MTDATA – Phase Diagram Software from the National Physical Laboratory














Materials problems faced by industry tend to be complex in nature, involving interactions between different materials, including alloys, ceramics, glasses, cements and minerals, as well as melts, aqueous solutions and gases. The number of process variables is often quite large, making feasibility studies and experimental optimisation expensive.

The Thermodynamics and Process Modelling Group, in the Materials Centre at the National Physical Laboratory, has long been involved in the use of thermodynamic data for inorganic and metallurgical systems and in the solution of practical problems for a wide range of areas of interest to industry such as:

  • Alloy development
  • Extraction and recycling
  • Energy conversion
  • Joining
  • Materials processing
  • Corrosion and deposition
  • Chemistry in technology
  • Electronic and magnetic materials
  • Environmental control
  • Polymers

One result of this long term interest has been the development of MTDATA, a software/data package, developed at NPL, which uses critically assessed thermodynamic data in order to calculate phase equilibria and thermodynamic properties for multicomponent multiphase systems appropriate to problem of immediate interest.

A number of high quality thermodynamic data for an extensive range of material types are available for use with MTDATA. The types of materials covered include light alloys, steels, ceramics, glasses, slags, mattes, salts, polymers, aqueous solutions and gases. MTDATA, in combination with these data, can be used to predict the chemical species and phases likely to form at equilibrium in the types of system of greatest industrial interest - those containing large numbers of chemical elements - and so provide a valuable guide to the solution of many industrial problems. Organisations can lease these databases and MTDATA for in-house use or ask for calculations to be done at NPL. For further information about the services offered at NPL please click here.

NPL is involved in a wide range of scientific research concerned with thermodynamic data ranging from the development of data for solders and complex oxides systems to the investigation of the application of ab-initio techniques for the prediction of thermodynamic data. For more information please click here.

NPL is very active within SGTE. Alan Dinsdale is chairman and president of SGTE and also the manager of the SGTE Solution Database. He has maintained the database containing standard reference data for the elements on behalf of SGTE. SGTE databases can obtained for use with MTDATA.

NPL also plays an active role within the Institute of Materials through the Materials Chemistry Committee and, in a wide sense, through APDIC.


Updated 13 February 2009