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Subject History of THERPRO Database
Writer admroot Hit 955 Date Time 09/20/2011 11:12 AM

THERSYST was originally developed for the modular reactor calculation program RSYST as a combination of a factual solid materials thermo-physical properties database and a modular program system to handle the data base contents. Practically thermo-physical properties of solid materials are very sensitive to the manufacturing process of the materials as well as the experimental conditions of the measurements. They depend not only on their chemical composition but also on their micro- and macrostructure resulting from the subsequent treatment: mechanical, chemical, thermal, or irradiative. This means that thermo-physical properties data should be described by not only the measurement values but also supporting information such as material characterization and experimental techniques. Particularly for engineering materials, the situation is more complicated because they rarely have unique compositions and their properties are drastically affected by the materials production process. Due to the sensitivity and the complexity of the properties database, THERSYST was designed to be operated on the mainframe computer (VAX). Later it was transformed into a stand-alone PC-based database since personal computers became popular and widely available.
   THERSYST took an extensive category scheme to contain all the relevant information for the properties data and the interpretation of the data. With this scheme the database is hierarchically ordered according to the materials. The bibliographic information linked to the corresponding data set was stored in a standardized form consisting of five classes: material designation, material characterization, experimental information, numerical data, and bibliographic data. In each class, information was stored by a number of descriptors, numerical, coded, or textual. Later, with the increasing number of collected/reviewed/assessed data, data sets were modularly grouped by the kind of the materials, i.e., elemental substances, oxides, carbides, etc. in the serial names of MATA, MATB, MATC, and so on. In this way new groups of materials were continuously added to the DB until the termination of the development.
   However, it was inactively utilized until recently primarily because none of the contemporary computer operating systems supports the old DOS based DB management system. Therefore, within the IAEA CRP, a feasibility study on the conversion of THERSYST database into a web based on-line database was conducted. The conclusion was that since the data base contains many valuable properties data and information, web-based database can be a great utility for engineers, researchers, and managers working in the nuclear industry in all member states if the database is appropriately re-built and well updated/upgraded. So the conversion task was added in the scope of IAEA CRP and assigned to the Nuclear Materials Lab., Hanyang university, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
   Through the conversion work, the old database was completely redesigned and reconstructed using powerful relational DB management system along with contemporary information technologies. In the course of restructuring the database, the category scheme was preserved while all modular groups of materials were merged into one. For the input entry, the original format of the data set was kept as a standard and all the relevant information is converted into this standardized form in order to avoid input difficulties and to keep the consistency. New web-based database has taken GUI (Graphic User Interface) during the re-construction and thus all descriptors are laid out in the forms of buttons in the pop-up window. These features make data selection, manipulation, and representation very easy without the necessity of memorization of the descriptors. This whole task was carried out by Nuclear Materials Lab., Hanyang university, Seoul, Republic of Korea under the financial support of Ministry of Science and Technology of Korean government. During the IAEA CRP, the new name THERPRO was given to this new web based database.