- to present an exhaustive list of automotive applications of metallic and composite materials, by a holistic approach to the material/process system

Admission requirements

Crystal structure of metals, Fe-C phase diagrams, heat treatment of metal alloys
Fundamentals of the mechanical behaviour of metals, concepts of stress and strain, stress criteria, plastic deformation, strain-hardening
Fundamentals of metal casting and solidification phenomena
Fundamentals of metal cutting: lathing, drilling, milling

Course contents

Metallic materials
-Steels (designation, surface topography, advanced high strength steels for car body: HSLA, Dual Phase, TRIP, TWIP, Maraging, PH)
-Cast irons (types, ADI and its applications in automotive) and steels for high temperatures (stainless steels, Duplex)
-Aluminum alloys (production process, alloys for use in body structures, lighter Al alloys; heat treatments)
-Magnesium and its alloys
-Titanium and its alloys
-Superalloys and intermetallics for automotive high temperature applications
-Copper based alloys
Composite materials
-Polymer matrix composites (general properties, processing, advanced composites for competition cars)
-Metal- and Ceramic- matrix composites (general properties, processing, automotive applications: brakes, chassis, wear resistant parts, engine parts)
Corrosion and protection of the automotive
-Relevant corrosion processes
-Corrosion of aluminum and other non-ferrous body materials
-Mechanism of paint degradation
-Materials used for protection of the body structure
-Zinc-coated steels
-Painting of the automotive body structure
-Supplementary protective systems
Casting processes for automotive components
-Lost foam casting
-Die casting: high-pressure, gravity, vacuum, squeeze
Bulk deformation processes for automotive components
Metalworking for automotive components
-Deep hole drilling
Welding and assembly for automotive components
-Arc welding
-Laser welding
-Resistance welding
-Friction welding
-Adhesive bonding
-Mechanical fastening
Smart and emerging materials and processes for automotive applications
Shape memory alloys, nano-materials, foams, self healing materials, powder metallurgy for near net shape manufacturing of complex parts, Additive Manufacturing
Computer aided selection of materials and processes for automotive applications, test-cases of material and process design

Teaching methods

The course includes: theoretical lectures made with the aid of multimedia systems. The didactic material is uploaded before each lecture on the platform “Dolly” (; Presentation of automotive case studies, role-playing and team work for material selection , educational visits, seminars by industry representatives. The material selection activity and the test-case development will be presented in a short report by each group and they will be discussed during the course. Lectures will be held remotely (recorded) due to the COVID19 emergency; periodic sessions are planned in synchronous mode (streaming) to clarify doubts.

Assessment methods

The exam includes both a written and an optional oral test, which instead is compulsory in case of scores below 21/30 in the written test. The written test is based on a questionnaire with multiple choice questions and open questions, for testing the knowledge of the course content. The oral exam, for testing the understanding and application of the course content, consists of approximately 15 minutes questions on the course program. In case of oral test, the final mark is the average of the marks obtained in the two tests, otherwise the score of the written test applies. The exams could be done in presence or remotely depending on the evolution of the COVID19 situation.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: Through lectures, seminars, educational visits and audio-video projected in the classroom, the student learns the science and technology of metals and composites applied to the automotive field; the student also acquires the ability to select the material and the process, through exercises with the help of dedicated software. As for manufacturing and assembly processes, the students learns: phases, equipment, tools, process parameters, types of parts, performances, main problems and defects
Applying knowledge and understanding: Through practical exercises on the computer, the students are able to apply their knowledge to the selection of materials and processes. They also gain ability to calculate and optimize the main process parameters and to estimate the production costs, to desing a semifinished part from the design of the final product, to identify the main production defects and the possible corrective strategies.
Making judgments: Through written reports on group work, the student is able to understand, discuss collectively and critically, choose between several options, evaluate the choice; as well as to expose the results obtained and to abstract the gained knowledge.
Communication skills: written reports allow to develop the ability to present the data obtained in an effective and concise way; group presentations related to individual classes of materials allow to express the concepts learned with appropriate language and to hold a discussion about the topics covered, as in a conversation with customers, colleagues and suppliers.
Learning skills: the activities described allow the students to acquire the methodological tools to continue their studies and to be able to arrange the update of their knowledge.


- Hiroshi Yamagata, "The science and Technology of materials in automotive engines", Woodhead Publishing and Maney Publishing on behalf of The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, CRC Press.
- Geoffrey Davies, "Materials for Automobile Bodies", Elsevier.
- Mel M. Schwartz, Composite Materials, Volume I: Properties, Non-Destructive Testing, and Repair,Prentice Hall
- M. F. Ashby, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, Butterworth-Heinemann.