The second edition of this textbook, popular amongst students and faculty alike, investigates the various causes of thermodynamic instability in metallic microstructures. Materials theoretically well designed for a particular application may prove inefficient or even useless unless stable under normal working conditions. The authors examine current experimental and theoretical understanding of the kinetics behind structural change in metals. The entire text has been updated in this new edition, and a completely new chapter on highly metastable alloys has been added. The degree to which kinetic stability of the material outweighs its thermodynamic instability is very important, and dictates the useful working life of the material. If the structure is initially produced to an optimum, such changes will degrade the properties of the material. This comprehensive and well-illustrated text, accompanied by ample references, will allow final year undergraduates, graduate students and research workers to investigate in detail the stability of microstructure in metallic systems.