The Relevancy of Metallurgy
Most everything we use in our daily lives depends on such metals as steel, aluminum, titanium, copper, and nickel. For example, most of our generated electricity depends on copper and aluminum. Some of the metals of today—titanium and zirconium—are referred to as “space-age metals” because they weren’t able to be smelted and extracted from ores until recently. So, what is metallurgy? Metallurgy is a branch of science that deals with the metallic elements and their mixtures, called alloys. There are also hundreds of combinations of sheet metal parts, metals, and nonmetals called composites.
Becoming a metallurgist requires interest and ability in science, because this branch of science includes research and investigation into the chemical and physical properties of metal elements, compounds, and alloys. Metallurgy degrees are offered at a number of universities. Metallurgy students also study engineering, math, calculus, chemistry, and physics, with ongoing required lab work. A degree in metallurgy also covers studying metal-related technologies, such as extraction, how metal technology is used in industry and engineering, and such metalworking processes as casting, forging, and sintering. Metallurgists work with numerous metals and alloys to develop and make metal items and structures as varied as small precisely made components to gigantic engineering sheet metal parts. In addition, metallurgists often specialize in one of three areas:
Chemical Metallurgists: Their focus is on metal extraction.
Physical metallurgists: This area of study investigates how a metal behaves in different conditions.
Process metallurgists: The focus here is to design and shape metal parts by casting, joining, welding, and soldering.
Metals are the foundation of the engineering industry. A materials engineer is focused on the mechanical properties of metals which are dependent on the internal structure of the metals. Metallurgical engineers work in numerous industries, including:
Metallurgy has a direct bearing on all of the industrial technology industries. These industries are mostly responsible for the design, development and implementation of metals and materials processing. If sheet metal parts fail, it is the metallurgist that is tasked to find the cause of failure. For information on custom-made parts for any of your metal-working projects, contact NeeSmith Precision Parts.