The engineering properties of steel, i.e. strength, ductility and resistance against brittle fracture, depend on its crystalline structure, grain size and other metallurgical characteristics.These microstructural properties are dependent on the chemical composition and on the temperature-deformation history of the steel. Heat treatments that occur during welding may also have a large influence on the engineering properties.
When selecting steel for welded structures, it is important to have at least a basic knowledge of metallurgy. This knowledge is required especially when large and complicated structures are being designed, such as bridges, offshore structures, and high rise buildings. Selecting materials, welding processes and welding consumables usually requires consultation of “real” metallurgists and welding specialists.
A basic knowledge of metallurgy is essential for communication with these specialists. Finally, a basic knowledge of metallurgy also enables civil and structural engineers to have a better understanding of the engineering properties of steel and the performance of welded structures.
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