The PMMD Lab focuses on fundamentals of physical metallurgy and materials design applications

Research Topics
  • Thermodynamic modeling and diffusion simulation
  • CALPHAD-based ICME modeling
  • Integrated Computational Materials Design
  • Materials informatics and data-mining
  • Additive manufacturing of advanced alloys
  • Graded alloys for multifunctionality
  • High-throughput experimentation for materials genome
  • Machine learning for materials design
  • New alloy development and processing optimization


The PMMD Lab is grateful to these research sponsors for their support to our reearch in physical metallurgy and materials design.

Research Facilities

Physical Metallurgy and Materials Design Lab

The Physical Metallurgy and Materials Design (PMMD) Laboratory is equipped with an arc-melting furnace with the function of suction casting (model ABJ-338-1, MRF), which can produce small-scale suction casting and arc-melting samples for prototype alloy testing. The laboratory has also various tube furnaces for heat treatment design. On the computational aspect, the PMMD lab is supported by the Thermo-Calc software company with full access to all of the commercial Thermo-Calc thermodynamic and diffusion kinetic databases for materials and processing design. In addition, the lab houses small clusters for ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering) in-house code development. The PMMD lab gets priority access to the computational server supported by the Center for Simulation and Modeling (SaM) at Pitt performing the ab initio quantum mechanical calculations such as Quantum Espresso. In addition, a high temperature differential scanning calorimeter (max. temperature 1600°C) by Netzsch Instruments North Amierca LLC and quenching dilatometer (cooling rate up to 4000K/s and heating rate 2500K/s) by TA instruments company are available in the PMMD Lab. Such a thermal analysis system is capable to determine phase transformation temperature, continuous-cooling-temperature diagram, time-temperature-transformation diagram, and evaluate latent heat during solidification process, which will facilitate on model calibration.

ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Lab

Pitt’s Additive Manufacturing Lab provides Pitt faculty and research partners with a range of different AM technologies to meet their needs. We have an EOS M290 which is a DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) powder bed machine, an Optomec LENS 450 which is a direct metal deposition machine, an ExOne Innovent and an ExOne Lab which both use a powder bed binder jet process, and a Stratasys Objet 260 Connex 3D polyjet printer. Click here to learn more.

Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Facility

The Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Facility (NFCF) is supported by the integrated, multidisciplinary organization, the Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering. The NFCF is a 4,000-ft cleanroom facility located in the sub-basement of Benedum Hall. The facility houses state-of-the-art equipment with core nano-level fabrication/analysis capability. Several features make the capabilities of NFCF unique, including five different types of lithography (Optical, EBL, Dual Beam, DipPen, and Imprint), a field-emission microprobe (EPMA), and a transmission electron microscope (TEM). NFCF is open for University use; this interdisciplinary facility acts as a catalyst for further collaborations among various Pitt schools.
Please visit the NFCF center for the complete information of different facilities. Click here to learn more.

Research Projects

Past Research Projects

Below are the past project list, we appreciate the support from the collaborators and agencies.

  • Project 1. Prediction of Microstructure Evolution in DMLM processed Inconel 718 with Part Scale Simulation
    Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (Early Stage Innovations)
  • Project 2. Integrated Computational Microstructure-Informed Response Tools for High Quality Additive Manufacturing Parts
    Sponsor: Office of Naval Research
Active Research Projects

Up till Sept 2020, the PMMD lab works on 8 research projects covering from high entropy alloy development to additive manufacturing design. The projects utilize both theoretical modeling and top-notch experimental techniques to perform reseearch in new materials development and ICMD Integrated Computational Materials Design.

  • Project 1. Integrated Computational Materials Design for Additive Manufacturing of High-Strength Steels used in Naval Environments
    Sponsor: Office of Naval Research
  • Project 2. Integrated Computational Material Engineering Technologies for Additive Manufacturing
    Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (STTR Phase II)
  • Project 3. Integrated Computational Materials and Mechanical Modeling for Additive Manufacturing of Alloys with Graded Structure Used in Fossil Fuel Power Plants
    Sponsor: Department of Energy / NETL
  • Project 4. Integrating Dissolvable Supports, Topology Optimization, and Microstructure Design to Drastically Reduce Costs in Developing and Post-Processing Nuclear Plant Components Produced by Laser-based Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing
    Sponsor: Department of Energy / NEUP
  • Project 5. Mechanisms of hierarchical microstructure formation under rapid solidification for functional Heusler alloys
    Sponsor: National Science Foundation
  • Project 6. Multicomponent Thermochemistry of Complex Chloride Salts for Sustainable Fuel Cycle Technologies
    Sponsor: Department of Energy / NEUP
  • Project 7. Pipe-in-Pipe by Rapid, Continuous, Smart Alloy Coating
    Sponsor: Department of Energy / ARPA-E
  • Project 8. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Steam Cycle Components Using Location Specific Design Enhanced by High-Throughput Experiments and Machine Learning
    Sponsor: Department of Energy / NETL
  • Project 9. Integrated computational materials design for high-entropy alloys, Ti-alloys and ultra-high strength steels
    Sponsor: Swanson School of Engineering, Pitt

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