Online Course - Metallurgical Properties, How to Measure, Assess and Influence

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 – Mechanical Properties and Mechanical Testing

This module will recap on what is meant by strength and toughness and look at the standard test methods and equipment by which they are determined. The methods by which hardness, creep and fatigue are measured are also discussed. The module will also cover how strength, toughness and creep are influenced by grain size.

Module 2 – Microexamination and Microstructures

This module will recap on how microstructures in steel are formed, which was covered on the atomic scale in the first course Building Blocks for Metallurgical Success, and look at the key microstructural features by which the metallographer can distinguish between differing microstructures and how in practice microstructures are assessed using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Module 3 – Heat Treatment

This module will consider how the properties and microstructure discussed in modules 1 & 2 are achieved in practice. The module will discuss the heating and cooling parameters that are used to achieve a desired property outcome.

What the course covers

  • Recap on definition of strength, ductility and toughness
  • Recap on the influence of grain size on strength and toughness
  • Practical methods by which, strength, ductility, toughness, hardness, creep and fatigue are measured
    • Tensile test
    • Charpy and CTOD test
    • Brinell and Vickers hardness test
    • Creep testing
    • Fatigue testing
  • Recap on Fe-C phase diagram and formation of equilibrium ferrite and pearlite
  • Recap on how martensite and bainite are formed
    • What are the key features which differentiate how ferrite and pearlite, bainite and martensite look like in practice
    • How samples are prepared and etched for microstructural assessment
    • How these microstructures are observed under an optical light microscope
    • What features can be distinguished using a scanning electron microscope
  • Recap on the rules governing Time-Temperature-Transformation and Critical Cooling Rate
  • How these rules are applied in through practical heat treatment to achieve desired properties
    • Parameters required for annealing and the property outcome
    • Parameters required for normalising and the property outcome
    • Parameters required for quenching and the property outcome

Learning Outcomes

  • Full understanding of the definitions of key mechanical properties and how these properties are measured in practice
  • Ability to differentiate between non-equilibrium steel microstructures formed during processing
  • The practical methods by which microstructures can be observed
  • An understanding of the importance of sample procurement and sample preparation on the properties measured and microstructures observed
  • The rules governing heat treatment outcomes and the practical parameters under which these heat treatments are conducted

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).