Online Course - Building Blocks for Metallurgical Success

On demand and instant access to the full course consisting of three modules.

To maximise learning it is recommended that each module is completed in sequence.

Course Modules

The course consists of three modules which should be taken in sequence in order to complete the full course.

Module 1 – Crystal Structures and Phase Diagrams

This module is setting the ground rules, starting at the atomic level, that govern microstructures and hence mechanical properties formed in steel under equilibrium conditions.

Module 2 – Time Temperature Transformations and Cooling Curves

This module builds on the learnings from module 1 and introduces the microstructures that are formed in non-equilibrium conditions.  These are the rules that govern the mechanical properties that can be achieved under typical processing conditions.

Module 3 – Strengthening Mechanisms in Steel

This module gives the definitions of key mechanical properties and describes how metal deformation occurs on the atomic scale. Dislocations are introduced and how by impeding movement of dislocations steel can be strengthened.

What the course covers

  • Crystal structures
    • Role of atoms
    • Allotropic behaviour of iron
  • Phase diagrams
    • What is a phase
    • How crystal structure impacts on phase diagrams
  • Equilibrium Iron Carbon Phase diagram
    • How carbon solubility changes with change in iron crystal structure
    • Typical microstructures formed on equilibrium cooling
  • Time Temperature Transformation Diagrams
    • How they are constructed
    • How they indicate non-equilibrium microstructures formed
  • Continuous Cooling Transformation Diagrams
    • Critical Cooling rate
    • Effect of Grain Size
    • Effect of Carbon
    • Effect of Alloying Elements
  • Key Mechanical Properties
  • Strengthening Mechanisms
    • How metals deform
    • Role of Dislocations
    • Solid solution strengthening
    • Grain Boundary strengthening
    • Precipitation strengthening
    • Dislocation strengthening

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding of key crystal structures
  • Understanding of allotropic behaviour of iron
  • Role of carbon on microstructures formed
  • How equilibrium phase diagrams are used and their limitations
  • Equilibrium microstructures formed in steel
  • How time-temperature-transformation diagrams are constructed, how they indicate the non-equilibrium microstructures formed in steel
  • How cooling influences microstructures formed and the importance of the critical cooling rate
  • Factors that affect time-temperature-transformations, role of carbon, grain size and alloying elements
  • Definition of key mechanical properties, how mechanical properties are related to microstructure and chemistry
  • Definition of metal deformation and the role of dislocations
  • Introduction to the four main strengthening mechanisms in steel in which dislocation movement is impeded

Who should access the course?

Individuals who wish to work in the metal industry both manufacturing and down-stream processing.  Current practitioners in the metals industry, such as scientists, researchers, technologists, technology managers and operations and operational management.

Course Duration

3 x 40 minute modules

Course Presenter

Catherine Fennell

Catherine Fennell BMet CEng FIMMM
Principal Researcher

Catherine has 34 years’ experience in the Iron & Steel industry covering process development, product development, product characterisation, investigation of defects in rolled products, accreditation of mechanical and chemical testing services and quality assurance of processes and people.

Catherine has throughout her career looked to develop people through accredited apprentice schemes, coaching of managers and delivery of metallurgical training.

Catherine is a Fellow of the Materials, Minerals and Mining Institute and aside from her work at the Materials Processing Institute currently scrutinises and peer reviews applications for membership of the Institute of Material, Minerals and Mining.

Enrolment options for this course

Enrol for the full course, or go through the modules separately (to maximise learning it is recommended that each module is completed in sequence).