Copper Metallurgy 201


"Instructors were very intelligent, helpful and brought valuable experience to the class."


Knowledge of the physical metallurgy of copper alloys is necessary for foundry metallurgists to effectively operate. This knowledge includes melt treatment, effects of alloy additions on physical and mechanical properties, solidification, heat treatment, and final properties. The correlations among the processing technology, defects, and properties is important to know for metallurgical as well as environmental issues. This course will address these topics to improve the metallurgical skills of casting personnel.

Participants will leave with the knowledge and skills to reduce the overall cost of metallurgical operations by the proper identification and application of cooling curves, construction of phase diagrams and understanding solidification characteristics, as well as effective heat treatments. They will realize profitability gains by improving the metallography of cast copper alloys, casting quality identification and proper defect analysis procedures and demonstrate to other company employees as well as potential customers that quality begins with proper application of copper metallurgical procedures.

Learning outcomes

Class participants will learn to:

  • Review influences of alloying elements on mechanical and physical copper properties.
  • Determine transformation temperatures between liquidus and solidus.
  • Identify cooling curves and phase diagrams.
  • Determine phases present in an alloy via an application of binary, ternary and complex phase diagrams.
  • Identify and explain various solidification characteristics.
  • Identify and explain several heat treatments of copper castings.
  • Explain sample preparation procedures as well as cast copper alloy microstructures.
  • Describe various metallurgical and visual inspection processes.
  • Identify key casting defects related to copper metallurgy.

Course Length

2.0 days

CEU Units

1.20 CEU

Course outline

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Copper Casting Alloys

•    Alloying Elements and Classification
•    Characteristics and Applications

Module 3: Cooling Curves and Phase Diagrams

•    Cooling Curves
•    Construction of Phase Diagrams
•    Copper Phase Diagrams

Module 4: Solidification Characteristics

•    Cast Structures
•    Solidification Terms
•    Mode of Solidification

Module 5: Heat Treatment

•    Principles of Heat Treatment

Module 6: Metallography of Cast Copper Alloys

•    Principles and Sample Preparation
•    Cast Copper Alloy Microstructures

Module 7: Casting Quality Evaluation

•    Inspection
•    Casting Soundness
•    Metallurgical Inspection

Module 8: Casting Defect Analysis

•    Defect Identification
•    Key Casting Defects

Module 9: Conclusion