Showing posts with label Engineering Materials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Engineering Materials. Show all posts

Engineering Materials

Basics of engineering materials course for undergraduate mechanical engineering students and professionals. Engineering materials is a core course (compulsory course) for all mechanical engineers because all design and manufacturing in mechanical engineering industry requires deep understanding of the concepts involved in engineering materials. Complete outline and syllabus of the subject "Engineering Materials" is given below. It is recommended for all mechanical engineers to revise basic concepts of the course from time to time.

Engineering Materials - Introduction

The knowledge of engineering materials and their properties is of great importance for a design engineer. A design engineer must be familiar with the effects which the manufacturing processes and heat treatment have on the properties of the materials. The engineering materials are mainly classified as:

1. Metals and their alloys, such as iron, steel, copper, aluminum etc.
2. Non-metals, such as glass, rubber, plastic etc.


The metals may further be classified as:
(a) Ferrous metals; and (b) Non-ferrous metals.


The ferrous metals are those which have the iron as their main constituent, such as cast iron, wrought iron and steel.

The non-ferrous metals are those which have a metal other than iron as their main constituent, such as copper, aluminum, brass, tin, zinc etc.

The important mechanical properties of metals are as follows:

1. Strength. It is the ability of a material to resist the externally applied forces without breaking or yielding.
2. Stiffness. It is the, ability of a material to resist deformation under stress. The modulus of elasticity is the measure of stiffness.
3. Elasticity. It is the property of a material to regain its original shape after deformation when the external forces are removed. This property is desirable for materials used in tools and machines. It may be noted that steel is more elastic than rubber.
4. Plasticity. It is property of a material which retains the deformation produced under load permanently. This property of material is necessary for forgings, in stamping images on coins, and in ornamental work.
5. Ductility. It is property of a material enabling it to be drawn into wire with the application of a tensile force. A ductile material commonly used in engineering practice (in order of diminishing ductility) are mild steel, copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, tin and lead.
6. Brittleness. It is the property of a material opposite to ductility. It is the property of breaking of a material with little permanent distortion. Cast iron is a brittle material.
7. Malleability. It is a special case of ductility which permits materials to be rolled or hammered into thin sheets. A malleable material should be plastic but it is not essential to be so strong. The malleable materials commonly used in engineering practice (in order of diminishing malleability) are lead, soft steel, wrought iron, copper and aluminum.
8. Toughness. It is the property of a material to resist fracture due to high impact loads like hammer blows. The toughness of a material decreases when it is heated. This property is desirable in parts subjected to shock and impact loads.
9. Resilience. It is property of a material to absorb energy and to resist shock and impact loads. It is measured by the amount of energy absorbed per unit volume within elastic limit. This property is essential for spring materials.
10. Creep. When a part is subjected to a constant stress at high temperature for a long period of time, it will undergo a slow and permanent deformation called creep. This property is considered in designing internal combustion engines, boilers and turbines.
11. Fatigue. When a material is subjected to repeated stresses, it fails at stresses below the yield point stresses. Such type of failure of a material is known as fatigue. The failure is caused by means of a progressive crack formation which are usually fine and microscopic size. This property is considered in designing shafts, connecting rods, springs, gears etc.
12. Hardness. It is a very important property of the metals and has a wide variety of meanings. It embraces many different properties such as resistance to wear, scratching, deformation and machinability etc. It also means the ability of a metal to cut another metal. The hardness is usually expressed in numbers which are dependent on the method of making the test.

Pig iron and its manufacturing

Pig iron is the crude form of iron and is used as a raw material for the production of various other ferrous metals, such as cast iron, wrought iron and steel. The pig iron is obtained by smelting iron ores in a blast furnace.

The iron ores are found in various forms as shown below:
Iron ores

The metallic contents of these iron ores are given in the following table:
Metallic content in iron ores
The haematite is widely used for the production of pig iron. Since pyrite contains only 30 to 40% iron, therefore it is not used for manufacturing pig iron.

The pig iron is obtained from the iron ores in the following steps:

1. Concentration. It is the process of removing the impurities like clay, sand etc. from the iron ore by washing with water.
2. Calcination or roasting. It is the process of expelling moisture, carbon dioxide, sulphur and arsenic from the iron ore by heating in shallow kilns.
3. Smelting. It is process of reducing the ore with carbon in the presence of a flux. The smelting is carried out in a large tower called blast furnace.

The blast furnace is a chimney like structure made of heavy steel plates lined inside with fire bricks to a thickness of 1.2 to 1.5 metres. It is about 30 metres high with a maximum internal diameter of 9 meters as its widest cross-section. The portion of the furnace above its widest cross-section is called stack. The top most portion of the stack is called throat through which the charge is fed into the furnace. The charge of the blast furnace consists of calcined ore (8 parts), coke (4 parts) and lime stone (1 part). The portion of the furnace, below its widest cross-section is known as bosh or the burning zone (or zone of fusion). The bosh is provided with holes for a number of water jacketed iron blowing pipes known as tuyers. The tuyers are 12 to 15 in number and are connected to bustle pipe surrounding the furnace.

In the lower part of the blast furnace (called zone of fusion), the temperature is 1200° C to 1300° C. In the middle part of the blast furnace (called zone of absorption), the temperature is 800° C to 1000°C. In the upper part of the blast furnace (called zone of reduction), the temperature is 400° C to 700° C.

At the bottom of the blast furnace, the molten iron sinks down while above this floats the fusible stage which protects the molten iron from oxidation. The molten iron thus produced is known as pig iron. The slag from the blast furnace consists of calcium, aluminum and ferrous silicates. It is used as a ballast for rail roads, mixed with tar for road making and in the cement manufacture.

The pig iron from the blast furnace contains 90 to 92% of iron. The various other elements present in pig iron are carbon (1 to 5%), silicon ( 1 to 2%), manganese (1 to 2%), sulphur and phosphorus (1 to 2%).

Note : Carbon plays an important role in iron. It exists in iron in two forms i.e. either in a free form (as graphite) or in a combined form (as cementite and pearlite). The presence of free carbon in iron imparts softness and a coarse crystalline structure to the metal, while the combined carbon makes the metal hard and gives a fine grained crystalline structure.
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