Introducing Thermo-Calc 2019b and the New Process Metallurgy Module

Thermo-Calc 2019b was released in June 2019 and introduces a new module for steel and slag processing, the Process Metallurgy Module, three new databases, a completely rewritten part of the calculation engine and more.


Highlights of the 2019b Release

New Process Metallurgy Module for Steel and Slag

Thermo-Calc 2019b introduces a new module which makes it easy to set up calculations for steel and slag, the Process Metallurgy Module. The new module is designed for application to steel-making and steel refining processes including converters, such as Basic Oxygen Furnaces (BOFs), Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs), Ladle Furnace (LF) metallurgy and more.  

A plot showing the ratio of liquid slag to all slag in a system.
A plot showing the ratio of liquid slag to all slag in a system.

The Process Metallurgy Module is available for free to Thermo-Calc users who have the thermodynamic database TCOX9 or TCOX8 and who currently have a valid Maintenance and Support Subscription. If you meet these requirements, your license will include the Process Metallurgy Module automatically. All other users can test the module with the included OXDEMO database and the two examples included in the software. 


New Growth Rate Models for the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA)

The Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA) includes two new growth rate models in Thermo-Calc 2019b – Paraequilibrium (PE) and Non-partition Local Equilibrium (NPLE). 

In a system where there are large differences between the diffusion rates of the components there is a possibility to have fast reaction without the need of any redistribution of the more sluggish elements. In metals the interstitial elements, such as carbon and nitrogen, are smaller than the metal atoms and diffuse much faster. The paraequilbrium and NPLE growth rate models are designed specifically to address the fast diffusion elements in iron alloys. 

A new example, P_13, shows the new paraequilibrium growth rate model. The application for the new example is cementite precipitation at low temperatures for a steel. Users can access the new example in the Help Menu > Examples Files > Precipitation module

New Features for the Diffusion Module (DICTRA)

The Diffusion module (DICTRA) has received several improvements in Thermo-Calc 2019b, some of which are included below:

  • Several numerical options are now set to “automatic” by default in both graphical and console modes, making it easier to perform common simulations.
  • In Graphical Mode, you can now plot a coordinate inside a region just like you can in Console Mode. This is done using the Distance plot condition, available on the Plot Renderer.
  • In the Console Mode, a simplified setup of homogenization simulations was implemented. 
  • There is also a new comprehensive tutorial which teaches about the Diffusion module (DICTRA) and the role of diffusion in materials. Click here to download the new tutorial.

New TTT Template for the Steel Model Library

The Steel Model Library introduces a template in Thermo-Calc 2019b which sets up a Time-Temperature-Transformation (TTT) diagram for the steel package. 

The new template is conveniently accessed from the home screen of Thermo-Calc and has several preconfigured settings that make it easy to set up and calculate the TTT diagram using the Martensite temperatures and Pearlite property models.

The template also comes with a new plotting mode called TTT mode, which is used to define the Temperature on the Y-axis and Time on the X-axis for all selected quantities. For example, Pearlite will show transformation times for 2%, 50% and 98% Pearlite. Time independent results, like the Ms temperature, will be drawn in a horizontal line.  

Users can also choose this mode when adding a Property Model Calculator that uses both the Martensite temperatures and Pearlite models and a One axis calculation type. 

Use of the Steel Model Library, the new template and the new TTT mode all require a valid Maintenance and Support Subscription plus licenses for the thermodynamic and kinetic steel databases, TCFE9 and MOBFE4.

Updated Calculation Engine (GES6)

The part of the calculation engine known as the Gibbs Energy System (GES) module has been completely rewritten for this release from GES5 to GES6. 

The main purpose of GES6 is to support faster development of new features than is currently possible with GES5.

GES6 does not yet support all the features of GES5, so GES5 and GES6 will co-exist in the application within the foreseeable future. GES6 is enabled by default but this can be changed by the user in the Options menu. The application will fall back and use GES5 automatically in cases where certain functionality is not yet implemented in GES6.

GES6 has also shown improved calculation times for many long-running calculations. For short calculations, the execution time of GES6 may be a little longer than for GES5.

A plot comparing the calculations times in Thermo-Calc GES5 vs GES6
This plot compares the execution times between GES5 and GES6 from over 5 000 calculations on various industrial alloys. Points that are above the 1:1 ratio line (top line) show cases where GES6 is slower than GES5 and points below the 1:1 ratio line show cases where GES6 is faster than GES5. Points on the 1:2 ratio line (middle line) show cases where GES6 is twice as fast as GES5, and points on the 1:3 ratio line (bottom line) show cases where GES6 is three times faster than GES5.

For most users, you will not notice any difference as the engine works in the background, but for regular PARROT or custom database users there are a couple of important things to be aware of, in which case, you can read more about GES6 in the release notes »

Installation Updates

The installation of Thermo-Calc has changed in order to make the process more user friendly. 

  • Windows installations now require administrator rights to install the program. 
  • When you have several versions of Thermo-Calc installed on your computer, you can now choose the applicable version from lists, for example, when you right-click a file and choose Open with you will now see the version listed.
  • The license file installation location has changed. This is only important for those who need to copy and replace an old version of the license file. Otherwise the license is installed at the location chosen during the installation process.
    • Windows and Linux: License file under <installdir>/Thermo-Calc
    • Mac: License file under /Users/Shared/Thermo-Calc

New Copper Databases for Thermodynamics (TCCU3) and Kinetics (MOBCU3)

Two new copper databases are released, the thermodynamic copper database, TCCU3, and the companion mobility database, MOBCU3.

  • TCCU3 adds germanium (Ge), bringing it to a 30 element framework. 
  • 10 Ge-X binary systems are added  (X=Ag, Al, Au, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Sn, Ti, Zr). 
  • 2 new ternary systems are added. 
  • Volume data for the newly added phases are assessed or estimated.

The companion mobility database, MOBCU3, is updated to correspond to the updates in TCCU3. MOBCU3 now contains data for the diffusion of the new element Ge in both Fcc and liquid phases of Cu alloys.

New Oxides and Slag Database (TCOX9)

A new oxide database, TCOX9, adds titanium, bringing it to a 25 element framework. The thermodynamic database for metal oxide solutions (including slags) also adds 19 binary systems, 26 ternary systems and 30 quaternary systems. The database includes several other updates:

  • CaO-SiO2-VOx is assessed. The correct distribution of oxidation states in the slag (+3/+4/+5) can now be calculated.
  • The following systems have been reassessed: Ca-O-V, Mg-O-V, O-Si-V, CaO-SiO2-Y2O3.
  • The following systems have been estimated: MgO-SiO2-VOx, MnS-NbS, MnS-VS.
  • Changed model for VO solid solution, from Halite to FCC_A1 to be consistent with cubic TiO. Reassessed solubility of V2O3 in CaO/CoO/FeO/MgO/MnO/NiO Halite due to change of model for VO. Assessed C-V-O, modeling complete solid solution between VCx and VOy (same applies to the C-Ti-O system).
  • Merged CoV2O6 and NiV2O6 compounds to the CaV2O6 phase.
  • Removed the SO4-2 species in the liquid phase.
  • Minor changes to the following systems: W-O, Al-Cr-O, Ca-Ni-O, Co-O-V, Cr-Cu-O, Mg-Mn-O, Co-Mn-O, Co-Mo-O, Co-O-P, Nb-O-P, Ni-O-Si, Ni-O-V, Al-Ca-Ni-O, Al-Ni-O-Y, Ca-Co-Cu-O, Ca-Co-Ni-O, Co-Mn-O-Y, Fe-La-Ni-O, Gd-Mn-O-Si.
A plot showing the distribution of species at 1773 Kelvin in the TiO high temperature phase (FCC_A1)
A plot showing the distribution of species at 1773 Kelvin in the TiO high temperature phase (FCC_A1).

Updated Titanium (TCTI2) and Steel and Fe-alloys (TCFE9) Databases

TCFE9 and TCTI2 have been updated with the improvements listed below. 
Users who have a license for either TCFE9 or TCTI2 receive the updated databases for free.

TCFE9.1

  • Revision of C-Fe-S system.
  • Revision of Cr-Fe-Nb and Fe-Nb-Si system and the addition of 15 new silicide phases.
  • Revision of the Laves phase description in Fe-Nb-W and Cr-Mo-Nb systems.
  • Updates to the molar volumes of Liquid Mn, CEMENTITE, Fe-Si-B ternary phases, MNS, and several sulfides.
  • Correction of the magnetic properties of CBCC_A12 phase.
  • Removing the pressure dependent parameters from Fe for compatibility with GES6.

TCTI2

  • Improved description on liquidus temperature of Ti64 alloy.
  • Adjusted phase stability of HCP_A3 and BCC_A2 in some systems.

TC-Python

Two new features have been added to TC-Python. It is now possible to set all options for each calculation type in a consistent way using the with_option() method. 

Additionally there is now a method on the system object that can convert between different composition units without performing an equilibrium calculation – making the conversion much faster.

Also TC-Python now uses GES6 by default. You can read more about GES here and in the complete release notes.