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Heat treating is the controlled application of time, temperature and atmosphere to produce a predictable change in the microstructure of a material. However, alloys are complex systems where the microstructure and properties depend on both the processing conditions and chemical composition. Variations in composition, particularly in terms of minor elements, affect processing windows. What do metallurgists and process engineers do when this information is not available? Using Thermo-Calc, which calculates thermodynamic and phase based properties as a function of composition, temperature and time, it is possible to make such predictions for multicomponent alloys.
Paul Mason graduated in 1989 from South Bank University in London, UK with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Physical Sciences and Scientific Computing. Upon graduation, he joined the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell and worked on materials R&D issues with applications to civil nuclear power, particularly at high temperatures. Paul began his career as a research experimentalist and then in 1993 he moved into the modeling realm where he began to apply computational thermodynamics as a predictive tool for materials behavior as well as managing multi-disciplinary programs that combined modeling and experimental work. In 2004, Paul was appointed president of Thermo-Calc Software Inc. when Swedish based Thermo-Calc Software AB started a U.S. subsidiary. Since then, Paul has been responsible for marketing and sales, technical support, training, customer relations and establishing strategic partnerships for the North American market. Paul has been a champion of the use of computational tools to drive innovation and productivity in the materials industry. He is an active member of both TMS and ASM and has been chair of the TMS Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) Committee and the ASM Alloy Phase Diagram Committee. He is the current vice-chair of the TMS Materials Processing and Manufacturing Division.