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What area(s) or topics of chemistry are used in mechanical engineering

  1. Feb 2, 2010 #1
    what area(s) of chemistry is used in mechanical engineering, Is chemistry crucial to Mechanical Engineering and if it is ,What areas or topics should one concentrate on .
    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2010 #2
    I'm not a mechanical engineer but the ones I know have little to no knowledge of chemistry: I imagine, however, that it depends what you want to do. Materials science will be important, though, and this is really a sort of mixture of physics and chemistry. Why is it you are asking the question? Do you have chemistry electives to choose from and would like to know what might be relevant or..? If so, it might be useful to list an outline of the classes, there will be some more worthwhile than others.
  4. Feb 2, 2010 #3


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    I have a B.S. and an M.S. in mechanical engineering. There's hardly any chemistry in the curriculum. Practicing mechanical engineers would surely know the reactions involved with their work (e.g., when I was working in microfabrication I was familiar with the reactions involved in plasma etching, wet etching, oxidation, vapor deposition, etc.), but not much more, in my experience.
  5. Feb 3, 2010 #4
    I'm currently an undergrad mechanical engineering major and from my experience the only chemistry in the curriculum is bits a pieces in thermodynamics and materials science.
  6. Feb 3, 2010 #5
    thnx everyone ,i have a follow up question though ,could someone please tell me what areas of chemistry are involved in materials science
  7. Feb 3, 2010 #6
    It is useful to use Wikipedia for things like this!


    Have a read at the description of what materials science is and what it entails, and you should be able to get an idea of what type of chemistry would be useful. Basically, characterization of materials and anything to do with the structure of materials is important - crystal structure, determination and effect etc.
  8. Feb 3, 2010 #7


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    A few areas of chemistry that haven't been covered above (with their relevance to mech engineering):

    electrochemistry - corrosion, fuel cells, photovoltaics
    stoichiometry, kinetics & chemical equilibria - corrosion, nuclear/radioactive materials, combustion engines, energy storage, sensors
    thermochemistry - combustion engines
    very basic organic chemistry - micro/nano-fabrication
    very basic inorganic chemistry - generally good to know
  9. Feb 4, 2010 #8
    Thanx alot
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