Process Metallurgy

Metallurgical engineering is a discipline concerned with extracting metals from their ores, and the development, production and use of metallic materials. Metallurgical engineering is based on the principles of science and engineering, and may be divided into process metallurgy, which is concerned with extracting metals from their ores to make refined alloys, and physical metallurgy, which involves the shaping, alloying, heat treatment, joining, corrosion protection and testing of metals.

Metals are widely used in engineering because they possess unique combinations of mechanical properties (strength, ductility and toughness) plus special physical characteristics (electrical and thermal conductivity) which cannot be achieved by other materials. In addition to thousands of traditional alloys, there are many exciting new materials under development for modern engineering applications, for example aluminium-lithium alloys, high strength low alloy steels and metal matrix composites.

The School works closely with a number of leading Australian process metallurgy companies, including BHP, Rio Tinto, Bluescope Steel and OneSteel, and there are a number of active research programs in this field that are ongoing in the School.

Research Interests
  • Theremodynamics of metallic and slag melts
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of pyrometallurgical processes
  • Processes of reduction of iron, manganese, chromium and other metals
  • New technologies for iron-making and ferroalloy-making
  • Properties of molten metals and slags
  • Reduction, smelting and refining processes
  • Development of fluoride-free flux for continuous steel casting
  • Use of magnetite ore in advanced ironmaking
  • Use of non-traditional materials to produce manganese alloys
  • Innovative technologies for silicon solar cell production
  • Gas-solid reactions at high temperatures
  • Sustainable processing of materials
  • Recycling waste plastics and rubber tyres
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous materials processing
  • New Direct Ironmaking technologies
  • Reduction of iron ore
  • New developments in blast furnace ironmaking (pulverised coal injection)
  • Electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking
  • Kinetics of liquid/solid/gas reactions in metallurgical processes
  • Mathematical modelling of metallurgical processes
  • Refractory reactions in metals processing
  • Utilisation of waste materials in metals processing
  • Particle characterisation and data interpretation
  • Particle packing characteristics and porosity prediction
  • Particle-structure-property relations
  • Solids flow and segregation
  • Transport phenomena in process metallurgy
  • Fluid flow, heat and mass transfer in packed and fluidised beds
  • Fluid bed reactors
  • Processing and handling of bulk-particulate materials
  • Simulation of particulate systems
  • Interfacial engineering in multiphase processes
  • Modelling of particulate and multiphase processes
  • Multi-scale modelling of grinding processes
Group Members
Research Fellows
Relevant Undergraduate Courses
  • ENGG1811 Computing for Engineers
  • ENGG1000 Engineering Design
  • MATH2019 Engineering Mathematics
  • MATS2005 Intro Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer
  • MATS2006 Diffusion and Kinetics
  • MATS2007 Sustainable Materials Processing
  • MATS2008 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria
  • MATS3003 Engineering in Process Metallurgy
  • MATS3005 Phase Transformations
  • MATS4001 Secondary Processing of Metals
  • MATS4003 Process Metallurgy Advanced
Related Groups


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