Materials Science A


The Curricular Unit intends to provide the basic knowledge of materials science and engineering, regarding its  structure, properties, processes of obtention, testing, application and behavior. Its intends to achieve the understanding of the processing, nature and properties of  the various classes of materials, stimulating in students critical thinking about how materials can be selected and designed for applications, taking into account the main challenges and sustainability issues.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Margarida Rolim Augusto Lima


Weekly - 4

Total - 72

Teaching language



No special requirement.


Princípios de Ciência e Engenharia dos Materiais. W. F. Smith (tradução de M. Emília Rosa, M. A. Fortes, L. Guerra-Rosa, M. Fátia Vaz). McGraw-Hill de Portugal, Lisboa.

Ciência e Engenharia de Materiais - Uma Introdução. W.D. Callister, D.G. Rethwisch, 8ª Edição (tradução de S.M.S. Soares), Rio de Janeiro, 2013.

Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering. An Integrated Approach, de William Callister Jr, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2005.

Polymers: Chemistry & Physics of Modern Materials. J.M.G. Cowie, V. Arrighi, CRC Press, 3rd Ed., 2007

Principles of Polymer Systems. F. Rodriguez, McGraw-Hill, 3rd Ed., 1983.

Essentials of Polymer Science and Engineerin. P.C. Painter & M.M. Coleman, DEStech Publications, Inc. 2009.

Teaching method

The base concepts on the structure and properties of the diferent classes of materials are presented in the theoretical-practical classes so that they can be trated through exemples. These concepts are then consolidated through practical and laboratory works where the students complemente with additional exercices and perform practical sessions on the structural characterization of materials and determination of mechanical properties.

Evaluation method

1. Two (closed-booked) or final exam,  accounting for 60% of the final grade.

2. Laboratory team work (groups of 4 students), including respective reports. If accounts for 50% of the practical part´s grade.

3. Resolution and analysis of exercides and case-studies in class. If accounts for 50% of the practical part´s grade. The practical part contributes with 40% to the overall grade.

Subject matter

Crystalline structure. Structural defects. Mechanical testing of Materials: tensile, hardness and impact strength, testing. Structural characterization of materials. Phase diagrams. Metallic materials. Thermal treatments. Precipitation hardening. Shape memory alloys. Ceramic materials: structure; thermal, mechanical and electrical properties. Superconductors. Semiconductor materials. Glasses. Composite materials. Selection of materials (program CES, Ashby). Polymeric materials: thermoplastics, thermosets and elastomers; characteristics and applications; Study of polymers behaviour in solution: definition of average molar masses and their distributions; thermal behaviour of polymeric materials: specific transition temperatures and correlation with morphology; mechanical and rheological behaviour of polymeric materials.


Programs where the course is taught: