Introducing Thermo-Calc 2018a with a New API

Thermo-Calc 2018a was released in March 2018 and includes an entirely new API, new databases for aluminium and high entropy alloys, major updates to the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA) and more.


Highlights of the Thermo-Calc 2018a release: 

Read the Thermo-Calc 2018a Release Notes.

New Python API

Thermo-Calc 2018a includes a new PythonTM API called TC-Python. This new API allows users to couple Thermo-Calc calculations with other software in an open way, making it an integral part of the ICME framework. The API was built in PythonTM because it is a popular language which gives users access to many other programs, such as numerical packages like NumPy and SciPy, which can now be used in combination with our calculations.

In this release, TC-Python focuses on equilibrium calculations and the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA), making it the first Thermo-Calc API that allows users to make precipitation calculations. Users who do not have a Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA) license can still make calculations with up to three elements using the DEMO license for the Precipitation module included in your software.

We will continue to expand TC-Python and plan to offer step, map and Scheil calculations, as well as Diffusion calculations in the coming releases.

We are offering a free trial license of TC-Python to all users with a valid Maintenance & Support Subscription (M&SS) until the end of 2018.


All users with a current Maintenance and Support Subscription, e.g. those who have Thermo-Calc 2018a, are being offered a free trial license of TC-Python until the end of 2018 so you can test the program and discover how you can integrate it into your overall workflow. To request your free trial license, visit the TC-Python page on our website.

Features of TC-Python: 

  • Supports Intellisense (intelligent code completion available in some integrated development environments (IDEs))
  • Takes an object-oriented approach which makes it easier to reuse information (classes/methods) and more quickly run your calculations when you need to change the compositions
  • Includes several examples to help you learn about using the Python scripts and which can be used as the basis for your own projects
  • Built in Python to give users access to many other programs, such as numerical packages like NumPy and SciPy
  • All of the precipitation calculations currently available in the Precipitation module can be run in this new API
  • Users who do not have a Precipitation module license can make calculations with up to three elements

To learn more about TC-Python and request your free trial license, visit the TC-Python page on our website.

Two New High Entropy Alloys Databases

The 2018a release includes new thermodynamic and kinetic databases for high entropy alloys.

TCHEA3: Six new elements have been added to the thermodynamic high entropy alloys database, bringing it to a 26 element framework (Al, B, C, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hf, Ir, Mn, Mo, N, Nb, Ni, Re, Rh, Ru, Si, Sn, Ta, Ti, V, W, Y, Zn and Zr). This new database also includes more than 100 new binary systems and more than 150 new phases. 

MOBHEA1: This is the first kinetic database for high-entropy alloys (HEA) from Thermo-Calc Software. The database is suitable for simulation of diffusion controlled phenomena using the add-on Diffusion Module (DICTRA) and/or the Precipitation Module (TC-PRISMA) and is intended for use with TCHEA3. It can also be used together with all Thermo-Calc programming interfaces. The database consists of 22 elements and 5 phases. 

New Aluminium Mobility Database

MOBAL4: This new version of our aluminium mobility database adds the element erbium (Er), bringing it to a 35 element framework. The database includes an improved description of liquid and has many new and updated binaries. It also now includes ternary and quaternary descriptions. The database comprises 3 phases, 37 binary systems, 20 ternary systems and 2 quaternary systems.

Improved Grid Creation for Equilibrium Calculations

This release offers improved convergence for phases with charged species. This improvement makes it easier to do equilibrium step and map calculations for oxides.

Updates to the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA)

There are two major updates to the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA) in the 2018a release as well as several smaller improvements.

  • You can now enter interfacial energy as a function of temperature and particle size. This new feature is demonstrated in graphical mode example P_11.
  • It is now possible to enter an initial size distribution for each precipitate in a precipitation calculation. Users must enter volume fraction and composition of the precipitate. The program offers help in generating the size distribution by choosing from the Distribution dropdown menu or you can import them from a file. This new feature is demonstrated in graphical mode example P_10.

    Particle size distribution in the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA)

    Users can now set Particle Size Distribution for each precipitate phase in the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA).

Updates to the Diffusion module (DICTRA)

The Diffusion module has two new features, one in the Console Mode and one in the Graphical Mode.

  • In the Console Mode a new feature for automatic grid point distribution has been implemented. The use of the option AUTO (instead of LINEAR or GEOMETRIC) in the ENTER_GRID command, generates an appropriate grid at the start of the simulation. The grid points are automatically distributed based on the entered composition profiles and boundary conditions, in combination with the kinetics of the system.

    Screenshot showing automatic gridpoint placement in DICTRA

    A new feature in the console mode of the Diffusion module (DICTRA) allows for automatic grid point distribution.

  • In the Graphical Mode version of the Diffusion module, you can now pause the program during a calculation, just as you can in the Console Mode. This allows you to visualise the results at various times in the calculation as well as add time at the end of a calculation if you decide more time is needed. Learn more about this new feature in the online help by searching for Pause, Resume and Cancel Diffusion Calculations.

    A screen shot of the pause button in the Diffusion module (DICTRA)

    You can now pause calculations in the graphical mode of the Diffusion module (DICTRA). Select the Diffusion Calculator node in the Project pane then press the Pause button at the bottom, centre of the program.

Improvements to Usibility

Thermo-Calc 2018a provides several improvements to usability, including:

  • Expanded Help menu with external links to video tutorials, our support page and the Thermo-Calc home page
  • New keyboard shortcuts for all operating systems
  • Drag and drop more file types into console mode
  • The SET_LOG_FILE command is improved in Console mode

Read the Thermo-Calc 2018a Release Notes for details of this release.