Materials Chemistry Committee background

The Materials Chemistry Committee began its life in 1977 as the Alloy Phase Diagram Committee of the Institute of Metals with the aim of being the focus of constitutional work on alloys in the UK. Subsequently the committee broadened its scope to include ceramic materials including slags. Following merger and the creation of the Institute of Materials the committee's interests expanded to include phase diagrams in polymers and semiconductor systems.

The committee encourages all aspects of experimental and theoretical work relating to phase equilibria in materials systems ranging from direct studies of phase diagrams and the determination of thermodynamic mixing parameters, to the thermodynamic modelling of phases and ab initio calculations of phase stability and microstructure.

An understanding of phase diagrams and the rates of approach to equilibrium play a vital role in under-pinning many spheres of materials science and technology. A wide range of industries can benefit from the work of the committee including those involved in:

  • extraction
  • refining
  • processing
  • use of materials


in traditional large scale industries such as those concerned with:

  • steel
  • aluminium
  • glass
  • polymers
  • ceramics
  • materials used in the nuclear industry
  • high-tech aerospace materials such as superalloys, titanium alloys and advanced composite materials


and in high value smaller scale materials-based industries concerned with:

  • semiconductors
  • superconductors
  • advanced engineering materials.


The committee is not directly concerned with the chemical aspects of polymer synthesis nor with the corrosion/degradation of materials but equilibria in aqueous and molten salt systems come within its remit.