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Physical Metallurgist

Investigate and conduct experiments in fabricating products from metals.

What does a Physical Metallurgist do?

Investigates and conducts experiments concerned with physical characteristics, properties, and processing of metals to develop new alloys, applications, and methods of commercially fabricating products from metals: Conducts microscopic, x ray, x-ray diffraction, and spectroscopic studies of metals and alloys, such as steel, cast iron, and nonferrous alloys, to determine their physical characteristics, such as crystal structure, dispersion of alloy particles through basic metal, and presence of impurities, fractures, and other defects in metal samples. Develops melting, hot-working, cold-working, and heat-treating processes to obtain desired characteristics, such as ductility, malleability, elongation ability, durability, and hardness. Tests alloys in tension, compression, impact, bending, or fatigue devices to study physical characteristics for manufacturing purposes or determine compliance with manufacturing specifications and standards. Consults with engineers and officials to develop methods of manufacturing alloys at minimum costs. May specialize in particular area of physical metallurgy, such as development of improved techniques and materials, for use in production of pressed metallic-powder products.