Significant New Version of OOF Materials Modeling System Released
September 2006
NIST has released version 2 of OOF, a computer program that analyzes the properties
of materials with complicated microstructures. A material's microstructure is its
microscopic arrangement of regions with different atomic structures, compositions,
or orientations. By performing computer simulations based on images of actual
microstructures, OOF allows researchers to investigate the relationship between
microscopic geometry and macroscopic behavior. OOF has been developed by the NIST
Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division in collaboration with the NIST
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory.
The name "OOF" stands for Object Oriented Finite elements, referring to the computational
and mathematical techniques that the program employs. The first version of OOF was
released in 1998 and was named one of 25 Technologies of the Year by Industry Week
magazine. OOF2 is a complete rewrite of OOF1. It addresses a much wider range of physical
problems, and uses a more powerful set of mathematical tools. One of OOF2's greatest strengths
is its extendibility: users can easily add fields (e.g., temperature), equations (e.g., the
force balance equation), and material properties (e.g., elastic modulus). As currently
distributed on the web, version 2.0.0 can solve elasticity, thermal conductivity, and
piezoelectricity problems. Users at Purdue University have already added a thermoelectricity
extension, and it is hoped and expected that users will continue to create and share OOF2
extension modules. OOF can be freely downloaded and redistributed (see below).
A workshop was held at NIST on August 2425, 2006 to introduce OOF2. The workshop was attended
by some 40 people from 5 continents. Five US companies, three US government laboratories, and
18 universities, were represented. Participants learned how to use and extend OOF2, discussed
their research using OOF1 and prerelease versions of OOF2, and provided feedback to the OOF
developers about future directions for the program.
