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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smelting, a basic step in obtaining usable quantities of most metals.
Casting; pouring molten gold into an ingot.
Gold was processed in La Luz Gold Mine (pictured) near Siuna, Nicaragua, until 1968.

Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. Metallurgy is used to separate metals from their ore. Metallurgy is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components for usage in products for consumers and manufacturers. The production of metals involves the processing of ores to extract the metal they contain, and the mixture of metals, sometimes with other elements, to produce alloys. Metallurgy is distinguished from the craft of metalworking, although metalworking relies on metallurgy, as medicine relies on medical science, for technical advancement. The science of metallurgy is subdivided into chemical metallurgy and physical metallurgy.

Metallurgy is subdivided into ferrous metallurgy (also known as black metallurgy) and non-ferrous metallurgy (also known as colored metallurgy). Ferrous metallurgy involves processes and alloys based on iron while non-ferrous metallurgy involves processes and alloys based on other metals. The production of ferrous metals accounts for 95 percent of world metal production.[1]

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Transcription

[MUSIC PLAYING] I often use this analogy to cooking. You want to get a certain texture and and a certain taste. And in the case of metals production it's the same thing. You add a little bit of iron and a little bit of manganese and a little bit of titanium and maybe a little bit of carbon to get a set of properties that you want fatigue resistance failure resistance, strength and ductility, formability and so forth. In our lab there is a specific focus on what we call healing or self-healing of metals. [MUSIC AND BACKGROUND TALKING] We use steels and aluminum alloys and titanium alloys in cars and constructions, in planes, even in our bodies, so we use implants. We want lighter cars, but at the same time we want cars that are safer. We want planes that have longer lifetime and can carry more people in a single run. But on top of it, there are also environmental challenges and this is one of the things that we in my group focus on. If we want to cut down carbon dioxide emissions we cannot rely solely on processing solutions we have to rely also on material solutions. In other words we, have to find ways of using less metals and we have to find ways of using metals that go for a longer time. Sort of an extreme example that I like is Mars expedition for instance. Think about the days when this is possible. We won't be able to carry tons of steel from Earth to Mars. And there also these kind of healing or resetting concepts would be very critical. Once we produce these alloys that we designed based on our healing or resetting concepts we of course want to characterize these materials. Then then we have a better understanding of how we can manipulate these microstructures. In a traditional lab you use relatively larger rigs and carry out experiments then you look at the microstructure. We hear in in my lab follow a different approach when we use what is called in situ techniques so that we gather information about both the mechanical response and information about the micro structural response at the same time so that we can connect these dots. And to be able to do this we constantly come up with with new techniques for our electron microscope. For example most of the materials that we design have nano structures So individual properties of the structures are very important. So how do you test these these individual properties? You do this by getting a tiny probe and being able to do in situ small-scale indentation experiments. It's like taking a tiny pin and pinching different phases to look at how hard they are and how stiff they are. When we are shaping metals for different processes for example you just produce a sheet metal and you want to use it to make the body of a car. The the way the metal deforms locally is very different than just a normal actual tension test that we typically do in the lab characterize this behavior. So locally parts of the metal is being stretched in both directions parts of the metal are stretched only in one direction and parts of the metal are bent. So typically in metallurgical labs these these strain puff effects are not so much investigated. So what we do is we carry out what is called bulge tests. You take a thin sheet of metal, so this is a typical sample and this is very thin and you clamp it in such a way that you can apply pressure from the bottom and bulge it. This is quite an interesting technique because it allows us to stop the experiment at any given time, take the sample out and bring it back again to our electron microscope. Because remember one of our main focuses is being able to do things in situ, being able to track our microstructures evolve under complex boundary conditions. We want to understand the orientation dependence of damage resistance and we do this by milling out - micro milling - a shape like a flower, like a star. And then we put cyclic loads on this material so that the direction in which the material is most sensitive to the cracking you would would see that the crack would nucleate and propagate. And once the crack starts propagating, then we can look at the interaction of this crack with the surrounding microstructure. [MUSIC, LAUGHING, BACKGROUND TALKING] If we look at our own lives, I see that more and more we lose this capability to reuse things. I know from my own family that my father is much more capable of repairing things than myself. And I know from his stories that his father was. So from a more social perspective we lose this capability of repair and reuse more and more and thus I think it's very important for us scientists to show that this is still both scientifically interesting, and engineering wise, it's also feasible and logical. [MUSIC, LAUGHING, BACKGROUND TALKING]

Contents

Etymology and pronunciation

Metallurgy derives from the Ancient Greek μεταλλουργός, metallourgós, "worker in metal", from μέταλλον, métallon, "mine, metal" + ἔργον, érgon, "work".

The word was originally an alchemist's term for the extraction of metals from minerals, the ending -urgy signifying a process, especially manufacturing: it was discussed in this sense in the 1797 Encyclopædia Britannica.[2] In the late 19th century it was extended to the more general scientific study of metals, alloys, and related processes.

In English, the /mɛˈtæləri/ pronunciation is the more common one in the UK and Commonwealth. The /ˈmɛtəlɜːri/ pronunciation is the more common one in the US, and is the first-listed variant in various American dictionaries (e.g., Merriam-Webster Collegiate, American Heritage).

History


The earliest recorded metal employed by humans appears to be gold, which can be found free or "native". Small amounts of natural gold have been found in Spanish caves used during the late Paleolithic period, c. 40,000 BC.[3] Silver, copper, tin and meteoric iron can also be found in native form, allowing a limited amount of metalworking in early cultures.[4] Egyptian weapons made from meteoric iron in about 3000 BC were highly prized as "daggers from heaven".[5]

Certain metals, notably tin, lead, and at a higher temperature, copper, can be recovered from their ores by simply heating the rocks in a fire or blast furnace, a process known as smelting. The first evidence of this extractive metallurgy, dating from the 5th and 6th millennia BC,[6] has been found at archaeological sites in Majdanpek, Jarmovac near Priboj and Pločnik, in present-day Serbia. To date, the earliest evidence of copper smelting is found at the Belovode site near Plocnik.[7] This site produced a copper axe from 5500 BC, belonging to the Vinča culture.[8]

The earliest use of lead is documented from the late neolithic settlement of Yarim Tepe in Iraq,

"The earliest lead (Pb) finds in the ancient Near East are a 6th millennium BC bangle from Yarim Tepe in northern Iraq and a slightly later conical lead piece from Halaf period Arpachiyah, near Mosul.[9] As native lead is extremely rare, such artifacts raise the possibility that lead smelting may have begun even before copper smelting."[10][11]

Copper smelting is also documented at this site at about the same time period (soon after 6000 BC), although the use of lead seems to precede copper smelting. Early metallurgy is also documented at the nearby site of Tell Maghzaliyah, which seems to be dated even earlier, and completely lacks that pottery.

The Balkans were the site of major Neolithic cultures, including Butmir, Vinča, Varna, Karanovo, and Hamangia.

Artefacts from the Varna necropolis, Bulgaria
Artefacts from the Varna necropolis, Bulgaria
Gold artefacts from the Varna necropolis, Varna culture
Gold artefacts from the Varna necropolis, Varna culture
Gold bulls, Varna culture
Gold bulls, Varna culture
Elite burial at the Varna necropolis, original find photo (detail)
Elite burial at the Varna necropolis, original find photo (detail)

The Varna Necropolis, Bulgaria, is a burial site in the western industrial zone of Varna (approximately 4 km from the city centre), internationally considered one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory. The oldest gold treasure in the world, dating from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC, was discovered at the site.[12] The gold piece dating from 4,500 BC, recently founded in Durankulak, near Varna is another important example.[13][14]

Other signs of early metals are found from the third millennium BC in places like Palmela (Portugal), Los Millares (Spain), and Stonehenge (United Kingdom). However, the ultimate beginnings cannot be clearly ascertained and new discoveries are both continuous and ongoing.

Mining areas of the ancient Middle East. Boxes colors: arsenic is in brown, copper in red, tin in grey, iron in reddish brown, gold in yellow, silver in white and lead in black. Yellow area stands for arsenic bronze, while grey area stands for tin bronze.
Mining areas of the ancient Middle East. Boxes colors: arsenic is in brown, copper in red, tin in grey, iron in reddish brown, gold in yellow, silver in white and lead in black. Yellow area stands for arsenic bronze, while grey area stands for tin bronze.

In the Near East, about 3500 BC, it was discovered that by combining copper and tin, a superior metal could be made, an alloy called bronze. This represented a major technological shift known as the Bronze Age.

The extraction of iron from its ore into a workable metal is much more difficult than for copper or tin. The process appears to have been invented by the Hittites in about 1200 BC, beginning the Iron Age. The secret of extracting and working iron was a key factor in the success of the Philistines.[5][15]

Historical developments in ferrous metallurgy can be found in a wide variety of past cultures and civilizations. This includes the ancient and medieval kingdoms and empires of the Middle East and Near East, ancient Iran, ancient Egypt, ancient Nubia, and Anatolia (Turkey), Ancient Nok, Carthage, the Greeks and Romans of ancient Europe, medieval Europe, ancient and medieval China, ancient and medieval India, ancient and medieval Japan, amongst others. Many applications, practices, and devices associated or involved in metallurgy were established in ancient China, such as the innovation of the blast furnace, cast iron, hydraulic-powered trip hammers, and double acting piston bellows.[16][17]

A 16th century book by Georg Agricola called De re metallica describes the highly developed and complex processes of mining metal ores, metal extraction and metallurgy of the time. Agricola has been described as the "father of metallurgy".[18]

Extraction

Furnace bellows operated by waterwheels, Yuan Dynasty, China.
Furnace bellows operated by waterwheels, Yuan Dynasty, China.
Aluminium plant in Žiar nad Hronom (Central Slovakia)
Aluminium plant in Žiar nad Hronom (Central Slovakia)

Extractive metallurgy is the practice of removing valuable metals from an ore and refining the extracted raw metals into a purer form. In order to convert a metal oxide or sulphide to a purer metal, the ore must be reduced physically, chemically, or electrolytically.

Extractive metallurgists are interested in three primary streams: feed, concentrate (valuable metal oxide/sulphide) and tailings(waste). After mining, large pieces of the ore feed are broken through crushing and/or grinding in order to obtain particles small enough where each particle is either mostly valuable or mostly waste. Concentrating the particles of value in a form supporting separation enables the desired metal to be removed from waste products.

Mining may not be necessary, if the ore body and physical environment are conducive to leaching. Leaching dissolves minerals in an ore body and results in an enriched solution. The solution is collected and processed to extract valuable metals.

Ore bodies often contain more than one valuable metal. Tailings of a previous process may be used as a feed in another process to extract a secondary product from the original ore. Additionally, a concentrate may contain more than one valuable metal. That concentrate would then be processed to separate the valuable metals into individual constituents.

Alloys

Casting bronze
Casting bronze

Common engineering metals include aluminium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, nickel, titanium and zinc. These are most often used as alloys. Much effort has been placed on understanding the iron-carbon alloy system, which includes steels and cast irons. Plain carbon steels (those that contain essentially only carbon as an alloying element) are used in low-cost, high-strength applications where weight and corrosion are not a problem. Cast irons, including ductile iron, are also part of the iron-carbon system.

Stainless steel or galvanized steel is used where resistance to corrosion is important. Aluminium alloys and magnesium alloys are used for applications where strength and lightness are required.

Copper-nickel alloys (such as Monel) are used in highly corrosive environments and for non-magnetic applications. Nickel-based superalloys like Inconel are used in high-temperature applications such as gas turbines, turbochargers, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers. For extremely high temperatures, single crystal alloys are used to minimize creep.

Production

In production engineering, metallurgy is concerned with the production of metallic components for use in consumer or engineering products. This involves the production of alloys, the shaping, the heat treatment and the surface treatment of the product. Determining the hardness of the metal using the Rockwell, Vickers, and Brinell hardness scales is a commonly used practice that helps better understand the metal's elasticity and plasticity for different applications and production processes.[19] The task of the metallurgist is to achieve balance between material properties such as cost, weight, strength, toughness, hardness, corrosion, fatigue resistance, and performance in temperature extremes. To achieve this goal, the operating environment must be carefully considered. In a saltwater environment, ferrous metals and some aluminium alloys corrode quickly. Metals exposed to cold or cryogenic conditions may endure a ductile to brittle transition and lose their toughness, becoming more brittle and prone to cracking. Metals under continual cyclic loading can suffer from metal fatigue. Metals under constant stress at elevated temperatures can creep.

Metalworking processes

Metals are shaped by processes such as:

  1. Casting – molten metal is poured into a shaped mold.
  2. Forging – a red-hot billet is hammered into shape.
  3. Rolling – a billet is passed through successively narrower rollers to create a sheet.
  4. Laser cladding – metallic powder is blown through a movable laser beam (e.g. mounted on a NC 5-axis machine). The resulting melted metal reaches a substrate to form a melt pool. By moving the laser head, it is possible to stack the tracks and build up a three-dimensional piece.
  5. Extrusion – a hot and malleable metal is forced under pressure through a die, which shapes it before it cools.
  6. Sintering – a powdered metal is heated in a non-oxidizing environment after being compressed into a die.
  7. Machininglathes, milling machines and drills cut the cold metal to shape.
  8. Fabrication – sheets of metal are cut with guillotines or gas cutters and bent and welded into structural shape.
  9. 3D printing – Sintering or melting amorphous powder metal in a 3D space to make any object to shape.

Cold-working processes, in which the product's shape is altered by rolling, fabrication or other processes while the product is cold, can increase the strength of the product by a process called work hardening. Work hardening creates microscopic defects in the metal, which resist further changes of shape.

Various forms of casting exist in industry and academia. These include sand casting, investment casting (also called the lost wax process), die casting, and continuous castings. Each of these forms has advantages for certain metals and applications considering factors like magnetism and corrosion.[20]

Heat treatment

Metals can be heat-treated to alter the properties of strength, ductility, toughness, hardness and/or resistance to corrosion. Common heat treatment processes include annealing, precipitation strengthening, quenching, and tempering.[21] The annealing process softens the metal by heating it and then allowing it to cool very slowly, which gets rid of stresses in the metal and makes the grain structure large and soft-edged so that when the metal is hit or stressed it dents or perhaps bends, rather than breaking; it is also easier to sand, grind, or cut annealed metal. Quenching is the process of cooling a high-carbon steel very quickly after heating, thus "freezing" the steel's molecules in the very hard martensite form, which makes the metal harder. There is a balance between hardness and toughness in any steel; the harder the steel, the less tough or impact-resistant it is, and the more impact-resistant it is, the less hard it is. Tempering relieves stresses in the metal that were caused by the hardening process; tempering makes the metal less hard while making it better able to sustain impacts without breaking.

Often, mechanical and thermal treatments are combined in what are known as thermo-mechanical treatments for better properties and more efficient processing of materials. These processes are common to high-alloy special steels, superalloys and titanium alloys.

Plating

Electroplating is a chemical surface-treatment technique. It involves bonding a thin layer of another metal such as gold, silver, chromium or zinc to the surface of the product. This is done by selecting the coating material electrolyte solution which is the material that is going to coat the workpiece (gold, silver,zinc). There needs to be two electrodes of different materials: one the same material as the coating material and one that is receiving the coating material. Two electrodes are electrically charged and the coating material is stuck to the work piece. It is used to reduce corrosion as well as to improve the product's aesthetic appearance. It is also used to make inexpensive metals look like the more expensive ones (gold, silver).[22]

Shot peening

Shot peening is a cold working process used to finish metal parts. In the process of shot peening, small round shot is blasted against the surface of the part to be finished. This process is used to prolong the product life of the part, prevent stress corrosion failures, and also prevent fatigue. The shot leaves small dimples on the surface like a peen hammer does, which cause compression stress under the dimple. As the shot media strikes the material over and over, it forms many overlapping dimples throughout the piece being treated. The compression stress in the surface of the material strengthens the part and makes it more resistant to fatigue failure, stress failures, corrosion failure, and cracking.[23]

Thermal spraying

Thermal spraying techniques are another popular finishing option, and often have better high temperature properties than electroplated coatings.Thermal spraying, also known as a spray welding process,[24] is an industrial coating process that consists of a heat source (flame or other) and a coating material that can be in a powder or wire form which is melted then sprayed on the surface of the material being treated at a high velocity. The spray treating process is known by many different names such as HVOF (High Velocity Oxygen Fuel), plasma spray, flame spray, arc spray, and metalizing.

Metallography allows the metallurgist to study the microstructure of metals.
Metallography allows the metallurgist to study the microstructure of metals.

Microstructure

Metallurgists study the microscopic and macroscopic properties using metallography, a technique invented by Henry Clifton Sorby. In metallography, an alloy of interest is ground flat and polished to a mirror finish. The sample can then be etched to reveal the microstructure and macrostructure of the metal. The sample is then examined in an optical or electron microscope, and the image contrast provides details on the composition, mechanical properties, and processing history.

Crystallography, often using diffraction of x-rays or electrons, is another valuable tool available to the modern metallurgist. Crystallography allows identification of unknown materials and reveals the crystal structure of the sample. Quantitative crystallography can be used to calculate the amount of phases present as well as the degree of strain to which a sample has been subjected.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Металлургия". in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 1979.
  2. ^ "metallurgy". Oxford Learner's Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  3. ^ "History of Gold". Gold Digest. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  4. ^ E. Photos, E. (2010). "The Question of Meteoritic versus Smelted Nickel-Rich Iron: Archaeological Evidence and Experimental Results" (PDF). World Archaeology. 20 (3): 403–421. doi:10.1080/00438243.1989.9980081. JSTOR 124562.
  5. ^ a b W. Keller (1963) The Bible as History. p. 156. ISBN 0-340-00312-X
  6. ^ H.I. Haiko, V.S. Biletskyi. First metals discovery and development the sacral component  phenomenon. // Theoretical and Practical Solutions of Mineral Resources Mining // A Balkema Book, London, 2015, р. 227-233..
  7. ^ Radivojević, Miljana; Rehren, Thilo; Pernicka, Ernst; Šljivar, Dušan; Brauns, Michael; Borić, Dušan (2010). "On the origins of extractive metallurgy: New evidence from Europe". Journal of Archaeological Science. 37 (11): 2775. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2010.06.012.
  8. ^ Neolithic Vinca was a metallurgical culture Stonepages from news sources November 2007
  9. ^ Moorey 1994: 294
  10. ^ Craddock 1995: 125
  11. ^ Potts, Daniel T., ed. (15 August 2012). "Northern Mesopotamia". A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. 1. John Wiley & Sons, 2012. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-4443-6077-6.
  12. ^ [1] Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World, By Lance Grande
  13. ^ https://europost.eu/en/a/view/world-s-oldest-gold-24581
  14. ^ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/oldest-gold-object-unearthed-bulgaria-180960093/
  15. ^ B. W. Anderson (1975) The Living World of the Old Testament, p. 154, ISBN 0-582-48598-3
  16. ^ R. F. Tylecote (1992) A History of Metallurgy ISBN 0-901462-88-8
  17. ^ Robert K.G. Temple (2007). The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention (3rd edition). London: André Deutsch. pp. 44–56. ISBN 978-0-233-00202-6.
  18. ^ Karl Alfred von Zittel (1901). History of Geology and Palaeontology. p. 15. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.33301.
  19. ^ "Metal Hardness Tests: Difference Between Rockwell, Brinell, and Vickers". ESI Engineering Specialties Inc. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Casting Process, Types of Casting Process, Casting Process Tips, Selecting Casting Process, Casting Process Helps". www.themetalcasting.com. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  21. ^ Arthur Reardon (2011), Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist (2nd edition), ASM International, ISBN 978-1-61503-821-3
  22. ^ Woodford, Chris (2017). "How electroplating works". Explain that Stuff. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  23. ^ "What is Shot Peening – How Does Shot Peening Work". www.engineeredabrasives.com.
  24. ^ "Thermal Spray, Plasma Spray, HVOF, Flame Spray, Metalizing  & Thermal Spray Coating". www.precisioncoatings.com. Saint Paul, MN. Retrieved 13 December 2017.

External links

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