Scientists and engineers have always been curious about cause and effect relationships within nature. This is also the case relative to metals and materials. The understanding of the physics of metals has greatly increased from the earliest days of the field of metallurgy. The discovery of mechanisms that influence and control the behavior of metals has spurred continued research and further discovery. Initial understanding and description of controlling mechanisms were substantially phenomenological, based on observations and perceived interactions of material and process variables on resultant metallic material microstructure, mechanical properties and behavior. The conversion of mechanistic relationships into mathematical expressions is now the field of materials modeling.
The development of models and modeling methods is now allowing more rapid discovery of new alloy systems with greater optimization and application potential. Models are being integrated into computational tools for design and simulation of component processing and manufacture. The successful application of models by industry is also resulting in further pull for even further development of models that are more accurate and predictive. The study of mechanisms that control the evolution and behavior of metallic materials is continuing today at an even more aggressive pace.
Mechanistic models that more accurately describe the physics of metallurgical processes, such as grain growth, precipitation, phase equlibria, strength and deformation as examples are of great interest and importance to science and industry alike. Greater understanding of the physics of metals to the atomistic level, along with increased computational power, has resulted in further discovery and growth in the field of modeling and simulation.
This Handbook provides a review of the models that support the understanding of metallic materials and their processing. An accompanying volume will provide details of the integration of these models into software tools to allow simulation of manufacturing processes. The distinctly different, but complementary fields of Modeling and Simulation are providing new and increased capabilities for metallic materials for components and systems. The future of the metals industry is moving toward an integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) approach as a result of the hard work and dedication of the individuals, teams and organizations that have and continue to provide the needed models and simulation tools that are capable of providing engineers with accurate predictive guidance and direction.
Air Force Research Laboratory