Dr. Carl C. Koch

Dr. Carl C. Koch

Materials Science and Engineering

Phone: 919-515-7340
Fax: 919-515-7724
Instructor Website
Research Website

MSE 580 Materials Forensics and Degradation

3 Credit Hours

Materials forensics will describe the principles and prevention of the degradation of materials. The topics will include electrochemical corrosion of metallic materials, oxidation of metals, degradation of polymers, biodeterioration of materials, failure analysis of materials including mechanical failures and failures of electrical devices. The general practice of failure analysis will be applied to a variety of case studies to illustrate important failure mechanisms.


Basic knowledge in materials science.

Course Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, students should:

  • know the mechanisms responsible for degradation of a variety of materials classes (metals, ceramics, polymers, electronic materials);
  • be able to design strategies to eliminate or minimize materials degradation;
  • know the general approaches taken to analyze material failures;
  • demonstrate the ability to correct material failures.

Course Requirements

Homework: 5 sets (worth 2 points per set)

Examinations: 3 examinations (worth 25 points each)

Software Requirements: none

Projects: a term paper on an approved topic relevant to the Course material (worth 15 points).


No required textbook.

Important references are:

  1. D. A. Jones, Principles and prevention of corrosion, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (1996);
  2. Chapter 9 in N. J. Mills, Plastics: Microstructure and Engineering, 2nd edition Halstead Press, NY (1993);
  3. C. R. Books and A. Choudhury, Failure Analysis of Engineering Materials, McGraw Hill, NY, (2002).


Computer and Software Requirements

Please review the minimum computer specifications that NC State University and Engineering Online recommend.

Updated: 10/31/2022