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Superalloys - High Temperature


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

Analyze and understand the physical metallurgy of superalloys and other high temperature structural alloys; understand processing - microstructure/defect - property relationships; understand and apply basic alloy selection and design strategies for engineering components; obtain basic understanding of computational materials engineering design tools as they apply to superalloys


Superalloys are Fe-, Ni-, and Co-based alloys possessing an exceptional balance of properties that typically include high-temperature strength, oxidation/corrosion resistance, toughness, and microstructure stability. These alloys are used in industries ranging from chemical processing, to nuclear power, to aerospace. This course will cover the fundamentals of the physical metallurgy, processing routes and manufacturing, high temperature deformation mechanisms, and corrosion/oxidation mechanisms related to superalloys. Basic principles of lifing and identification of failure mechanisms of superalloy components will be covered. Material design and selection strategies for practical industrial applications will be presented. Beyond superalloys, we will study emerging structural alloys that include ultra-high-temperature refractory silicides and borosilicides, refractory alloys, and intermetallics.

Topics Covered:

  1. Introduction to materials for high-temperature applications
  2. Physical metallurgy of superalloys
  3. High temperature mechanical properties of superalloys
  4. Processing and manufacturing of superalloys
  5. Environmental degradation (oxidation, corrosion, irradiation)
  6. Failure analysis of superalloys
  7. Future trends in structural alloy design and development


B.S. in Materials Engineering, Aerospace, or Mechanical Engineering or related field; or familiarity with basic Materials Science and Engineering principles and concepts that include crystal structures (face-centered cubic, intermallics), mechanical properties (tension/compression, creep, fatigue), and metallic alloy phase diagrams

Applied / Theory:

60 / 40

Web Address:

Web Content:

Syllabus, Grades, Lecture Notes, Homework, Solutions, Quizzes


Homework problem sets will be provided and will be due on a weekly basis.


Working in small teams (3 - 4 students), the students will seek to identify an appropriate alloy and coating (if application) system given a mock component design specification. The selection process will be documented in a final report due at the end of the semester. The final report must include detailed background about the alloy and coating system (chemistry, microstructure, processing/manufacturing routes) and specific reasons why, based on mechanical properties, environmental degradation resistance, etc, the given alloy and coating system was chosen.


A midterm exam and final exam will be administered.


Roger C. Reed, The Superalloys - Fundamentals and Applications, 1st ed. or higher, Cambridge University Press, 2006, 978-0-521-85904-2 (hardback), 978-0-511-54128-5 (online)

Computer Requirements:

Proed minimum requirements

Other Requirements:

A computer with internet access and some form of conferencing capability (Skype, Webex, etc) to meet with final report team members will be needed.

ProEd Minimum Requirements:


Tuition & Fees: