MSE104 Microstructure and Properties of Materials

Introduction to Phase Metallurgy (9 lectures)

I give 9 lectures, supported by 2 tutorials, introducing phase metallurgy.  Here we examine phases, phase diagrams and how to use them.  First we look at simple binary phase diagrams, how to convert from weight to atomic/molar fractions and the Lever Rule. Then we examine the underlying thermodynamics and relate Gibbs Energy to phase diagrams.  Then we look briefly at the kinetics of transformations and solidification in fast cooling (Scheil) situations.  Finally we apply these ideas to steels and the iron-carbon system.

The course is taught by Peer Instruction.  Here, students review the material ahead of the class session, rather than afterwards as in classical lecture approaches.  The class session then consists of examining simple conceptual questions that are discussed in class.  Building on the concepts to answer more complex mathematical problems is then the subject of the question sheets and tutorials, building to the interim January and final June exams.  Video 1.2 below explains the Peer Instruction approach more fully. I trialled this in October 2012 – my note on the results is here.

The notes (.pdf) are here. In Lecture 4 we do some additional examples, which are here.  The tutorial questions and answers are here:  Tutorial1 (Answers), Tutorial2 (Answers).  Learning Catalytics is used to manage the pre-session reviews and in-class discussions.

Videos to support the notes, for those who like lectures, are below.  The advantage of videos over the typical expository lecture style are that they can be used in revision and review as well as for the initial presentation, as well as being more convenient for students.  The video numbering matches that of the Chapters in the current version of the written notes.

Lecture 1 – 1.1 (Intro to phases),  1.2 (Peer Instruction)1.3 (Mechanical Properties)

Lecture 2 – 2.1 (Binary Phase Diagrams)2.2 (Atom and Weight fractions)2.3 (Calculating Phase Fractions)

Lecture 3 – 3.1 (Eutectic Solidification)3.2 (Examples in Eutectics)

Lecture 4 – 4.1 (Example Problems in Binary Eutectics)4.2 (Thermodynamic Quantities)

Lecture 5 – 5.1 (Thermodynamics of Solutions)5.2 (Gibbs Energy Curves)   [A nice explanation of configurational entropy, with sheep, is here.]

Lecture 6 – 6.1 (The Scheil Equation)

Lecture 7 – 7.1 (Diffusion, Nucleation and Growth)

Lecture 8 – 8.1 (Nucleation: TTT diagrams)8.2 (Fe-C phase diagram; steels)

Lecture 9  –9.1 (Non-equilibrium cooling of steels)

26 Responses to MSE104

  1. Kevin says:

    Great Stuff

  2. jannane says:

    very useful thank you !

  3. Oguz Kagan says:

    you are awesome person, very assistive, thanx for all.

  4. Amel Naceur says:

    Hello Sir, Im an Algerian sutudent and I really need help with the calculation of binary phase diagram and ternary I do not know how to have the Gibbs energy for a ternary system and then how to recalculate a part of the diagram
    thank you

    • dyedavid says:

      Setting up Gibbs Energies for real systems is complex and challenging! Certainly, its beyond the cope of this course. The field is called Phase Diagram assessment – probably the key text to read on this topic is by Mats Hillert.

  5. Noel says:

    Is it possible to download your videos so I can store them on my ipad and watch them when I don’t have a wifi signal?

  6. Bruno says:

    Definitely an excellent course!!! But I’m curious about two things. 1) The minimum quenching rate to obtain martensite (for example) is obtained by a tangent line (TTT Diagram) between the eutectic temperature and the start curve of ferrite. But, a hipoutectoid steel (0.6%wt C for example) starts forming ferrite earlier, so it’s still the eutectoid temperature to calculate the minimum quenching rate? 2) The second is once we calculate quenching rate how to know what cooling process should be used (water, oil, air …)? Any reference that I may consult? Once again thanks for the attention and the great course!

    • dyedavid says:

      1) The TTT curve is specific to the steel, so the top temperature is the one at which you first start forming ferrite, whatever that is for your particular steel.
      2) The quenching process you use, and the depth into the component, will determine the cooling rate, which is a separate heat transfer calculation.

      • Bruno says:

        First of all thanks for the answer.
        But, it’s quite unpractical characterizing the cooling fluid and performance numerical simulation of heat transfer every time i need to heat treating something. So, do you know any good reference where i can check an easy heat transfer calculation? It’s only my curiosity and sorry to bother with questions not directly related to the course.

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  8. Bao says:

    Excellent teaching

  9. Safouane says:

    Hello! It’s an amazingly excellent course. I would like to know if there is a way we can get an online certificate for this course just like the courses that are available on edx,coursera,etc…

    • dyedavid says:

      Sorry, no. We haven’t got that far along the MOOC road as yet. This is simply an undergraduate course that I’ve put online for your interest…

      • Safouane says:

        well thank you way too much for the course and the materials that you’ve put online.those materials are really useful and the course is a wonderful one.Looking forward to seeing available on a website where we can get a certificate of this course.Thanks.

  10. Safouane says:

    Professor, would you mind,please,referring me to other courses that would be useful to an undergraduate materials science engineer and whose material is available online?

  11. Dimitri Jakobi says:

    Prof. Dye,

    I really appreciated watching your lectures. They were of great benefit to me. I, however, am in dire need of help in trying to set up the scheil equation but with transient recharging (of a melt) in order to acquire a more constant concentration profile at the solute as much as possible in directional solidification process. I would really appreciate some help on that. Thanks

  12. K says:

    Great lectures!

  13. Yan says:

    Dear Prof Dye,

    I’d like to know how hot working can reduce the grain size. Can I consider hot working as cold working followed by annealing? So the sample first gets deformed, which creates a lot of dislocations. Then dislocations are rearranged and form sub grains. After that, new finer grains nucleate and grow. Or should I consider hot working as cold working and annealing at the same time? Thank you.

    • dyedavid says:

      Dr Wenman lectures this in MSE104 in the summer term. You have learned about recrystallisation – where one cold works a sample, then reheats it to allow the dislocations to rearrange into cells (recovery) and nucleate new grains (recrystallisation). During hot deformation, these processes happen all at once – termed dynamic recovery and dynamic recrystallisation.

  14. Deepak Dhariwal says:

    Dear Prof. Dye,

    Your lecture notes are really awesome and so are the tutorial problems. Just want to remind you that link for the answers of tutorial 1 is missing.


  15. Fabio Riemke says:

    Congratulations for your work. I am an undergraduate student in Materials Science Engineering in Brazil and your lectures and notes have been very helpfull. I also wanna say that your Peer instructions Method have been very timesaving and efficient among me and my classmates

  16. Tuks says:

    Thank you so much for your lectures on nucleation and growth. I needed some clarity between population density and Fisher Turnbull equation for nucleation rate and I finally managed to get it from your lectures along with Prof. Baron Peters. How would I cite your lectures if I ever have to?

    • dyedavid says:

      Thanks for this.
      If you want the notes, I would go for something like:
      D Dye. MSE 104: Microstructure and Properties of Materials: Phase Metallurgy. Lecture Notes, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, UK, Oct 2013 (available at
      Or, if you want a video
      D Dye. MSE104 7.1 Diffusion, Nucleation and Growth. YouTube video lectures, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, UK, Aug 2012. (available at and
      Does that work for you? It would seem to be complete, findable and all that – if you are feeling nice to your reader, embed hyperlinks.

  17. Hi, your videos have been very helpful! You forgot to include the link to the solutions for tutorial 1.

    • dyedavid says:

      Hello Catherine,
      I didn’t, actually. In the educational intent for this course, then uniquely for the first question sheet people do in their degree I don’t give out the answers before the tutorial, I only provide them (by email to the whole class) afterwards.
      Best Wishes
      David Dye

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