Metals – Fundamental Engineering


Engineering Studies – P1 Fundamental Engineering  –  Materials and Manufacturing

This topic introduces metals, both ferrous and non-ferrous categories.  The key concepts relate to the structures found in metals, definitions of metal categories and the applications of alloyed metals.

Key Concepts

  • Identifying and describing metals
    • ferrous metals including mild steels
    • non-ferrous metals including copper, brass, bronze and aluminium
  • Alloying
  • Definition of a Ferrous Metal
  • Examples of Ferrous Alloys
  • Structures seen in common ferrous metals such as mild steel.
Non Ferrous
  • Definition of a Non-Ferrous Metal
  • Examples of Non-Ferrous metals and alloys.
  • Structures seen in common non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass, and aluminium.

Discussion Questions

  1. What bonding and structure defines a metal?
  2. How are metal structures best illustrated in a microstructure?
  3. What are the two common categories of metals?
  1. Explain why steel is the most used metal.
  2. Explain why ferrous metals have preferred applications.
  3. Describe applications that commonly use ferrous metals.
  4. Describe ways of separating ferrous and non-ferrous scrap.
  5. Describe common FCC, BCC structures in ferrous metal.
  1. Explain reasons why both ferrous metals have preferred applications.
  2. Describe the atomic structure of a ferrous metals such as copper – the metallic bond, crystal structure, grain structure.
  3. What is the difference between crystals and grains?
  4. Explain how alloying often improves certain properties over the properties of each ‘parent’ metal.


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