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Steel and Aluminum: Processing Structure and Properties


Credit Hours:


Start Date:

August 24, 2020

Learning Objective:

1. As process leads to microstructure leads to properties is the foundation of Materials Science and Engineering, the foundation of the course will be on microstructure. Understanding the property to microstructure relationship and the process to microstructure relationship is foundational to being a materials engineer.
2. Materials Engineers are problem solvers who analyze the difference between the expected and the actual microstructure to diagnose what may have happened in the process to explain the difference.


Steel and aluminum processing will be studied to understand fundamentals such as the impact of impurities and phase transformations. The study of processing will provide an understanding of how the final properties are influenced by the sequence of processes from the extraction of metal from ore, through casting, hot deformation and heat treating. This understanding will enable the student to go beyond comparisons of standard handbook values and to recognize and understand how the fundamental metallurgical phenomena lead to different performance among the various steels and aluminum alloys. By examining the relationships among processes, microstructure, and properties, the course will provide the "know-how" for better design with steel, aluminum and competing materials.

Topics Covered:

Steel processing will include the blast furnace, basic oxygen furnace, electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgy, continuous casting, deformation and heat treatments. The iron-carbon phase diagram will be studied in order to understand the variety of steel phases that are obtained by thermal processing. Aluminum processing will include the Bayer processing, the Hall-Heroult smelting process, DC casting, deformation and heat treatments. The different alloy systems will be studied to understand the distinction and application of heat treated vs. non heat treated aluminum alloys.


Introductory undergraduate courses in materials science, chemistry and physics.

Applied / Theory:

80 / 20

Web Address:

Web Content:

syllabus, lecture notes, homework assignments, solutions, and message board.


5 assignments which focus on Learning Objectives.


2 midterm exams and 1 final exam.


Official textbook information listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of faculty. If you have questions, contact the academic dept.
W. F. Smith, Structure and Properties of Engineering Alloys, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1993. Hardcover ISBN: 0070591725; Paperback (International Edition, 2014) ISBN: 9339205294

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Computer Requirements.

ProEd Minimum Requirements:


Tuition & Fees: