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Quantitative modeling of microstructure and property evolution in heterogeneous materials using the phase-field method

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.

Articles will undergo all of the journal's standard peer review and editorial processes outlined in its submission guidelines


  1. Using a previously developed phase field modeling method, where interface energies are described by spherical gaussians that allow the modeling of complex anisotropies, a new phase field model was developed to...

    Authors: Lenissongui C. Yeo, Michael N. Costa and Jacob L. Bair
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:10
  2. The growth and interconnection of fission gas bubbles in the hotter central regions of U-(Pu)-Zr nuclear fuel has been simulated with a phase-field model. The Cahn-Hilliard equation was used to represent the t...

    Authors: Larry K. Aagesen, Albert Casagranda, Christopher Matthews, Benjamin W. Beeler and Stephen Novascone
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:8
  3. Fission gas release within uranium dioxide nuclear fuel occurs as gas atoms diffuse through grains and arrive at grain boundary (GB) bubbles; these GB bubbles grow and interconnect with grain edge bubbles; and...

    Authors: Dong-Uk Kim, Sophie Blondel, David E. Bernholdt, Philip Roth, Fande Kong, David Andersson, Michael R. Tonks and Brian D. Wirth
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:7
  4. Strain energy decomposition methods in phase field fracture models separate strain energy that contributes to fracture from that which does not. However, various decomposition methods have been proposed in the...

    Authors: Shuaifang Zhang, Wen Jiang and Michael R. Tonks
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:6
  5. Computational methods are increasingly being incorporated into the exploitation of microstructure–property relationships for microstructure-sensitive design of materials. In the present work, we propose non-in...

    Authors: Vahid Attari and Raymundo Arroyave
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:5
  6. In the phase-field simulation of dendrite growth during the solidification of an alloy, the computational cost becomes extremely high when the diffusion length is significantly larger than the curvature radius...

    Authors: Shinji Sakane, Tomohiro Takaki and Takayuki Aoki
    Citation: Materials Theory 2022 6:3