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27-302 Microstructure-Properties Relationships II: Syllabus

Course Description

The objective of this second of a pair of courses on microstructure-property relationships is to convey some of the essential concepts in materials science and engineering that relate properties (strength, magnetism, thermal expansion) to microstructure (crystal structure, dislocations structure, grain structure, precipitate structure, composite structure). The relationships will be illustrated with examples of both idealized and technological materials. The course will draw upon many aspects of materials science such as defects, phase transformations etc. 4 hours lecture (Mon/Weds/Fri, 9:30-11:20am, location: Mon/Weds/Fri, Porter Hall A18B) and 2 hours lab (to be held in two one-week long blocks, 9:30-11:20, DH-A320). Office hours are 3:30-4:30 Mondays, 11:30-12:30 Weds/Fri.

Recommended Prerequisites: are 27-100, 27-201 (Perfect Crystals) and 27-202 (Defects in Materials), Thermodynamics (27-215), Transport & Kinetics (27-216), Phase Relations (27-217), 33-106 (Physics for Engineering Students I)

Required Prerequisite: 27-301 (Microstructure-Properties I).

Textbook: 669.94 P84P2, Phase transformations in metals and alloys by D.A. Porter, & K.E. Easterling, Chapman & Hall.

Topics Covered

  1. Where does microstructure come from? Phase transformations, kinetics of transformations, the Kolmogorov-Johnson-Mehl-Avrami equation.

  1. Properties of Composite materials: background material on glass-ceramics for Lab 1.

  2. Phase transformations: driving forces, thermodynamics of nucleation (precipitation reactions).

  3. Transformations: kinetics of growth: a simple TTT diagram. How to calculate and predict TTT and CCT diagrams.

  4. The role of interfaces in heterogeneous nucleation; example of the Al-Cu system; sequences of metastable precipitates.

  5. The age-hardening curve; methods of measuring transformations. The similarities between mechanical hardness and magnetic hardness.

  6. Impact of precipitation on complex properties: example of fatigue as a microstructure-sensitive property.

  7. More complex diffusive transformations: example of Fe-C system for eutectoid reactions.

  8. Continuous transformations: spinodal decomposition.

  9. Coarsening of two-phase structures; effect of two-phase structures on creep properties (Ni-alloys as an example).

  10. Competition between transformation mechanisms; discussion of non-diffusive transformations; massive transformations, martensitic transformations; exploitation of martensitic reactions for shape-memory alloys.

  11. The ultimate in complicated microstructures: introduction to welding and joining.

Course Objectives and Relationship to Program Objectives (Target Skills)

The goal of the course is to bring students to the point where each student can understand and explain to others the relationships between microstructure and properties. In addition, students will be expected to be able to explain how microstructures are controlled in order to optimize properties. Students will learn how to use basic concepts such as strengthening mechanisms in understanding the performance of engineering materials and relating it to the microstructure of materials (MSE Objectives A,B). In addition to the technical, engineering skills and scientific understanding to be gained, the course is intended to help students meet the overall objectives of the MSE undergraduate program as listed below. The laboratory work, for example, is intended in part to meet objectives related to experimental skills and the design of experiments (D). Communication (C) will be emphasized through the requirements for written reports and oral presentations. Based on a discussion of current applications of materials where properties control performance, outcomes E and G will also be reinforced.

Class Schedule. Microstructure-Properties II is a 9-unit mini in the second half of the Fall 2002 semester, of which 3 units are for the lab. See below for detailed schedule.

Contribution to meeting the professional component. 27-302 is an engineering science course and is primarily intended to introduce students to the concept of microstructural control of the properties of engineering materials. For example, the mechanical properties of (solid) materials are related to materials structure with particular emphasis on defects such as dislocations.

Course Assistants. The course assistant will be Ms. Mitra Taheri, who will assist mainly in the Laboratory.

Prepared by Prof. Anthony D. Rollett, October 2001, revised Oct. 2002.

27-302 Microstructure-Properties II: Syllabus Supplement

Required Book






Phase transformations in metals and alloys

D.A. Porter, & K.E. Easterling

Chapman & Hall


669.94 P84P2

Suggested Reading






Recrystallization and related annealing phenomena

Humphreys, F. J. and M. Hatherly



Mechanical Behavior of Materials

T.H. Courtney



620.11292 C86M

Stability of microstructure in metallic systems

J.W. Martin, R.D. Doherty and B. Cantor

Cambridge Univ. Press

0 521 42316 3

Interfaces in Materials (1997)

James M. Howe

Wiley Interscience



A.J. Moulson & J.M. Herbert

Chapman & Hall




The theory of transformations in metals and alloys : an advanced textbook in physical metallurgy

J. W. Christian


669.94 C55T2

The Science of Strong Materials

J. E. Gordon

Penguin (also Princeton)


Microstructure & Properties of Materials – I

J.C.M. Li

World Scientific


Physical Ceramics (1997)

Y.-T. Chiang, D.P. Birnie III, W.D. Kingery

Wiley, New York



P. W. McMillan

666.1 M16G2

Mechanical Behavior of Materials, 2nd ed, 1999

Norman E. Dowling

Prentice Hall, NJ


An Introduction to the Mechanical Properties of Ceramics, 1998

D.J. Green

Cambridge Univ. Press, NY


620.140423 G79I

The Mechanical Properties of Matter, 1964

A.H. Cottrell

Wiley, NY

The Plastic Deformation of Metals

R.W.K. Honeycombe

St. Martins

620.1123 H77p

Introduction to Dislocations, 3rd ed.

D. Hull and D.J. Bacon

Pergamon Press

658.8 H91.i2

Micromechanics of Flow in Solids



531.38 G48m

Theory of Dislocations

J.P.Hirth and J. Lothe


548.8 H67t

Mechanisms of Creep Fracture

H.E. Evans


620.1123 E92m

Mechanical Metallurgy, 3rd edition

G. Dieter



669.94 D56m3


Desired Outcomes for Students in the MSE Program

MSE Program Outcomes


A. The ability to apply a knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, materials and statistics to identify, formulate and solve the problems encountered in the production or application of a material.


B. An ability to apply core concepts in materials science (structure, properties, processing and performance) to materials engineering problems.


C. An ability to communicate effectively.


D. An ability to design and conduct experiments with an emphasis on relating properties and processing to structure.


E. An ability to relate materials selection and performance to design of engineered systems and components.


F. F. An ability to function responsibly and ethically in a professional, multidisciplinary environment and as an individual or as a member of a team.


G. An ability to employ the techniques, skills and tools of modern engineering practice in materials engineering.


H. Recognition of the need for lifelong scholarship.


I. A knowledge of contemporary issues.


J. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context


H indicates that the course is expected to strongly support the outcome; I indicates intermediate support; L indicates that the course is expected to have a lesser impact on the outcome.


The URL for this semester is:

Lecture List, 27-302, Fall 2001

Please see the relevant page in the administrative slides for 27-302 available on the website at (under Educational Activities).

Test, Exams, Grading Policy

Homeworks: 1 per week 100 points

Quizzes: 1 per week 20 points

Exams: two see weighting below

Grading Policy A > 90%

B > 80%

C > 65%

D > 55%

The instructor will request an Oral exam in borderline cases.

Weighting: Homeworks 15

Quizzes 5

Lab or Project 30

Exams 50

Notes: the distribution between the two exams is to be determined. The quizzes are mainly there to encourage students to stay on top of the material. The 30% weighting for the Lab (or Project) reflects the number of units assigned to the Lab part of the class.


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