Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. Metallurgy is the science and study of the behaviors and properties of metals and their extraction from their ores.Metallurgy is relevant to the materials science, welding, machine shop, quality control, and industrial technology industries, each of which shares equal responsibility for the design, development, and implementation of metals and materials processing in the industry today.
Metallurgy is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components for use in products for consumers and manufacturers. The production of metals involves the processing of ores to extract the metal they contain, and the mixture of metals, sometimes with other elements, to produce alloys. Metallurgy is distinguished from the craft of metalworking, although metalworking relies on metallurgy, as medicine relies on medical science, for technical advancement.
Historical developments in ferrous metallurgy can be found in a wide variety of past cultures and civilizations. A 16th-century book by Georg Agricola called De re Metallica describes the highly developed and complex processes of mining metal ores, metal extraction, and metallurgy of the time.
Types of Metallurgy:
Metallurgy is broadly divided into following branches:
- Physical Metallurgy: Where you know about crystal structures & phase changes on heating or cooling.
- Mechanical Metallurgy: Where you deal with forces acting on metal.
- Extractive Metallurgy: Extraction of metals from their ores.
In the manufacturing of metallurgy, a measure of brilliance or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations. It is brought about by the strict and consistent commitment to certain standards that achieve uniformity of a product in order to satisfy the specific customer or user requirements. ISO 8402-1986 standard defines quality as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.” If an automobile company finds a defect in one of their cars and makes a product recall, customer reliability and therefore production will decrease because trust will be lost in the car’s quality.
Metal blended with one or more other metals or non-metallic substances (called alloying elements) that change its properties and structure. Alloying adds new or superior qualities to the base metal, such as corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity or resistance, greater hardness, softness, or strength, etc.
In production engineering, metallurgy is concerned with the production of metallic components for use in consumer or engineering products. This involves the production of alloys, the shaping, the heat treatment and the surface treatment of the product. The task of the metallurgist is to achieve the balance between material properties such as cost, weight, strength, toughness, hardness, corrosion, fatigue resistance, and performance in temperature extremes. We can see many processes in the production of metallurgy:
- Metalworking processes
- Heat treatment
- Thermal spraying
Since the use of iron became widespread, the weaknesses of this metal were only overcome by its abundance. Iron was quite brittle, and could not withstand a lot of mechanical abuse. This could be overcome by the technique called “folding”, which is known to involve the creation of many lattice defects in the crystalline structure of the iron. This made it much harder. But it was a long and arduous process, not apt for mass production.
The first steels were discovered by chance when laying the iron that was to be worked directly on the red-hot coals. This allowed some carbon atoms to seep into the iron, producing a steel of irregular and random quality. Finding out the correct ratios of carbon-to-iron to obtain steels of different hardness was pretty much the birth of metallurgy.
You can read these books:
- Principles of Extractive Metallurgy by Hem Shankar Ray
- Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist by Harry Chandler
College or University of USA: Metallurgy Courses
There are many colleges or universities that provide courses related to metallurgy. Some colleges and universities name are given below:
- Northern Michigan University
- Auburn University
- Milwaukee Area Technical College
- Mesa Community College
- Academy of Art University
- Savannah College of Art and Design
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