Physical Metallurgy 2

An introduction to Physical Metallurgy. Metallurgy can be described as a branch of material science focused on metals.
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  • Lectures 9
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
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About This Course

Published 11/2013 English

Course Description

Physical Metallurgy 2 covers the basics of metallic structure formation. It handles alloy formation and the basic solidification of alloys through the exploitation of a basic phase diagram. It then jumps to the iron/ iron-carbide/ graphite system and lays the foundation of an understanding of the metallurgy, processing and application of ferrous alloys.

Physical Metallurgy 2 lays the foundation for study of further physical metallurgical subjects, such as casting processes, steels and other industrial alloys, application of alloys, heat treatment, etc.

Further material is available, but not yet online.

What are the requirements?

  • You need to have passed secondary school physical science and maths. If not it is advisable that you do Physical Metallurgy 1

What am I going to get from this course?

  • To introduce you to the principles of metal alloys and physical metallurgy

Who is the target audience?

  • Persons working in metallurgical environments and want to pursue a career in physical metallurgy
  • Young persons who want to explore this field of physical science and our physical world

What you get with this course?

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30 day money back guarantee.

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Section 1: Solidification

This course follows on Physical Metallurgy 1 and is a first introduction to alloys and physical metallurgy.Whereas Physical Metallurgy 1 lays a chemistry foundation so that yo can understand the underlying principles, Physical Metallurgy 2 lays the foundation for the practice of the many branches of the subject, casting, steel-making, heat treatment, mechanical metallurgy, etc.

We start with how solidification takes place and what governs the formation of the basic structure of a metal. We then proceeds to a basic phase diagram and how it is interpreted and how practical phenomena like coring can be explained. We end with a basic interpretation of the most important industrial system: The iron/iron carbide/graphite system.

You should use the important supplementary material attached. This lecture is a very brief introduction of the subject and you are advised to do searches and get good books on the subject if you are serious about getting more knowledge.

We are in the process of loading other course following on this one, but this will take some time. If you want to study one of these now, then you have to do it by conventional method. See and follow the link to training or email us at

I trust you will find this study an enriching experience.


The first step in forming of a solid is solidification. This takes place by the nucleation of a small nucleus in the liquid. This is process of nucleation is quite an interesting subject. And particularly the fact of the critical radius. In this lecture you will be introduced to this important subject to get the first understanding of the formation of crystals in metals and its alloys. This lies the foundation of understanding not only solidification, but also other stransformations.


When metals solidify they do not follow a symmetric equiaxed pattern, but a quite ragged morphology much like tree branches. This has an important bearing on the behaviour of metals in particular in the cast stage. We explore this phenomenon here.


We are well familiar with liquid solutions, but solutions also forms in the solid state. This is the basis of alloy formation. There are a number of varieties and rules that has been discovered. We discuss these phenomena.


A great tool in understanding the behaviour of alloys systems is phase diagrams. These are in the basic form of binary alloys a plot of composition against temperature indicating the the stable phase fields. An interesting feature to investigate is the lever law applicable in two phase fields. Although not fully exploited here, some features are touched on, such as compositional fixing. Enjoy!


Certainly the Fe/Fe3C or C system is the most important industrial alloy system. Quite complex, but once studied not so difficult to understand. One need to just know how phase diagrams work. This system is the basis of steel and iron alloys. It comprises a peritectic, eutectic and eutectoid. It displays many important phenomena, like inter metallic compounds, Solid solubility (C in austenite), limited solubility ( C in Ferrite), and more. Study this carefully! It is important.


From the Fe/F3C and C system stems the ferrous alloys. From interpretation of the system one can understand the microstructures derived. In this lecture not all is covered, but mainly the Fe/Fe3C system. Interesting to see what microstructures look like! This gives you a first insight into how alloys develop microstructures, whcih explains to a lrage extend alooy behaviours.


An important alloy group s that known as cast irons. Designated like that because they are not formable, but very amenable to the casting process. The microstructures develop around the eutectic. This dual phase structure is quite interesting. It is important in both the carbidic and graphitic form. Here we cover the carbidic form. Grey and ductile iron is imporatnt, but not covered here. This is the subject of an in depth study of cast irons.


So this concludes this important first part of physical metallurgy. You are advised to do a lot more reading. There are good books available. Look for Physical Metallurgy and many times material science.

Enjou your further exploitation of this interesting subject. Contact us on

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Instructor Biography

Manager Engineer MTC Christo Hattingh, Metallurgical Engineer at MTC. Lecturer Technik Akademie.

BSc Ing Met Hons (PRET) 5 year engineering degree in metallurgical engineering with 1 year post graduate. ECSA registered. SAIMM member.

DTO (UNISA) Diploma in tertiary education. 1 year.

42 years work experience. 20 years in industry and 22 year University Lecturing in Engineering Metallurgy.

Work experience as engineer and manager:

2 years in the steel industry. 4 years specialist roll making.

2 years heat treatment and chain manufacture.

12 year foundry industry.

Educational: Lecturing and developing courses:

5 years at Vaal Technikon (Now Vaal university of Technology)

17 years at Technikon Witwatersrand (Now University of Johannesburg)

Operate my own business MTC, since 1995, supplying engineering services and engineering simulation software and systems, NovaCast. Also offer courses in metallurgical engineering and other disciplines through our training company MIDRANDTEC.

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