Edited by Larry Aagesen (Idaho National Laboratory, USA), Karim Ahmed (Texas A&M University, USA) and Damien Tourret (IMDEA Materials Institute, Spain)
This special collection of Materials Theory focuses on the development and utilization of quantitative phase-field methods for investigating the processing-structure-property relationships in heterogeneous materials. Quantitative modeling of the development and evolution of microstructure and its effect on the properties of materials is crucial in establishing processing-structure-property relationships, which constitute the cornerstone of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME). Several physics-based and data-driven simulation techniques have been used to investigate these relationships in heterogeneous materials. The phase-field method is a powerful tool in this area because of its inherent capability in resolving the underlying microstructure while directly accounting for different driving forces and kinetic pathways. The application of this method was initially limited to the development of qualitative understanding of processing-structure-property relationships, but in the last two decades, quantitative phase-field formulations have emerged that can be utilized as a predictive tool for materials design and/or degradation monitoring. Quantitative phase-field models can be achieved using formal theoretical techniques such as extended irreversible thermodynamics, asymptotic analysis, and uncertainty quantification. The predictions of these quantitative models can then be directly validated against experimental data.