The NIST-developed open-source Object-Oriented Finite Element code (OOF) is a long-standing project to deliver high-quality mathematics and computational capabilities to a materials-science audience. The code features tools to easily construct finite-element meshes which match real 3D microstructures, derived from micrographs or models, as well as a scheme for the addition of custom constitutive rules. The result allows materials science domain experts to conduct sophisticated structure-property explorations.
The tool has recently had a crystal-plasticity capability added to it, which posed several development challenges, in that the plasticity property has strong history-dependence, whereas the initial design for the software primarily anticipated essentially PDE divergence equations.
An on-going need for the OOF tool is better integration with materials analysis and design workflows. This is an additional challenge not well-anticipated by the initial application design, but with obvious value to the materials community