ME 6797: Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Microstructural Evolution

Offered as Required

Credit Hours: 3-0-3
Prerequisites: Graduate standing in engineering or related discipline.
Catalog Description: The reduction of chemical free energy, strain energy, and interfacial energy controls the kinetics of diffusional transformations. These factors are explored from the point of view of processing and stability of the of the microstructure during service. Crosslisted with MSE and PTFE 6797.
Textbooks: None

Thermodynamics Textbooks

  • C.H.P. Lupis - Chemical Thermodynamics of Materials, North-Holland, New York, 1983.

Physical Metallurgy Textbooks

  • J.W. Christian - The Theory of Transformations in Metals and Alloys, Pergamon Press, 1965.
  • D.A. Porter and K.E. Easterling - Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1980.
  • Robert E. Reed-Hill, Physical Metallurgy Principles, D. Van Nostrand Co., 1973.
  • P.G. Shewmon - Transformations in Metals, McGraw-Hill, 1969.
  • John D. Verhoeven - Fundamentals of Physical Metallurgy, John Wiley & Sons, 1975.
Goals: The production of most engineering materials involves steps that introduce microstructural inhomogeneities that are inherently unstable. The objective of this course is to identify the hierarchy of the instabilities and examine their roles in driving microstructural transformations both from the point of view of creating a desired microstructure through processing but also in identifying specific microstructure features that limit the microstructure during service.
  1. The General Problem of Microstructural Instability
    1. Elements of phase transformations
    2. Reaction kinetics
  2. Microstructural Instabilities Due to Chemical Free Energy
    1. Instabilities due to non-uniform solute distribution
    2. Interfacial energy
    3. Decomposition of supersaturated solid solutions
    4. Precipitate growth from super-saturated solid solutions
    5. Second phase dissolution
  3. Instability Due to Strain Energy
    1. The stored energy of cold work
    2. Recovery
    3. Recrystallization
    4. Recrystallization in two-phase alloys
  4. Microstructural Instabilities Due to Interfaces
    1. Precipitate coarsening: Ostwald ripening
    2. Microstructural changes due to grain boundary energies - normal grain growth
    3. Sintering
    4. The combined effect of composition and boundaries on microstructural instabilities