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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo semestre (primi anni)

Training objectives

The course is structured in two parts:
• Part I, Fundamentals of Chemistry, 6 credits, in commonality to the Applied Chemistry and Materials Technology course of the first year of the three-year Degree Course in Civil and Environmental Engineering;
• II part, Introduction to Materials Science, 3 credits.
The course aims to provide students of the first year of the Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and of the Bachelor's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with the fundamental concepts of chemistry and the structure of matter, necessary for the understanding and interpretation of the characteristics of different classes of materials. .
For students of the Degree in Mechanical Engineering it also provides an introduction to materials science by describing both the chemical and mechanical properties of some classes of materials.
The main skills acquired will be:
Ability to solve simple problems of stoichiometry, thermodynamics and electrochemistry.
Ability to understand and correctly interpret the chemical-physical phenomena through the notions learned during the course.
Ability to correlate properties and behavior of a material to its microscopic structure.
Knowledge of the main properties of materials and tests to technically evaluate their characteristics, in order to be able to compare them during quality control / purchase;
Be aware of the importance of selecting materials so that they adequately respond to project requirements.


Basic knowledge of calculus

Course programme

The course is divided in two parts of 60 hours (Part I, Fundamentals of Chemistry) and 30 hours (Part II, Introduction to Materials Science) of lectures respectively, for a total of 90 hours of lessons, including numerical exercises related the contents imparted.

1st part: Fundamentals of Chemistry

Introduction to structure of atoms and molecules (15 hours)
Nature of the chemical processes, matter and energy; definitions.
Description of atomic and molecular structure
The quantization of energy, Bohr model, structure of the atom, atomic orbitals, polyelectronic atoms, Aufbau principle, Hund's rule, Pauli exclusion principle, electronic structure and periodic table, electronegativity and electron affinity. Molecules and description of the various types of bonds: ionic bond, covalent bond, metallic bond, hydrogen bond, molecular interactions. Examples.

Description of states of matter (10 hours)
Gaseous state. Properties and gas laws. Ideal gases and applications, gas mixtures. Real gas.
Liquid state. Formation of condensed phases, viscosity and surface tension.
Solid state. Structure of solids, classification of solids, ionic solids, metallic solids, covalent solids. Examples.

Thermodynamics (15 hours)
First principle. State functions, internal energy U, enthalpy H, heat capacity. Standard states. Enthalpy of chemical transformations, reaction enthalpy, standard enthalpy.
Second principle. Spontaneous transformations, reversible and irreversible processes. Gibbs free energy: free energy of reaction, chemical and physical explanation. Examples.

Chemical equilibrium and State diagrams (15 hours)
Nature of chemical equilibrium, equilibrium constant, Le Chatellier principle, Gibbs free energy and equilibrium. Gas phase equilibrium, solution equilibrium, acids and bases. Phase transformation. Solutions and solubility product, colligative properties, state diagrams, binary mixtures, component state diagrams.

Electrochemistry (5 hours)
Electrochemical and electrolytic solutions. Thermodynamics of electrochemistry, Nernst equation, cell and half-cell potential, standard potentials. Electrochemical series. Galvanic cells and electrolytic and their technological aspects with examples. Fuel Cells.

Part II: Introduction to Materials Science.

Structure of matter (2,5 hours)
Unit cells, packing of atoms, coordination number, interstitial sites. Miller indices. X-ray Bragg's Law, molecular crystals, ionic, covalent, metallic.

Defects in solids (5 hours)
Concept of microstructure grains and grain boundaries. Point defects, line defects, defects of surface volume defects
Interaction between defects and effects on mechanical properties, solution hardening, Hall petch report. Examples. solid alloys, amorphous and glass.
Solid solutions (2.5 hours)
Solid state solubility. Formation of solid solutions. Types of solid solution: substitutional solid solutions and interstitial solid solutions, Hume-Rothery rules.

Phase Diagrams (10 hours)
Concept of phase and component. phase rule. Phase diagrams. of binary alloys with partial solid solubility: eutectic, peritectic, eutectoid and peritectoid transformations.

Introduction to the mechanical properties (5 hours)
Stress-strain curve, Young's modulus, interpretation of the mechanical behavior of materials.
Strengthening method for Metallic Material:
solid solution strengthening, cold working, grain size reduction, precipitation hardening.

Polymeric materials (5 hours)
Elements Organic Chemistry
Bonds and structures in organic molecules, functional groups and nomenclature.
Definition of a polymer, the polymerization processes the mechanical properties of natural polymers

Didactic methods

The course is taught through frontal lectures, The course is organized as follows:
• theoretical lessons on all the topics of the course
• numerical exercises on topics covered during the theoretical lessons.

Learning assessment procedures

The objective of the exam is to verify the level of achievement of the previously indicated training objectives.


Degree Course in Mechanical Engineering

The final exam consists of a written test lasting 3 hours, based on 9 questions:
3 exercises, 3 theory questions on the Fundamentals of Chemistry part and 3 theory questions on the Materials part.

Degree Course in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The final exam consists of a written test lasting 3 hours, based on 6 questions:
3 exercises, 3 theory questions on the part of Fundamentals of Chemistry.

During periods of COVID emergency, the verification of learning consists of a single oral exam carried out remotely on the Google Meet platform. It has the same purposes as the one in presence.
During the test, which will last about 45 minutes, students will be asked to perform 1-2 exercises and to answer questions about the course contents.

Reference texts

Chimica Moderna, D. W. Oxtoby, H.P. Gillis, A. Campion, – EdiSES
Silvestroni Fondamenti di chimica 11ed – CEA Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
Scienza ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, di William D. Callister David G. Rethwisch – EdiSES

Per eventuali consultazioni:
Principi di Chimica, P. Atkins, L. Jones – ZANICHELLI
Chimica. Esercizi e casi Pratici P. D'Arrigo, A. Formulari et alt. EDISES
Stechiometria, R. Breschi, A. Massagli, – ETS Libri
Calcoli Stechiometrici, P.Michelin Lausarot , G. A. Vaglio – PICCIN
W. Smith J. hashemi Scienza e tecnologia dei materiali