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Introduction to Physical Metallurgy - 29 Jan - 2 Feb 2018

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Course Information

Introduction to Physical Metallurgy - 29 Jan - 2 Feb 2018


The course aims to provide a general introduction to the field of Physical Metallurgy. The course covers equilibrium phase diagrams, transformation diagrams, diffusion, liquid to solid transformations, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, cold work, recovery and recrystallisation.

Course Code


Course Dates

29th January 2018 – 2nd February 2018

Course Leader

Dr Mark Whiting
Course Description


Topics covered include: phase diagrams, characterisation of microstructures, alloys, and lattice defects.

Module Aims

This module aims to explore:

  • The centrality of the concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics in physical metallurgy and phase transformations.
  • Binary equilibrium phase diagrams as a tool in understanding the thermodynamics of alloy systems.
  • The use of transformation (isothermal and continuous cooling) diagrams as a tool in following (i) the kinetics of phase transformations and (ii) the development of alloy microstructure.
  • The role of diffusion in the kinetics of phase transformations.
  • The principles of thermodynamics and kinetics, and their application, to a representative selection of real alloy systems.
  • The nature of defects in metallic systems and their role in determining engineering properties.
  • The concept of microstructure and its relationship to processing and properties of alloys.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students should be able to

  • Show a systematic understanding of the role that thermodynamics and kinetics play in phase transformations.
  • Evaluate critically the relevance of phase diagrams, isothermal transformation diagrams and continuous cooling transformation diagrams to understanding real alloys and their microstructure.
  • Display a critical awareness of the relevance of key areas, e.g. diffusion, defects, transformation type, to current problems in designing, processing and exploiting real alloys.
  • Show a systematic understanding of the complex interplay between microstructure, processing and engineering properties in metallic materials.


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