Alloy Development

Recent initiatives such as the publication in 2008 of the ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering) report by the National Academies in the United States and the launch of the Materials Genome Initiative in June 2011 have highlighted the growing use of computational tools in materials and alloy design. But this is not something that is new.

One of the first commercial applications of Thermo-Calc in 1983, for example, was to accelerate the development of a certain class of stainless steels, helping reduce the initial development cycle from 10 years to 2 years. One benefit in using computational tools is to pre-screen potential candidate compositions, thus guiding experimental work far more efficiently and also assisting in understanding experimental results. Also, alloy design does not have to be limited just to the initial development and optimisation of properties, since one can also apply the modelling tools to consider operational conditions, waste and recycling that enable alloys to be designed for the full lifetime of the material.

Applications of Thermo-Calc to Alloy Development

Some example uses of Thermo-Calc Software products for alloy development include:

  • Considering the chemical variation of the alloy on the phases that form, the amounts and compositions of those phases and the phase transformation temperatures.
  • Pre-screening large numbers of potential candidate compositions to guide experiments.
  • Coupling both thermodynamic type calculations to other modeling methodologies (e.g. neural network predictions) through SDKs such as TC-Python or the TC-Toolbox for MATLABTM.
  • For cast materials, predicting how likely the material is to segregate and how long homogenization treatments could take.
  • Optimizing heat treat schedules for the alloy to balance properties, such as the formation of strengthening precipitates versus corrosion resistance, as one example.

Application Example: Hardenability Design of Steel

Read an in-depth example which shows how the Steel Model Library in Thermo-Calc can be used to find the optimal compositions for an Fe-Mn-C steel to achieve high hardenability for the purpose of strength.

The example includes calculation files, which can be downloaded and run if you have a license for Thermo-Calc and the relevant databases. 

Hardenability Design of Steel »

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Materials by Design®

Thermo-Calc can now design custom alloys for your unique needs.

We have partnered with the global leader in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), QuesTek International, to offer ICME modelling services and novel materials development and design services to the European market under the jointly founded company QuesTek Europe. 

Visit QuesTek Europe to learn more.