Preparation materials

Starting your MSc is exciting, but can also be challenging if you don't know what to expect. This is especially true for international students. 
In order to give you the best preparation to the MSc track Aerospace Stuctures and Materials as possible, we have asked the lecturers of the core courses to compile a short description of their course, a preparatory test with answers and a reference list to read more about the topic.

The following five courses are the core courses taught in the first period of your MSc. Click on their links to see more information about the course and to view the preparatory test.

Design of lightweight structures I: Composites & Metals

In this course, you will be introduced to the fundamental principles of lightweight structures, with an in-depth focus on composite materials. The aim of the course is to give both know-how and know-why on the lightweight design philosophy, ultimately enabling you to make proper material, process and design choices and to give insight in economic, social and technical aspects of lightweight structures applications. In the end, we hope you will see that the design of lightweight structures is not a methodology but instead a design philosophy. This means there is not a single best design, but instead you will be able to reason design choices. So instead of giving answers, the course should give you the ability to ask the right questions.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Thoughts behind lightness
  • Design allowables
  • Interaction between materials processes
  • Materials and their properties
  • Essentials of manufacturing
  • Processing to final products and their applications
  • Recycling and other environmental aspects
  • Mini life cycle analysis for sustainability (durability) of applications
  • The principles of repair of stuctures

Preparatory assignment

Please find the preparatory test here.

Answers to the preparatory test

Please find the answers to the preparatory test here.
In case you experienced any difficulties answering the test, check out the references listed below.

References

Courses from our Bachelor:

Books: 

  • Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction by William D. Callister, 8th edition

Designing Materials with Aerospace Specific Properties

In this course an unorthodox approach to materials will be presented. Rather than memorising known routes to reach certain materials properties, you are trained to translate these desired properties into material structures and microstructures and to design suitable material production processes to realise these properties. The concept of reverse material engineering for metals, polymers and inorganic materials will be demonstrated. The objective of this course is to train you in reverse material engineering and help you initiate and guide new material developments to meet future targets in the industry.

Please note: An entry test in the 2nd week of the course counting for 30% of the final grade and an exam at the end of the course counting for 70% of the grade. The entry test covers all chapters in the book Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction by William D. Callister, 8th edition or newer dealing with structure and properties of metals, polymers ceramics and composites and the ways to influence them. The entry test is introduced to force the students to refresh their knowledge of materials science such that they can pick up the concepts as presented in the course lectures. Therefore, please make sure to prepare for the entry test well in advance.

Linear Modeling (incl. F.E.M)

In this course you will learn how to model real life engineering problems using finite element methods. Computational methods in structural analysis are of prime importance in industry as tools to assess the efficiency and performance of structures in the field of aerospace, mechanical, civil and biomedical engineering. A combination of theoretical and practical knowledge in finite element analysis are valuable skills needed to address such problems in industry. To efficiently model a real life engineering problem using finite element analysis and predict its future behaviour, an engineer must possess a strong theoretical understanding of the finite element method (FEM) along with the understanding of the importance of verification and validation of such computational models. 

Topics covered in this course include:

  • The direct stiffness approach
  • The variational approach
  • The weighted residual approach
  • The beam element
  • Isoparametric formulation and triangular elements 
  • Post processing and convergence
  • The quadrilateral element

Preparatory assignment

Please find the preparatory test here.

Answers to the preparatory test

Please find the answers to the preparatory test here.
In case you experienced any difficulties answering the test, check out the references listed below.

References

Courses from our Bachelor:

Courses on OCW (open course ware):

Books: 

  • Finite Element Procedures, K.J. Bathe
  • The Finite Element  Method in Engineering, S.S. Rao

Pre-requisite knowledge

To successfully complete this course you need a solid basis in the following topics:

Linear Algebra

  • solution of system of equations
  • matrix properties (symmetry, singularity, inverse, etc.)
  • co-ordinate systems and transformations

Calculus

  • vector manipulations
  • differentiation
  • integration
  • 2nd order linear differential equation
  • chain rule of differentiation and integration
  • curl
  • divergence
  • Green’s theorem
  • Gauss’ theorem

Mechanics of materials

  • Hooke’s law
  • axial loading
  • bending and transverse shear in beams
  • stress transformations

Numerical methods for solving ordinary differential equations

  • linear stability
  • convergence

Statics

  • degrees of freedom
  • boundary conditions
  • equilibrium of trusses and frames
  • principle of virtual work

Dynamics

  • Newton’s laws
  • balance of linear momentum
  • free body diagrams of translation and rotational motion
  • derivation of equations of motion

Manufacturing of Aerospace Structures & Materials

This course aims to give students a basic understanding of manufacturing processes in relation to material properties and feasibility of product design. You will be introduced to the mainstream manufacturing processes of structural materials like lightweight alloys, composites and hybrids and you will be able to discuss their processing steps and tooling. At the end of this course you will also be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these manufacturing processes.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Forming, machining and casting
  • Autoclave manufacturing of thermosets
  • Vacuum Infusion of thermosets
  • Processing of thermoplastics
  • Joining methods
  • Quility control and non-destructive testing

Preparatory assignment

Please find the preparatory test here.

Answers to the preparatory test

Please find the answers to the preparatory test here.
In case you experienced any difficulties answering the test, check out the references listed below.

References

Courses from our Bachelor:

Books:

  • F.C. Campbel “Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Composites” (Chapter 1).

Fatigue of Structures & Materials

Fatigue fractures may occur as a consequence of cyclic loading aeronautical structures. In particular within the context of fatigue and damage tolerance certification, aerospace engineers should have the knowledge and skills to analyse and assess fatigue life and fatigue performance. This includes the ability to design against fatigue, and to validate designs with validated fatigue strength justifications. Fatigue fractures and related structural failures may be caused by the quality of applied materials, the production technology, the structural design, inappropriate reliability calculations, underestimations of load spectra, and inappropriate use of structures. The large number of aspects that influence the structure’s resistance to fatigue, require an integral engineering approach. The course AE4ASM005: Fatigue of Structures and Materials provides the knowledge and skills to identify potential critical locations and sources of poor fatigue performance, and to develop strategies to avoid fatigue fractures and to improve fatigue performance of structures. 

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Fatigue phenomena and consequences
  • Stress concentration factors
  • Fatigue life analysis
  • Fatigue of joints
  • Linear Elastic fracture mechanics for damage growth
  • Variable amplitude load spectra
  • Fatigue in Composites
  • Influence of environment
  • Residual strength analysis

Preparatory assignment

Please find the preparatory test here.

Answers to the preparatory test

Please find the answers to the preparatory test here.
In case you experienced any difficulties answering the test, check out the references listed below.

References

Courses from our Bachelor:

Courses on OCW (open course ware):

Reader:

Books: 

  • J. Schijve, Fatigue of Structures and Materials, 2nd edition, 2009, Springer Science+Business Media, B.V., ISBN-13: 978-1-4020-6807-2 e-ISBN-13: 978-1-4020-6808-9.
  • Mechanics of Materials by R.C. Hibbeler (any edition) or another Mechanics of Materials text book.
  • Dynamics by R.C. Hibbeler (any edition) or another Engineering Dynamics textbook.
  • Physics for Scientists & Engineers (with Modern Physics) by Douglas C. Giancoli or another academic physics text book.

For more information check the Study Guide

Study Guide