Greg Olson Returns to MIT as the First Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice

Head shot of Professor Greg Olson
Professor Gregory B. Olson, who has been selected as the first Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice at MIT.

This new professorship is an exciting opportunity for the application of CALPHAD tools and principles, as well as the systems design approach to materials, to be better understood by scientific and engineering communities who may not be fully aware of these concepts yet. Olson’s unique set of skills, which include being an inventor, entrepreneur, educator, engineer, musician and scientist, all contributed to him being named the first Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice, the practice being that of materials design, where one uses computational tools to design and develop new alloys and materials processes.

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Thermo-Calc Software Supporting University New Professorship at MIT

Thermo-Calc Software are supporting a new professorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice. The position aims to bring in someone with an advanced career in industry, such as a CEO, to provide practical experience at a high level in the area of computational materials science. Professor Gregory B. Olson, Co-founder of QuesTek Innovations, has been selected as the first Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice, to begin in January 2020.  

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Segregation in Continuously Cast Steel Billets Investigated using Thermo-Calc and DICTRA

Steel billets with text that reads Thermo-Calc and DICTRA used for investigating segregation in continuously cast steel billets.

A paper published in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering investigates various fundamental concepts that are at play during the solidification of continuously cast steel billets at different cooling rates. The simulations in the paper, Continuous Casting of High Carbon Steel: How Does Hard Cooling Influence Solidification, Micro and Macro Segregation?, were performed with the Thermo-Calc software package to investigate solidification as well as micro and macro segregation of steel billets from continuous casting. Thermo-Calc, together with the TCFE database, was used to calculate different steel properties and perform Scheil solidification simulations to compare simplified C80D steels with no carbon diffusion and fast carbon diffusion. The calculated steel properties were then used in the solidification simulation in CHILL (developed by the SMS Group). With information from the CHILL simulations, the diffusion equations were solved using the Diffusion module (DICTRA) together with the free mobility database MFEDEMO. Thermo-Calc was also used to calculate the driving forces for diffusion with the free database FEDEMO.

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Thermo-Calc Software Receives ASM Pacesetter Award

Thermo-Calc Software is honoured to receive the 2019 ASM Pacesetter Award for contributions to education in the fields of materials science and engineering. The award was accepted by Thermo-Calc Software Inc President, Paul Mason, at the ASM Leadership Luncheon at MS&T last week in Portland, OR. The ASM Pacesetter award was established in 2009 to honour organisations that support the ASM Materials Education Foundation in their mission of advancing scientific and engineering knowledge through support of education and research. The award is given annually and previous recipients include Chevron, NACE International Foundation and ONR – Office Naval Research. Thermo-Calc Software is proud to support the ASM Materials Education Foundation and honoured to join such a prestigious group of recipients.

Paul Mason accepting the ASM Pacesetter Award on behalf of Thermo-Calc Software.
Paul Mason, President of Thermo-Calc Software Inc, Accepts the ASM Pacesetter award at the ASM Leadership Luncheon at MS&T 2019.

Since 2015, following a successful pilot program that commenced in 2012, Thermo-Calc Software has supported the ASM Materials Genome Toolkit Program Award which is partially supported by the NIST-funded Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) as part of the national Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). This award, established by the ASM Materials Education Foundation and under a special arrangement with Thermo-Calc Software AB, is a competition open to U.S. undergraduate engineering programs to compete to receive licenses for the latest versions of Thermo-Calc, add-on modules and databases. This program has been instigated to promote science-based computational materials design and engineering in undergraduate curriculum.

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Conversion of the Bohr Magneton Number

Mathematical formulas with the words Conversion of the Bohr Magneton Number

It happens quite often that a phase was modelled using different chemical formulas in different thermodynamic assessments. In this situation, if the contribution from magnetic ordering is involved, the value used for the Bohr magneton number ought to be different to have the same magnetic contribution to the molar Gibbs energy of the phase. Unfortunately, many mistakes can be found in publications regarding the conversion of this important magnetic parameter. In this blog, I present the proper equations for the conversion.

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The History of Education in Computational Thermodynamics – the KTH Experience

Computational thermodynamics is a rapidly developing field at the forefront of materials design. But did you know that the field is already over 40 years old? This year at the TMS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, John Ågren, one of the original developers of Thermo-Calc, gave a presentation on the history of computational thermodynamics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the earliest schools to teach computational thermodynamics. In his fun and fascinating presentation, he discusses how the education of computational thermodynamics started, which issues arose and how they were solved.

A Nord 10 16-bit mini computer
A Nord-10 mini computer similar to the once used by the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department at KTH in the 1970s.

It all started in the late 1970s when the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department at KTH got a minicomputer which was used in both research and education. But in the early days they came across some unexpected issues. It appeared that most students disliked computers and couldn’t do much coding themselves, which resulted in teachers spending a lot of time debugging codes. Besides that, there were also technical issues. About 30 students were working on the same computer at the same time, which made the response times very long. These difficulties made it hard for the students to understand the point of the computational exercises. As an attempt to solve these problems, teachers prepared codes for the students and handed out some written material about the underlying physics. Despite this, most time was spent on making correct inputs, which made the students not likely to understand the role of computers in materials science.

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Thermo-Calc Software CEO Speaks at The World Manufacturing Forum Technical Day

Slide of the presenters at the ASM World Manufacturing Forum Technical day
Presenters at the Harnessing Materials Information for Manufacturing symposium are shown on a slide above the stage.

ASM International hosted a symposium at this year’s The World Manufacturing Forum Technical Day called Harnessing Materials Information for Manufacturing. Topics for the session included designing new materials, materials information and design processes and integration with manufacturing. 

Thermo-Calc Software CEO, Anders Engström, was invited to give a joint keynote address with the CEO of QuesTek Innovations, Aziz Asphahani, on applying computational materials engineering to the materials design process. Other invited speakers include Dave Cebon, CTO & Co-Founder, Granta Design Ltd. (now part of ANSYS, Inc.); Ajei Gopal, CEO, ANSYS, Inc.; and Ray Fryan, Vice President, Technology & Quality, TimkenSteel Corporation. The talks were followed by a panel discussion.

The full day event addressed issues such as up-training your workforce, integrating new technologies into your workflow and increasing efficiency, all with the goal of staying competitive for the next ten years. The day focused on new solutions utilising Industry 4.0 technologies and on sharing best practices between industry.

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Thermo-Calc Used to Predict Phase Fractions when Partially Substituting Cobalt

Cobalt symbol on blue background with the words Thermo-Calc used to predict phase fractions when Partially Substituting Cobalt

A new publication in Acta Materialia investigates the possibility to partially substitute Cobalt with entropic alloys, focusing on the relative stabilities of the fcc and hcp structures.

Cobalt-base alloys are important for high temperature applications due to their possibility to form duplex fcc + hcp structures and their low stacking fault energy. However, there is an interest in substituting cobalt for economical, ethical and health reasons.

Both the thermodynamic and kinetic calculations in this publication were performed with Thermo-Calc software and the Diffusion module (DICTRA) together with the thermodynamic database TCHEA and the kinetic database MOBNI. Thermo-Calc was used to predict the phase fractions of fcc and hcp which were compared with experimental results. In the article, it is stated that the calculated thermodynamic values correlate relatively well with the experimental values. The authors concluded that designing duplex fcc + hcp Co-based alloys with computational tools is feasible.

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Thermo-Calc used to Estimate Critical Temperatures in Type 410 Steels

A person welding with the words Thermo-Calc used to estimate critical temperatures in type 410 steels written on top

In the paper Alloy Composition and Critical Temperatures in Type 410 Steel Welds, Thermo-Calc was used to evaluate the effect of alloy composition on critical temperatures (A1 and A3) in Type 410 steels.

Type 410 steels are typically welded by using consumables with matching composition. However, this type of steel has shown to have poor weldability which is related to formation of hard and brittle martensite in the weld zone, hydrogen-included cracking or retention of δ-ferrite which affects the toughness. One theory that explains the inconsistent toughness is that the wide composition ranges of the base metal results in wide variations of the A1-temperature. In the paper, this theory was investigated with the design of experiment (DoE) approach using Thermo-Calc to perform thermodynamic simulations. Thermo-Calc together with the TCFE8 database was used to predict A1 and A3 temperatures for various compositions.

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