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The Importance of CALPHAD and the Materials Genome


Professor John Ågren

In an article recently published in the journal Calphad, Professor John Ågren of KTH Royal Institute of Technology discusses the importance of the CALPHAD methodology for the prediction of materials structures and its response to processing and usage conditions. 

In the article, CALPHAD and the materials genome – A 10-year anniversary, Prof. Ågren explains that there is a lot of knowledge about materials today, but the knowledge is complex. The knowledge, represented by data, needs to be integrated into a single framework, allowing the extraction of useful data. He explains that there are different types of data: raw data, processed data, and results. Prof. Ågren states that CALPHAD is a way of processing raw data and that it offers a way of combining databases for simple to more complex materials, which has a significant commercial value.

A CALPHAD based approach can accelerate time to market and reduce the cost by greatly reducing the number of experiments required to bring a new or improved product to market. CALPHAD can also improve materials and processing conditions by providing data on how the phases of an alloy depend on temperature and other processing conditions.

CALPHAD is based on thermodynamic laws, but Prof. John Ågren remarks that thermodynamics not only applies to equilibrium. A CALPHAD model can have any level of sophistication and account for quantities such as crystallographic structure, lattice vibrations, and more. He also emphasizes that CALPHAD can extend to other properties, such as viscosity, interfacial properties, elastic constants, mechanical properties, and electromagnetic properties. 

Read the interesting paper to learn more about the importance of CALPHAD and the Materials Genome and its industrial use.

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