MTE2542 - Microstructural development - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Neil Cameron


Adjunct Professor Malcolm Couper

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


MSC2122, MTE2502, MTE2503, MTE2504, MTE3502


Thermal conductivity, heat transfer film coefficients. Non-steady state conduction; lumped systems. Convection and radiation. Interstitial diffusion, substitutional diffusion, steady-state diffusion (Fick's first law), nonsteady-state diffusion (Fick's second law), solution of diffusion problems (homogenisation and carburization), atomic mobility, high-diffusivity paths. Casting, forging, hot rolling, injection moulding. Nucleation and growth: homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation, solid/liquid interface, growth of solid in liquid, growth of solid in solid. Solidification: coring; cells and dendrites; eutectics; segregation in ingots. Kinetics of phase transformations: TTT and CCT diagrams Evolution of microstructure/nanostructure: thermomechanical processing of steels and Al/Mg alloys; hardenability, quenching and tempering of steels, alloying elements.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Describe nucleation and growth of new phases in liquid and solid.
  2. Describe mechanisms of diffusion and application of it in heat treatment.
  3. Describe the evolution of microstructure during solidification of metals and alloys under both equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions and the ability to interpret solidification microstructures in common alloy systems and relate them to the material properties.
  4. Identify the basis for the design of engineering alloys and their microstructures.
  5. Describe the thermo-mechanical treatment of engineering alloys with particular reference to steels.
  6. Describe the effects of processing parameters on structure and properties of steels during their heat treatment and the ability to design simple processing schedules for common commercial steels.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Continuous assessment: 50%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lecture/applied classes, 7.5 hours of private study per week and 18 hours laboratory classes per semester

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Materials science