Course detail

Experimental Methods in Materials Engineering

FSI-WEMAcad. year: 2019/2020

Basic experimental methods for structural and phase analysis of metallic and nonmetallic materials. Attention is paid mainly to the study of microstructure using state-of-the-art imaging techniques of light and electron microscopy and analytical methods of phase analysis, chemical composition and physical properties of materias (X-ray analysis, spectroscopy, dilatometry, etc.).
Students are acquainted with evaluation of individual material parameters and characteristics in accordance with valid standards.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The knowledge of the principles and application potentials of the basic methods of structure and phase analysis, inclusive of procedures of taking and preparing specimens. Separate evaluation of structure components for all the kinds of materials under study, and assessment of the relations between the production technology, structure, and useful properties of materials.


The study of the experimental methods used in the structure analysis (morphology and phase composition) of materials requires the basic knowledge of physics and mathematics on the level offered in the course of bachelor studies, and also knowledge of materials science and engineering – on the level of BSc at the least.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

SKOČOVSKÝ, Petr a Tomáš PODRÁBSKÝ. Farebná metalografia zliatin železa. Žilina: Žilinská univerzita, 2001. ISBN 80-7100-911-3. (SK)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Teaching is suplemented by practical laboratory work.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Exam: written and oral parts.
Awarding the course-unit credit is full and active participation in exercises and credit test.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The course aims to provide students with an overview and fundamental theoretical principles of the most common methods used for complex engineering materials structural and phase analyzes in current engineering practice (physical principles of the methods, instrument parameters, application scope of the methods, etc.), inclusive of specimen preparation.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Attendance at seminars is compulsory. Absence from seminars may be compensated for by the agreement with the teacher.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B3A-P Bachelor's

    branch B-MTI , 2. year of study, winter semester, 9 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Fundamentals of light microscopy
- distribution, light sources, parameters, BF, DF, DIC, NIC, etc.
- advantages and disadvantages of individual sys., app. utilization
2. Materialographical samples preparation
- color metallography in practice (natural etching x color etching)
- evaluating metallographic specimens
3. Image analysis - evaluation of microstructural parameters
- advantages and disadvantages of using OA systems
- examples of OA utilization (phase quant., morphological ev., thickness meas., grain size, cast iron, micro-cleaning, etc.)
4. Introduction to electron microscopy TEM, REM, EBSD, FIB, etc.
- principle, function blocks, image creation, detected signals, signal properties, contrast types
- use of TEM, REM - typical applications, sample requirements LV SEM, ESEM)
- derived techniques, SEM / FIB
5. Microalysis of chemical comp. using EDS, WDS, EBSD, etc.
- local chemical and crystallographic an. tech. for SEM - overview
- qualitative and quantitative EDS / WDS analysis, ZAF / PhiRoZ corr.
6. X-ray structural analysis (description, use)
- X-rays, RTG radiation interactions with matter, X-ray diffraction
- X-ray diffraction methods
- qualitative and quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis - sample requirements, detection limits, typical applications, limiting measurement factors
7. Methods of spectroscopic chemical analysis
- overview - advantages, disadvantages, detection limits, ranges, use
- optical emission spectr. - division, phys. principle, instrumentation
- optical emission spectrometry with glow discharge
- inductively coupled plasma spectrometry + new directions
- at. absorption spectrometry - phys. principles, absorption meas.
- combustion analyzers - analysis of C, S, O, N, H in metallic materials
8. Dilatometry
- basic physical principle, sample requirements, det. limits, app.,
- practical measurement + evaluation
9. Evaluation of basic microstructural parameters I.
- determining the inclusion content (types, ASTM, ISO, DIN)
- grain size rating according to ČSN, ASTM and ISO
- metallographic evaluation of steel sheets and stripes ČSN 42 0469
- evaluation of the carbide phase according to SEP 1520
10. Evaluation of basic microstructural parameters II.
- evaluation of the carbide phase according to SEP 1520
- assessment of castings according to ISO, ČSN
- DAS and porosity evaluation
11. Hardness / Microhardness Measurement, Evaluation of layers after thermal or microhardness. chemical-heat treatment, evaluation of weld joints
- evaluation of layers: nitridation, cementation, defecation depth, etc.
- evaluation of the quality of welded joints based on macro and microstructure
- ČSN EN ISO 6520-1, ČSN EN ISO 5818, ČSN EN 1321
12. DSC (+ DTA)
- basic physical principle, sample requirements, detection limits, typical applications, limits
- practical measurement + evaluation
 13. Excursion - allied BUT aboratories visit

Laboratory exercise

36 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1 Application of physical methods (dilatometry, resistivity, magnetometry)
2. Application of local chemical microanalysis in TEM and SEM (EDS and WDS)
3. X-ray phase analysis - demonstrations of applications, calculation parameters grids etc.,
4. The use of spectroscopic chemical analysis in practice - examples of applications
5. Introduction to Quantitative metallography, cast iron structure evaluation
6. Evaluation of defects formed blanks and castings, makročistota and Micro-purity materials - practical applications
7. Evaluation of microstructural parameters - practical applications
8. Determining the size of a grain of steels and nonferrous alloys using different methods and standards
9. Practical application evaluation microstructural parameters using the modules available image analysis (Olympus - StreamMotion)


16 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Preparation of samples for light and electron microscopy
2. Practical observation and evaluation structure of materials using the SM ( use of color contrast )
3. Examples use TEM ( substructure , defects, diffraction)
4. End-of-term test, awarding of credits.