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Thermo4PFM: Facilitating Phase-field simulations of alloys with thermodynamic driving forces

by Jean-luc Fattebert, Stephen J Dewitt, Aurelien Perron, John A Turner
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Computer Physics Communications
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Phase-field modeling is a popular front-tracking approach used to model solidification. Its time-evolution equations are often coupled to alloy composition and/or thermal diffusion in high-resolution multiphysics approaches. Materials thermodynamic properties tabulated in CALPHAD databases can be used for phase-field modeling to parameterize bulk energies of alloys. In addition, they can be naturally integrated into models such as the Kim-Kim-Suzuki (KKS) model where driving forces depend on the differences between chemical potentials of co-existing phases. In that case, a small system of coupled nonlinear equations needs to be solved at every point in space where the phase-field order parameter is to be updated and evolved in time. We present Thermo4PFM, a solver for the KKS equations for binary and ternary alloys, with two or three phases, and parameterized with CALPHAD models. Thermo4PFM is open source, written in C++, and can take advantage of Graphics Processing Units (GPU) accelerators. Using OpenMP offload capabilities for C++ classes, an excellent performance is demonstrated on GPU using the LLVM compiler. CALPHAD data is read from simple JSON files using an open source parser from the boost library.