Metallurgy is the science and technology of extracting metals from their ores and putting them to the use of mankind by compounding them into alloys and creating useful objects out of them. Automobiles, rail coaches, massive railway network, large floating vessels, aircrafts capable of carrying large number of passengers and goods, gigantic satellite launch vehicles carrying heavy payloads to outer space, missiles, advanced weapons, nuclear and thermal power stations, advanced super conductors, computing facilities, high tech materials with exotic properties etc. became possible due to the discovery, development and processing of metals and materials.
Metals are the basic building blocks for the technical progress of any nation and human race.
A modern metallurgist
- identifies and discovers the usefulness of an ore,
- locates them,
- evaluates its richness,
- mines the ore,
- smelts the metal,
- make useful alloys after understanding their physics,
- hardens the alloys with selected thermal and thermo mechanical treatments,
- produce useful cast and wrought components,
- provides necessary protection from environmental corrosion and use them,
- carries out unending research in the various aspects of alloying, metal processing, heattreatment etc to produce
- newer metals/ materials with exotic properties for high tech applications,
- innovative nano structured and amorphous metals with properties hitherto not thought of etc.
The study and identification of metals at various levels
The myriad areas like
- extractive metallurgy ( pyro, hydro etc)
- mechanical metallurgy
- chemical metallurgy
- physical metallurgy
- process metallurgy
- foundry metallurgy
- powder metallurgy
- welding metallurgy
- nuclear metallurgy
- metallurgical characterisation
- corrosion science
- nano structured materials
- metallurgical failure analysis
- archaeo-metallurgy etc. come under the preview of metallurgy
A simple flow chart for modern metallurgy
The refined metal is alloyed. It is converted to castings in foundries and wrought products by metal working, powder metallurgy processes, joining techniques like welding etc.
Metallurgy in modern India
The modern science and technology of Metallurgy grew in India by leaps and bounds after the Mughals. This resulted in the discovery and operation of various mines ( coal fields of Bihar, iron, and other metal mines etc), establishment of large sized metal extraction facilities ( copper, zinc, Aluminium, Gold etc iron and steel making units ), processing plants ( SAIL, MIDHANI, BHEL, various Govt. and private industries, Foundries, Railway factories ) and research institutions ( DMRL, NML, NCML DRDO, ISRO, BARC, IGCAR, various universities…)
Metallurgy education in modern India
Metallurgy education has gained immense popularity in modern India.It is one of the prominent types of courses chosen by the young generation. Diversified metallurgical courses are offered by engineering colleges and universities in under graduate and post graduate levels.