Mechanical Behavior of Materials

A sharp probe has left a triangular indentation in a surface, shown using scanning electron microscopy.

Examining a material's response to nanoindentation can lend insight to the microstructural and molecular determinants of its mechanical properties. (Image by Prof. Van Vliet and Dr. Catherine Tweedie.)


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As Taught In

Spring 2008



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

Here we will learn about the mechanical behavior of structures and materials, from the continuum description of properties to the atomistic and molecular mechanisms that confer those properties to all materials. We will cover elastic and plastic deformation, creep, fracture and fatigue of materials including crystalline and amorphous metals, semiconductors, ceramics, and (bio)polymers, and will focus on the design and processing of materials from the atomic to the macroscale to achieve desired mechanical behavior. We will cover special topics in mechanical behavior for material systems of your choice, with reference to current research and publications.

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Krystyn van Vliet. 3.22 Mechanical Behavior of Materials. Spring 2008. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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