Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Shawn Buchok, McMaster University Continuing Education Metallurgy and Business Administration graduate Shawn Buchok, McMaster University Continuing Education Metallurgy and Business Administration graduate

Metallurgy of Iron & Steel

Iron ore steel?
Know your product.

Gain a comprehensive knowledge of steel.

MET 450 - Physical Metallurgy C21 Spring19

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Courses should be taken in sequence
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Paul Okrutny
Course Dates:
05/13/2019 - 07/14/2019

Required Course Materials:
Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction. Callister, William. 9th Edition (any edition acceptable)
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
In this course we will study the foundations of Physical Metallurgy and its place in Materials Science and Engineering. The main objective of this course is to provide you a physical basis that links the structure of materials with their properties, focusing primarily on metals.

The modules will cover metal structure and crystallography, alloy theory, mechanical properties and plastic deformation, phase diagrams with specific emphasis on iron-carbon diagram, alloy steel and cast iron. We will also review the methods for evaluating the structure and properties of materials.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand how metals are put together from atomic level up to the macroscopic level;
  • Understand how atoms are arranged in very  specific patterns;
  • Understand how to describe planes and directions within a metallic system;
  • Understand how each grain is imperfect, containing many defects such as vacancies, solute atoms and dislocations and why these imperfections matter;
  • Understand physical properties that are determined through mechanical testing;
  • Understand mechanical deformation, mechanism of slip and dislocations in crystal structures, work hardening, ductile and brittle fracture;
  • Gain familiarity with testing methods for indentation hardness, impact energy and tensile. Identify the properties associated with these tests and understand how the properties are determined from the test results;
  • Understand solid solutions as a phase - interstitial and substitutional;
  • Understand phase diagrams, terminology, construction from cooling curves and interpretation of phase diagrams;
  • Apply theories of phase diagrams to real metal binary system;
  • Understand the effects various alloys and treatments have on the properties of alloy steel and cast irons
Course Evaluation


Week Number

Module Title

Description of the Assignment

% of Total Mark


Introduction to Materials

multiple choice quiz



Crystal Structures of Metals

multiple choice quiz



Phase Diagrams: Introduction

short answer quiz



Phase Diagrams: Application

multiple choice quiz



Physical and Mechanical Properties

multiple choice quiz



Physical and Mechanical Properties - Failure Analysis - Phase Diagrams

Final Exam - Short Answer



Bonus Quiz (Optional)

Various Questions from Course

10 [Bonus]





Total marks:




Course Format:

This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in metallurgy and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation through weekly online discussion boards.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters per the weekly requirements.

Also, there will be optional live online sessions (see Live Online Tutorial section).
The course will include a blend of individual and group activities; therefore, it is important for students to log in to this course site daily to check for updates, discussion board postings, e-mail, etc.

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late penalties for assignments:  2% per day up to a maximum of 5 days.  If after 5 days an assignment has not been submitted, the student will receive a zero mark for that assignment.

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):

In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process.

Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.

Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (

Storm Closure Policy:

In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed.  All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed.  On-line courses will take place as scheduled.

Grading Scale:



Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:



Topic & Readings

Assignments/Graded Components

Week 1:

Introduction to Materials

Quiz 1

Week 2:

Crystal Structure of Metals

Quiz 2

Week 3:

Crystal Defects


Week 4:

Formation of Alloys


Week 5:



Week 6:

Phase Diagrams - Introduction

Quiz 3

Week 7:

Review Week 1 - Week 6

Quiz 4

Week 8:

Slip and Deformation

Quiz 5

Week 9:

Physical Properties 1


Week 10:

Physical Properties 2


Week 11:

Intro to Failure Analysis

Final Exam

Week 12:

Final Course Overview


Week 13


Bonus Quiz