The role of Computational Materials Design in the circular economy of materials

Tuesday, September 13, 2022: 10:50 AM
Convention Center: 272 (Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Mr. Paul Mason, FASM , Thermo-Calc Software Inc., McMurray, PA
Dr. Anders Engstrom , Thermo-Calc Software AB, Solna, Sweden
Growing awareness of environmental issues is influencing the entire materials and product development life cycle. End of life management in terms of scrap, recycling, recovery, and waste storage are critical when considering the circular economy of materials and their environmental impact. Additionally, it is important to consider materials sustainability, particularly associated with critical minerals and scarce precious metals.

This begins with the extraction of raw materials from the ground and innovating the ways they are processed into usable materials. Next, designing alloys that result in lower energy costs, either in terms of their processing, or through enabling higher efficiency in-service. Then, beginning with the end in mind, in a circular economy, a specification for any design is that the materials re-enter the economy at the end of their, and so, such alloys should also be designed to be more recyclable.

Computational tools can be applied to all stages of the materials life cycle to develop strategies around these topics and in this presentation, several examples will be given from different areas where Thermo-Calc has been used successfully to:

  • Develop new, better alloys that enable higher efficiency
  • Develop more efficient manufacturing processes that result in less energy consumption or alternatively a higher yield
  • Enable increased use of recycled materials
  • Develop and optimize alternative processes for scrap melters who are dealing with ever-increasing levels of undesirable elements and impurities