Light Alloys - 5th Edition - ISBN: 9780080994314, 9780080994307

Light Alloys

5th Edition

Metallurgy of the Light Metals

Authors: Ian Polmear David StJohn Jian-Feng Nie Ma Qian
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080994314
eBook ISBN: 9780080994307
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 29th March 2017
Page Count: 544
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Light Alloys: From Traditional Alloys to Nanocrystals, Fifth Edition, covers the materials science, properties, manufacturing processes, and applications of key engineering metals in a single accessible volume. As use of these metals is now more widespread than ever, with routine use in motor vehicles and aircraft, this book includes materials characteristics and applications, heat treatment properties, fabrication, microstructure/property relationships, new applications, and processes.

Key Features

  • Provides a definitive, single volume overview on the light alloys
  • Presents new material on the processing, characteristics, and applications of these essential metals
  • Covers the latest applications and processes in the auto and aero industries


Reference text for senior undergraduates and postgraduates in materials sciences and physical metallurgy. Materials engineers, metallurgists and engineers in industry, in particular in the automotive, aero and industrial components sectors

Table of Contents

1. The Light Metals

  • Abstract
  • 1.1 General Introduction
  • 1.2 Production of Aluminium
  • 1.3 Production of Magnesium
  • 1.4 Production of Titanium
  • Further Reading

2. Physical Metallurgy of Aluminium Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 2.1 Work Hardening and Annealing
  • 2.2 Principles of Age Hardening
  • 2.3 Ageing Processes
  • 2.4 Corrosion
  • 2.5 Mechanical Behaviour
  • Further Reading

3. Casting of Light Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Solidification of Light Alloys
  • 3.3 Grain Refinement
  • 3.4 Castability
  • 3.5 Casting Processes
  • 3.6 New Casting Processes
  • 3.7 Joining
  • Further Reading

4. Wrought Aluminium Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 4.1 Production of Wrought Alloys
  • 4.2 Designation of Alloys and Tempers
  • 4.3 Non-heat-treatable Alloys
  • 4.4 Heat-treatable Alloys
  • 4.5 Joining
  • 4.6 Special Products
  • Further Reading

5. Cast Aluminium Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 5.1 Designation, Temper, and Characteristics of Cast Aluminium Alloys
  • 5.2 Alloys Based on the Aluminium–Silicon System
  • 5.3 Alloys Based on the Aluminium–Copper System
  • 5.4 Aluminium–Magnesium Alloys
  • 5.5 Aluminium–Zinc–Magnesium Alloys
  • Further Reading

6. Magnesium Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 6.1 Introduction to Alloying Behavior
  • 6.2 Alloy Designations and Tempers
  • 6.3 Zirconium-Free Casting Alloys
  • 6.4 Zirconium-Containing Casting Alloys
  • 6.5 Wrought Magnesium Alloys
  • 6.6 Electrochemical Aspects
  • 6.7 Fabrication of Components
  • 6.8 Trends in Applications
  • Further Reading

7. Titanium Alloys

  • Abstract
  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 α-Alloys
  • 7.3 α−β Alloys
  • 7.4 β-alloys
  • 7.5 Fabrication
  • 7.6 Titanium Alloy Castings
  • 7.7 Engineering Performance
  • 7.8 Applications of Titanium Alloys
  • Further Reading

8. Novel Materials and Processing Methods

  • Abstract
  • 8.1 Composites
  • 8.2 Metallic Foams
  • 8.3 Rapid Solidification Processing
  • 8.4 Quasicrystals
  • 8.5 Amorphous Alloys
  • 8.6 Mechanical Alloying
  • 8.7 Physical Vapor Deposition
  • 8.8 Nanophase Alloys
  • 8.9 Titanium Aluminides
  • 8.10 Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing
  • Further Reading


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2017
29th March 2017
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Ian Polmear

Ian Polmear is a graduate in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Melbourne. After some brief experience in local industry, he joined the former Aeronauitcal Reseach Laboratories in Melbourne where he later became a Principal Research Scientist and Leader of the Aircraft Materials Group. Shortly after Monash University was established in 1961, he was appointed Professor of Materials Science and was Foundation Chairman of the Department of Materials Engineering. Before retiring in 1992, he served four years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. His research interests have focused on precipitation phenomena in aluminium alloys, trace element effects, relationships between microstructure and mechanical properties, and the development of high strength aluminium alloys for aircraft. He has had visiting appointments in England, Switzerland and Japan and was the author of the first four editions of Light Alloys which were published between 1981 and 2006. Emeritus Professor Polmear is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Affiliations and Expertise

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

David StJohn

Professor StJohn is a graduate of The University of Queensland (UQ) with a BSc(Hons) and PhD in Physical Metallurgy. He has held appointments in Canada, RMIT University and CRA-Advanced Technical Development in Perth as well as a long association with UQ. From 1994 to 2008 he was with the CAST Cooperative Research Centre becoming CEO from August 2002 until 2008. He led the successful bid for the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) in 2008 and initiated the Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) at UQ in 2009. He also successfully led an application to the Queensland State Government to fund a new building to house AMPAM which led to a further application to the Australian Federal Government for additional funding to construct the Advanced Engineering Building (AEB). He was then Chair of the Project Control Group for the construction of the AEB which was completed in 2013. Prof StJohn is currently Emeritus Professor at UQ.

He has over 300 publications in journals and conference proceedings with research interests covering a broad range of topics including grain refinement and the formation of defects in castings of Al, Mg and Ti alloys. Prof StJohn was awarded the John Campbell Medal in 2014, the Materials Australia Silver Medal in 2011, the Amercian Society of Metals Henry Marion Howe Medal in 2006 and the Magnesium Technology Award by TMS in 2003.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia

Jian-Feng Nie

Jian-Feng Nie

Professor Nie obtained his PhD from Monash University. After two years of postdoc fellowships in The University of Queensland and former CSIRO Division of Materials Technology, he returned to Monash to continue his research career. His research interests include design and development of light alloys including magnesium and aluminium, precipitation and hardening, processing-microstructure-property relationships and applications of advanced electron microscopy techniques. He is editor of Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, and Chair of National Events Committee of Materials Australia. He was awarded ASM International Marcus A Grossmann Young Authors Award in 2006, Monash University Inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Innovation and Collaboration in Research with Industry in 2008, and TMS AIME Champion H. Mathewson Medal Award in 2015.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Materials Science, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash University, Australia

Ma Qian

Dr. Qian’s research activities have been largely focused on physical metallurgy of light alloys (Ti, Mg and Al). Since 2008 he has been leading a research team comprised of researchers from four Australian universities to focus on the development of Low Cost Powder Metallurgy Titanium Alloys, supported by the Australian Research Council through the Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals. He initiated the first international conference on Powder Processing, Consolidation and Metallurgy of Titanium (4-7 Dec 2011, Brisbane, Australia), co-sponsored by Materials Australia, Titanium Industrial Development Association (TiDA) New Zealand, Japan Society of Powder and Powder Metallurgy (JSPM), The Mineral, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), and Chinese Society for Metals (CSM). As the lead organiser, he organised the TMS symposium of “Novel Synthesis and Consolidation of Powder Materials” at the 142nd TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition (3-7 March 2013 San Antonio, USA). He is currently on the editorial/review boards of Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Powder Metallurgy, and International Journal of Powder Metallurgy (liaison committee). He is also a board member of the Asian Powder Metallurgy Association (APMA).

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


"Like no other single volume, Light Alloys should satisfy students and professionals in learning the fundamentals of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys from various perspectives." --Light Metal Age, 2006

Review of the previous edition:
"The text [of the 3rd Edition] is written in simple and clear style making it easily readable... I recommend it to aspiring and practicing engineers and scientists alike." --Materials Forum

Ratings and Reviews