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OOF System for Simulating Measurements of Material Microstructure Released

November 1998

Example of simulated material microstructure

The behavior of a material on the macroscopic scale depends to a large extent on its microstructure, the complex ensemble of polycrystalline grains, second phases, cracks, pores, and other features existing on length scales large compared to atomic sizes. In September, Steve Langer of ITL's Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division, Craig Carter, of MIT (formerly of MSEL's Ceramics Division), and Edwin Fuller of MSEL's Ceramics Division, together with MSEL's Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science, released version 1.0 of OOF, a finite-element program for analyzing material microstructures and conducting simulated physical property measurements on those microstructures. OOF allows materials scientists to determine the influence of microstructure on a material's macroscopic properties through an easy-to-use graphical interface.

The OOF user begins with a realistic microstructural geometry by loading a two dimensional image of a real or simulated material into the program. Features in the image (e.g, grains, pores, and grain boundaries) are identified and assigned local material properties (e.g. crystalline symmetry and orientation, elastic constants, or thermal expansion coefficients). By applying stresses, strains, or temperature changes the user can measure the effective macroscopic material behavior, or can examine internal stress, strain, and energy density distributions. By modifying a microscopic material property, the user can find the effect of that property on the macroscopic behavior, or by modifying the microstructure, the effect of geometry on a particular material can be determined. OOF currently handles only thermoelasticity, but extensions to other material properties are planned.

(bullet) Stephen Langer (NIST/MCSD/MMG)
See also:
(bullet) OOF Web Page

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Last updated: 2011-01-12.