MEEN40160 Materials Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Academic Year 2022/2023

The module covers the thermodynamic background to phase diagrams, which are of key importance in understanding the industrial processing of materials. In addition, the kinetics of phase transformations - which control the transformation rate (e.g. in alloy solidification) - are investigated and quantified. The topics involved are listed below.

Thermodynamic definitions. Equilibrium state of a material. First law of thermodynamics. Standard thermodynamic properties. Second law of thermodynamics. Metallurgical thermodynamics. Single component systems. Binary solutions; statistical thermodynamics and configurational entropy. Equilibrium in heterogeneous systems. Binary phase diagrams; eutectic, peritectic, eutectoid, peritectoid. Introduction to ternary phase diagrams. Examples of phase transformations in materials; experimental studies. Computer-aided calculation of phase diagrams. Kinetics of nucleation and growth. Development of microstructure.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

Create the link between the phases present in an alloy and the variation with temperature and composition of the governing thermodynamic variables.
Predict the direction in which a chemical reaction, or phase change, will proceed during materials processing.
Devise a phase diagram from knowledge of fundamental thermodynamic data on materials.
Calculate the amount and composition of each phase expected at a particular temperature.
Read and interrogate ternary phase diagrams. Find the rate at which phase transformations occur.
Make the link between thermodynamics, kinetics, and microstructure.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- lectures
- student assignments
- task-based learning
- report writing 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Final Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: Assignments will be based on use of computer programs to devise phase diagrams from thermodynamic data, and to develop insight into important parameters and how they vary with lab conditions. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

D.A. Porter, K.E. Easterling and M.Y. Sherif, Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys, 3e, CRC Press, 2009.
(or an earlier edition by Porter & Easterling).

An Introduction to Metallurgy, Alan Cottrell, 2e, The Institute of Materials, London, 1995.
Name Role
Abdur Rahman Al Azad Tutor