Module code: ENGM107

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

WATTS JF Prof (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

A written examination may be set for students who have failed the coursework assessments and are resitting the assessment in the same academic year.   

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None Qualifying Condition(s) A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module   

Module overview

This module deals with the interfacial chemistry of adhesion and adhesion pre-treatments and the design of structural adhesive joints, together with testing and modelling of adhesive joint performance.

Module aims

provide a thorough grounding in the technology of industrial adhesive bonding

impart knowledge of adhesive types and formulations, design, modeling and mechanical properties of adhesive joints

show current case studies of adhesive joints in practice - e.g. automobile, packaging industries.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Understand the different types of adhesive (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1) KC
Select adhesives for different applications (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1) KCT
Design adhesively bonded joints (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1) KC
Demonstrate knowledge of the use of adhesives in industry (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1) KC
Eplain current issues in adhesive bonding which are complex, conceptually challenging, and are at, or informed by, the forefront of field (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1 KP
Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying issues through the appropriate interpretation of assessment questions (Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, A1) KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The course content consists of twenty lectures that cover the principles of adhesion science, polymers and adhesive formulation ahead of providing an in depth description of the properties of the various adhesives and the methods of pretreating surfaces (of all types) prior to adhesive bonding.

The design of adhesive joints is introduced and both a fracture mechanics and a finite element approach are developed as means of predicting the response of such joints to mechanical loading. The various test methods, particularly those relating to the durability of bonded structures, are introduced and a critical comparison made of the geometries in general use. The use of adhesive bonding as a manufacturing process is investigated, an integral part of this section being statistical process control methods and health and safety considerations.

The module then considers a series of case histories relating to the use of adhesive bonding in the automobile, packaging and microelectronics industries and its role in the production of high performance, lightweight, cars.

Indicative content includes:

The Fundamentals of Adhesion Science
Polymer Science
Adhesive Formulation and the Chemistry of Adhesive Types
Pre-treatment Prior to Bonding
Health and Safety and Environmental Aspects
Mechanical Properties of Structural Adhesives
Other Adhesive Types
Selection of Adhesives
Design of Adhesive Joints
Finite Element Analysis and its Application to Adhesive Joints
The Bonding Process
Modeling the Structural Response of Bonded Structures to Service Loading
Fracture Mechanics Applied to Adhesive Joints
Manufacturing Case Studies I: The Automobile Industry
Manufacturing Case Studies II: The Packaging Industry
Manufacturing Case Studies III: The Microelectronics Industry
Mechanical Testing of Adhesive Joints
Durability of Adhesive Joints
Quality Assurance in Adhesive Bonding
Using Structural Adhesives for High Performance, Lightweight Cars

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce the fundamental principles of adhesion and surface pre-treatment, together with adhesive types. The design of adhesive joints is introduced and both a fracture mechanics and a finite element approach are developed as means of predicting the response of such joints to mechanical loading, joint testing geometries are described.  A series of Case Studies are employed to illustrate adhesive bonding scenarios in a range of industries. This is achieved principally though lectures and laboratory demonstrations.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures [21 hours]
Tutorials [2 hours]
Demonstrations [2 hours]
Industrial visit [3 hours]
Coursework [120 hours]

The teaching is delivered as a one-week intensive course.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate both a knowledge across the whole breadth of the module and a deeper cognitive/analytical ability alongside deeper knowledge in specified areas.

The short questions of the assessment package are able to test knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics covered in the module. The longer questions (one on design and mechanics of adhesive joints, one on adhesive bonding fundamentals and applications) are aimed at assessing the knowledge of specific chosen topics and depth of understanding expected at this level.

Summative assessment and formative feedback

Q1 (4 x short answer) + Q2 (long answer question)

[Learning outcomes 1-5]        (45 hours)        Mon/Tues 2 weeks after end of course {40%}

Q3 (6 x short answer) + Q4 (long answer question)

[Learning outcomes 1-5]        (75 hours)        Mon/Tues 6 weeks after end of course {60%}

Formative verbal feedback is given in lectures and tutorials.
Written feedback is given on the first assessment coursework (Q1 & Q2), which is submitted in advance of the final summative assessment.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.