paper-plane envelope home office pencil quill pen image images camera play bullhorn connection mic file-text2 file-picture file-music file-play file-video copy folder folder-open folder-plus folder-minus folder-download folder-upload price-tag price-tags ticket phone envelop pushpin location compass map map2 clock alarm fax mobile bubble bubbles user users user-plus user-minus user-check quotes-left quotes-right search pie-chart stats-dots stats-bars airplane cloud-download cloud-upload earth link flag eye eye-blocked arrow-up-left arrow-up arrow-up-right arrow-right arrow-down-right arrow-down arrow-down-left arrow-left2 share amazon google-plus google-drive facebook instagram twitter rss youtube flickr dropbox linkedin file-pdf file-openoffice file-word file-excel

UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECH304P Elasticity and Plasticity

MECH304P Elasticity and Plasticity

In MECH304P, students will develop further understanding of the static behaviour of elastic bodies as well as the new area of plasticity.

Students will be introduced to fundamental aspects of the theory of elasticity and how the results can be related to engineering applications. This includes classical problems relating to plane stress and strain, crack development in a tensile field, end loading problems relating to both torsion and shear, and finally thin plates and shells. Although the emphasis is on theory, real-world applications are used as motivating and practise examples. Where practical these examples will be linked to current or recent research within the department.

The second half of the course covers plasticity theory, extending elastic stress-strain relationships to explore plastic effects and yield criteria. Plane strain problems relating to rigid perfectly plastic materials are explored, and limit analysis (both from the perspective of theory and design).

Code: MECH304P
Alt Codes: None
Title: Elasticity and Plasticity
UCL Credits/ECTS: 0.5/7.5
Start: September
End: April


  • MECH204P Mechanics of Solids & Structures

Method of Instruction

Each lecture will consist of describing the conceptual framework and where appropriate model calculations to support the concept being demonstrated in either elasticity of plasticity. The example classes and Moodle chat site will provide the forum to discuss the work.

Formative assessment: online quizzes and tutorials may be used as required to help the students to self-evaluate and judge their own progress. Module tutors will monitor student engagement through Moodle and class participation. Student support will be achieved via some or all of the following: automatic feedback of online quizzes, sufficient number of office hours; monitoring of student progress via Moodle for example analysis of submitted answers to tutorial questions.

At least 2 revision lectures will be scheduled in terms 3, appropriate times will be identified once the exam timetable is published.


  • Examination (3 hours) (100%)

To pass this course students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 40% for all sections combined.

General Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the essential facts, concepts, theories and principles underlying elasticity and plasticity theory, and how the two fields are underpinned by mathematics and physics.
  • Have an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary context of the underlying theory, including applications of both elasticity and plasticity to engineering design such as aircraft wing design and buckling in aircraft structures.

Intellectual Abilities

  • Apply appropriate quantitative science, engineering and mathematical tools to the analysis of problems arising in elastic and plastic material behaviours.
  • Demonstrate creative and innovative ability in the synthesis of theoretical solutions, and linking them to the design of real-world structures.
  • Comprehend the broad picture of the application of elasticity and plasticity theory, and use this to inform an appropriate level of detail in the theoretical descriptions.

General transferable skills

  • Develop transferable skills including problem solving, communication and effective sourcing of background resources and materials required for self-learning.
Back to top