Course detail

Degradation of Materials and Service Life Prediction

FSI-WDMAcad. year: 2019/2020

The course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamental mechanisms of production and operation degradation of the properties of engineering materials, in particular steels and other metals. The knowledge obtained will provide on one hand for a more accurate determination of the limit state and a more effective exploitation of the materials used and, on the other hand, for a qualified estimate of failure causes. Production degradation (metallurgy, purity, chemical and structural heterogeneity, and effects of welding as an example of the effect of the technological process itself). Operation degradation (corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, wear, radiation embrittlement, and structural stability). The nature of the degradation process is always made clear, together with methods of evaluating it and its effect on the properties of materials. Methods of analysing the causes of defects in machine parts, including practical examples. Students are made familiar with selected methods for predicting the service life of machine parts.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course will provide students with the basic information on production and operation degradation in engineering materials. Students will learn to regard metallic parts as chemically and structurally heterogeneous bodies, whose states can be greatly affected by exploitation conditions. The basic methods for estimating remanent service life will be introduced to students.


General knowledge in the field of materials engineering and related manufacturing technologies (metallurgy, foundry engineering, metal forming, and welding). In-depth knowledge of limit states and strength calculations.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

STRNADEL Bohumil. NAUKA O MATERIÁLU II.Degradační procesy a design konstrukčních materiálů. Ostrava: VŠB-TU Ostrava, 2008. ISBN978-80-248-1842-9. (CS)
Strnadel, B.: Nauka o materiálu II Konstrukční materiály a jejich degradační procesy. (Učební texty), FMMI VŠB-TU Ostrava,1993, 187 s. (CS)
Edit. Khelefa A. Esaklul. Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis. Vol. 1. 2 Materials Park OH: ASM International, 1996. ISBN 0-87170-495-1 (EN)
Strnadel, Bohumír Řešené příklady a technické úlohy z materiálového inženýrství, Ostravské tiskárny a.s., Ostrava 1998, 332 s. (CS)
Remanent Life Prediction, IMechE seminar Pub., 1998, ISBN 186-05-815-44

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Teaching is suplemented by practical laboratory work.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Conditions of awarding the course-unit credit: Attendance at exercises, demonstrating the basic knowledge of the topics dealt with in the course of exercises when solving model problems.
Exam: The knowledge of the concepts and essence of the topics discussed is tested. The emphasis is on testing the ability to apply the knowledge obtained. The exam is oral; in the case of second resit there is also a written part.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The objective of the course is to make students familiar with problems of production and operation degradation on such a level that they are able to assess the effect of the technologies used as well as of exploitation conditions on the properties of the materials of component parts and structures, including a subsequent estimation of their remanent service life.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Education is controlled via the attendance at exercises; the attendance is recorded by the tutor. If serious lack of knowledge or absence from exercises is found, the tutor assigns a topic for individual written report.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme M2A-P Master's

    branch M-MTI , 2. year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Effect of metallurgy on the properties of steels.
2. Micro-purity and its effect on the properties of metallic materials.
3. Chemical and related structural heterogeneity I.
4. Chemical and related structural heterogeneity II.
5. Production and operation degradation of weld joints.
6. Structural stability of creep-resistant steels.
7. Hydrogen embrittlement.
8. Radiation embrittlement.
9-10. Wear in metallic materials.
11. Methods for estimating remanent service life.
12. Prediction of remanent service life of pressure vessel of nuclear reactor.
13. Prediction of remanent service life of power-generation facilities.

Laboratory exercise

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Optimising the content of deoxidization aluminium in steels.
2-3. Examples of chemical and related structural heterogeneity in relation to analyses of machine part failures.
4. Examples of the degradation of properties of weld joints.
5. Corrosion cracking, calculations.
6. Hydrogen embrittlement, calculations.
7. Adhesion, abrasion, cavitation - calculations.
8. Fretting fatigue - examples, caculations of endurance of bearings
9. Assessment of radiation embrittlement,
10-11. Demonstration of methods for estimating remanent service life.
12. Demonstration of commercially available programs used to calculate remanent service life.
13. Awarding the course-unit credit.


eLearning: opened course