Theory-Driven/Rapid Experimental Alloy Development

National Laboratory: 
Ames Laboratory
Computational Tools Class: 
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 
Fabrication and synthesis

Theory-Driven/Rapid Experimental Alloy Development (T-READ) is the unique Ames Lab capability that integrates recently developed high-throughput bulk alloy synthesis and characterization facilities with in-house expertise for atomic- to meso-scale computational modeling that drives the high-throughput experiments. T-READ’s goal is to explore the compositional space for a particular alloy technology target rapidly—first computationally, then experimentally.

Capability Bounds: 

The TD-READ experimental capacity uses a high-throughput arc melting system or a laser-engineered net-shaping (LENS) system with four discrete powder feeders (elemental and/or master alloy powder feedstocks) to prepare numerous bulk alloy samples. The current capacity is ~96 samples per day, weighing 1–5 grams in the shape of a small button. These samples can be heat treated with two thermal modules, each capable of simultaneously and individually heat treating 48 samples in a protective environment. Mechanical processing, such as rolling or extrusion, can be performed at ambient or elevated temperatures, up to about 800°C. Temperature-dependent mechanical properties of as-prepared samples can be assessed with scanning macro-indentation and impulse vibration methods. T-READ computations can use, for example, a density functional theory (DFT)-based Green’s function (multiple-scattering theory) electronic-structure method to predict alloy properties, such as additions, adsorbates, brittleness, mechanical strength, and corrosion, and permit configurational averaging within partially (chemical and magnetic) disordered structures to be performed directly.

Unique Aspects: 

Rapid results are the unique aspect of the T-READ capability, which is enabled by computational guidance and verified by high-throughput alloy synthesis and characterization.


The T-READ capability was developed to serve Ames Lab’s initiative addressing materials on the edge of stability. It is available via a Strategic Partnership Plan contract or by purchase order through the Materials Preparation Center. To protect clients’ interests, all interactions are provided on a confidential basis with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) available.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Jun Cui
Phone: 515-294-4736

  1. J. Cui, et al. “High-through-put development of thermoelastic materials” MRS Fall 2015, CCC4.02.
Supporting Document(s):