What is metallurgy and why is a course like this important?
Metallurgy is perhaps the broadest of the scientific disciplines. Innovative and resposponsive, metallurgists investigate the properties of various materials used throughout the world to improve almost every aspect of our daily lives. Using a combination of expertise and imagination, the metallurgist can be found making significant impacts in a diverse range of applications. From aerospace and automotive industries, to precision medical equipment, high technology, manufacturing and processing.
Metallurgy is the main 'umbrella' heading we use to cover a wide range of areas within the topic. A brief description of some of those areas that we cover can be found below.
Casting is a manufacturing process in which a liquid material is usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process.
Heat treating (or heat treatment) is a group of industrial and metalworking processes used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. ... Heat treatment techniques include annealing, case hardening, precipitation strengthening, tempering, normalizing and quenching.
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing fusion, which is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal.
When a sufficient load is applied to a metal or other structural material, it will cause the material to change shape. This change in shape is called deformation. A temporary shape change that is self-reversing after the force is removed, so that the object returns to its original shape, is called elastic deformation.
So why is it important to offer training within this sector? Well the simple answer is that there is no provision in the UK for FE to HE in metallurgy. If the UK wants to develop higher skills then this is the way forward. This is an extremely niche market for employers and part time students and the people who want or need this type of training are geographically spaced and in diverse industry sectors. Here at M&C we create a tripartite relationship between the employer, the student and the academic to to ensure a strong communicative network to ensure the student has the best chance of success.
Aiding this tripartite will be the Industrial Mentor (IM) and it is pivotal that the company has full understanding of our course and the content via the IM to help the students within their company.
Take a look at our Certificate of Metallurgy - Pathway course.
why is it so important?
"Over the past two decades, the manufacture of castings has become sophisticated in the design of filling systems for moulds. New filling behaviour, now nearly, or sometime completely, free from turbulence can produce products of extreme reliability and high properties. These desirable features extend into wrought metal manufacture, and promise a revolution in the ability to suppress the failure of metals by cracking. For this reason, the major metallurgical preoccupations with design against failure by cracking, including fatigue, creep, stress corrosion cracking and other failure modes appear for the first time to be soluble by fundamental changes to metal casting practice. Thus casting technology and metallurgical achievement is seen to be linked to a degree not previously recognised. Even though, of course, traditional metallurgical techniques involving alloying and heat treatments will naturally contribute to benefits and will still be required to be taught and used, correct casting techniques will be found to be even more important, over-riding the traditional metallurgical approach. For the future design of a properly integrated metallurgical training and education, modern casting technology is clearly an essential requirement."
Emeritus Professor of Casting Technology
University of Birmingham UK