Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering

Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering

Material science deals with the study of relationship that exists between structure and properties of materials. The basis of material science involves studying the structure of materials and relating them to their properties. The major determinants of the structure of a material and thus of its properties are its constituent chemical elements and the way in which it has been processed into final form.

In contrast material engineering deals with designing the structure of materials to produce a predetermine set of properties on the basis of structure property correlation



Materials can be defined as the something that consists of matter. It is the stuff by which something can be made.

Engineering materials are classified as:

  1. Metal & Alloys
  2. Ceramic & Glasses
  3. Organic polymers
  4. Composites



The structure of a material usually relates to the arrangement of its internal components and it is one of the most important component of the field of material science

Structure can be classified as :-

  1. Macrostructure
  2. Microstructure
  3. Crystal structure
  4. Nanostructure



Macrostructure is the appearance of a material in the scale of millimeters to meters. It is the structure of the material as seen with the naked eyes.


Microstructure is the appearance of material in the scale of 100nm to few cm and observed under the optical microscope which can magnify a structure upto about 1500 times without loss of resolution of details of the structure.

Crystal Structure

It tells the details of the atomic arrangement within the crystal. The length scales involved are in angstroms(A0).

Arrangement of atoms in crystals are expressed in terms of unit cells. A unit cell is defined as the smallest group of atoms by repeating which periodically in all the crystallographic direction crystal is formed


Nanostructure deals with the objects and structures that are in the 1-100nm range. Materials which atoms and molecules form constituents in the nanoscale are called nanomaterails.

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