TCFE Steel and Fe-alloys database

TCFE is a thermodynamic database for different kinds of steels and Fe-based alloys which has been continuously developed and improved over the years.

The database has a variety of applications, such as stainless steels, high-speed steels, tool steels, high-strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, cast irons, corrosion-resistant high strength steels, low-density steels, cemented carbides and more.

About TCFE9

TCFE9, the current version of TCFE, can be used together with Thermo-Calc and its add-on modules the Diffusion module (DICTRA) and the Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA) as well as the Software Development Kits (SDKs). TCFE9 contains:

  • Thermodynamic descriptions for 28 elements (Ar, Al, B, C, Ca, Ce, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, H, Mg, Mn, Mo, N, Nb, Ni, O, P, S, Si, Ta, Ti, V, W, Y, Zn, Zr)
  • 255 binary systems
  • 255 ternary systems
  • 76 quaternary systems
  • Several quinary systems

The database is developed and validated for simulation of the solidification process, the relative stability of matrix phases (austenite and ferrite), precipitation of secondary phases such as sulfides, borides, oxides, phosphides, carbides, nitrides, carbonitrides, and also intermetallic phases such as the sigma and laves phases.

TCFE includes data for molar volume calculation of density and lattice parameter (for cubic structures), coefficient of thermal expansion and/or relative length change.

Extended information about TCFE9 >>


Typical applications for TCFE are Steel and Fe-alloy design and engineering. The database can be used for alloy compositions, but also their interaction with atmospheres containing oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen or mixtures thereof. 

Examples of applications >>

Example Calculation

The example below includes a ready-made calculation that can be run in Thermo-Calc along with a PDF explaning the calculation and its results. More examples coming soon!

Complimentary Mobility Database

MOBFE4 is the specialised steel mobility database intended for use with the TCFE9 database.

TCFE History

TCFE has been continuously updated since its original release to make it more robust and increase its predictive capability. Read about the improvements to each version below.  


Publications Citing TCFE9


[1] Delandar, A. Hosseinzadeh, O.I. Gorbatov, M. Selleby, Yu.N. Gornostyrev, and P.A. Korzhavyi. 2018. “Ab-Initio Based Search for Late Blooming Phase Compositions in Iron Alloys.” Journal of Nuclear Materials 509 (October): 225–36. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.06.028.

  • "The present calculations, in the temperature interval 0-500 °C, are performed using ThermoCalc software [76] and thermodynamic database TCFE9 [16]." 

[2] Feng, Yunli, Jing Guo, Jie Li, and Jiangli Ning. 2017. “Effect of Nb on Solution and Precipitation of Inhibitors in Grain-Oriented Silicon Steel.” Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 426 (March): 89–94. doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2016.11.075

  • "In this study, three grain-oriented silicon steels with different Nb contents were designed to investigate the effect of Nb on the behaviors of inhibitor solution and precipitation by ThermoCalc software combined with TEM technology."  
  • "The precipitation temperature, mole fraction and chemical composition of precipitates in three silicon steels with different Nb contents at 400–1600 °C were calculated and analyzed by ThermoCalc® software (TCFE9 database)."

[3] Fedorova, I., F. Liu, F.B. Grumsen, Y. Cao, O.V. Mishin, and J. Hald. 2018. “Fine (Cr,Fe) 2 B Borides on Grain Boundaries in a 10Cr–0.01B Martensitic Steel.” Scripta Materialia 156 (November): 124–28. doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2018.07.021

  • "Phase equilibrium calculations made for the present steel composition using ThermoCalc version 2017b with the TCFE9 database [26] predict that orthorhombic M 2 B is stable in the temperature range from 1200 °C to 1160." 
  • "Table 2: Chemical composition of M2B borides formed in the 10Cr-0.01B martensitic steel cooled either in water, air or furnace and measured by EDS on extraction replicas or by APT. The measurement results are compared with calculations by Thermocalc (all in at.%).

[4] Hu, Bin, and Haiwen Luo. 2017. “Microstructures and Mechanical Properties of 7Mn Steel Manufactured by Different Rolling Processes.” Metals 7 (11): 464. doi:10.3390/met7110464.

  • "The composition of studied steel is 0.25C–7.17Mn–2.6Al in weight percentage. Thermodynamic calculations were made using Thermo-Calc 2017a and TCFE9 database..." 

[5] Gulapura Hanumantharaju, Arun Kumar. 2017. “Thermodynamic Modelling of Martensite Start Temperature in Commercial Steels.” Master's thesis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. View the thesis 

  • "Including the newly modified thermodynamic descriptions for the Fe-based TCFE9 database by Thermo-Calc software AB, the model has the efficiency to predict the martensite start temperature of multi-component alloys with an accuracy of (±) 35 K. The model predictability can be further improved by critical assessment of thermodynamic factors such as stacking faults and magnetism in Fe-Mn-Si-Ni-Cr systems."
  • "Figure 4.1 shows the results from batch calculation of full range of datasets i.e. alpha and epsilon martensite using TCFE6 (a) and TCFE9 (b). The results from breakdown of different martensite i.e. alpha (a) and epsilon (b) is shown in figure 4.2. The present Ms model has the accuracy of 35.37 RMS which is better than the previous model using old parameters and TCFE8 database (see Table 4.2)." 

[6] Miyamoto, Goro, Ai Goto, Naoki Takayama, and Tadashi Furuhara. 2018. “Three-Dimensional Atom Probe Analysis of Boron Segregation at Austenite Grain Boundary in a Low Carbon Steel - Effects of Boundary Misorientation and Quenching Temperature.” Scripta Materialia 154 (September): 168–71. doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2018.05.046.

  • "Fig. 2(a) shows a vertical section of a phase diagram of an Fe-0.2C-2Mn-B system calculated using ThermoCalc with a TCFE9 database. 1200 °C and 1150 °C are within austenite single phase region while 900 °C is slightly below solubility of Fe2B." 

Diffusion module (DICTRA)

[7] Zheng, Weisen. 2018. “Thermodynamic and Kinetic Investigation of Systems Related to Lightweight Steels.” PhD thesis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. View the thesis 

  • "Fig. 1.1 shows the effect of common alloying elements on the density of α-Fe (bcc) and γ-Fe (fcc) at room temperature using the volume data from Thermo-Calc Software TCFE9 Steels/Fe-alloys database [8]."

Precipitation module (TC-PRISMA)

[8] Juuti, Timo, Ludovica Rovatti, David Porter, Giuliano Angella, and Jukka Kömi. 2018. “Factors Controlling Ambient and High Temperature Yield Strength of Ferritic Stainless Steel Susceptible to Intermetallic Phase Formation.” Materials Science and Engineering: A 726 (May): 45–55. doi:10.1016/j.msea.2018.04.074

  • "2.3. Precipitation modelling. Thermodynamic and kinetic calculations, including equilibrium and isothermal phase diagrams, and coarsening of precipitates were made using the ThermoCalc and TC-Prisma."
  • "All calculations were carried out using the TCFE9 thermodynamic database for Fe-based alloys and the kinetic database MOBFE2 containing mobility data for Fe-based alloys."