At a Granta seminar, Hannah Carver, Project Leader in the PLM Group at AWE, described her experience of a long-running project to manage materials information for the leading UK nuclear security organization. The systems on which AWE works contain a wide variety of often-exotic materials (metals, ceramics, salts, organics) and require them to handle data on unusual properties and conditions (e.g., radioactive behavior, test results from explosive regimes or plasma). Simulation is an important component of their research, so efficiency in feeding data to and from computational tools is essential. Products have to be maintained over long periods of time, so robust PLM systems that can manage the product definition over lifetimes of 40+ years are a requirement, and materials is one key thread in that PLM story.
Today’s AWE system consists of two major databases: a Materials Science database, which underpins materials science assessments of chemical, physical, thermal, safety, and mechanical data, and the ‘MATPROPS’ database, used to provide mechanical property data for product engineering, design, and simulation. The AWE project is active and successful, ensuring that staff with technical authority over materials data can control its quality, and providing a robust framework for distributing this data to authorized personnel in the science and engineering community.