One of the main tasks of the Materials Chemistry Committee of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is to coordinate critical assessment and experimental work on phase diagrams within the UK and disseminate this information to industry. The membership of the committee is a balance between providers and users of phase diagram and thermodynamic information and benefits from a strong industrial input. The committee provides a forum to identify industrial needs, a discussion group between specialists and a focus within the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for active national and international collaboration on the provision of assessed data, on modelling, and on theoretical and computational aspects of phase equilibria in materials. The current Chairman of this committee is Dr Andy Watson of the IMR/SPEME, at the University of Leeds.
The committee is interested in all aspects of the phase equilibria, including metastable equilibria and kinetics, in all classes of engineering materials and covering both fundamental and applied topics. It recognises the vital role that reliable information on both phase diagrams themselves and on the rates of approach to equilibrium play in under-pinning many spheres of materials science and technology. To this aim it seeks:
to co-ordinate critical assessments and experimental work in various organisations and institutions in the UK
to avoid undue overlap of experimental studies
to encourage and nurture international co-operation on phase diagram knowledge.
The Materials Chemistry committee is concerned not only with metals and alloys but also ceramics, slags, salts, semiconductors, superconductors, glass, nuclear materials and polymers.
The committee encourages all aspects of experimental and theoretical work relating to phase equilibria in materials systems ranging from direct studies of phase diagrams and the determination of thermodynamic mixing parameters, to the thermodynamic modelling of phases and ab initio calculations of phase stability and microstructure.
The committee also seeks to support academic institutions in their role in the teaching of thermodynamics and phase equilibria and to ensure that materials scientists in industry have adequate training in this area of fundamental importance.