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The building block of all matter, including metals, is the atom. This chapter initially provides information on atomic bonding and the crystal structure of metals and alloys, followed by a description of three crystal lattice structures of metals: face-centered cubic, hexagonal close-packed, and body-centered cubic. It then describes the four main divisions of crystal defects, namely point defects, line defects, planar defects, and volume defects. The chapter provides information on grain boundaries of metals, processes involved in atomic diffusion, and key properties of a solid solution. It also explains the aspects of a phase diagram that shows what phase or phases are present in the alloy under conditions of thermal equilibrium. Finally, a discussion on the applications of equilibrium phase diagrams is presented.

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