Thermophysical properties are progressively being added to the databases, as shown in the table below, and are available in Thermo-Calc as variables, parameters and more via Graphical Mode, Console Mode and the SDKs such as TC-Python. This new property data is essential for simulating the mass and heat transfer in material manufacturing processes, for example casting and 3D printing, but it is usually not available in a composition specific form.
By extending our thermodynamic databases to include properties data, users are able to easily calculate viscosity, surface tension and thermal conductivity in variation with multicomponent compositions when phase diagrams, liquidus, solidus, solvus, density, volume, coefficient of thermal expansion, heat capacity and latent heat are obtained at the same time.
Thermophysical properties are being added to databases as new versions are released. The current availability of properties data is included with the Database Overview PDF.
|Property||Database and Version Available|
|Viscosity of Liquid||TCHEA4 and TCFE10 as of 2020a
TCAL7, TCNI10 and TCOX10 as of 2020b
|Surface Tension of Liquid||TCAL7 and TCNI10 as of 2020b|
Thermal Conductivity and Electric Resistivity
|TCAL7 as of 2020b|
|Molar Volume (of solid and liquid oxides/sulfides)||TCOX10 as of 2020b|
|Molar Volume (in general)||Molar volume is included with many databases already.|
Two basic examples of the thermophysical properties viscosity and surface tension are available in both Graphical Mode and Console Mode as example projects and macro files, respectively. Both examples use demonstration databases, which are included with all Thermo-Calc installations.
Viscosity of liquids
Surface tension of liquids
Example Calculation of Viscosity of Liquid for TCNI10
The isoviscosity Cr-Fe-Ni at 1800 K as calculated and plotted for the TCNI10 database using the new viscosity of liquid thermophysical property. There are many other examples using the other databases and these are included in the new Examples Collection PDFs and as part of the Help in Thermo-Calc.
The Yield Strength Model in the Property Model Calculator has important accuracy improvements and has additional functionality when used in combination with the Precipitation Calculator and the Precipitation Module (TC-PRISMA).
The key improvements to the Yield Strength Model in 2020b are:
The improved Yield Strength Property Model is now available as a plot quantity with the Plot Renderer and Table Renderer when using the Precipitation Calculator. Simulation results, such as matrix composition and precipitate amount and sizes, can then be used as input for a Yield Strength Model where results are visualized as a function of time. This is the first mechanical property to be added to the Precipitation Module (TC-PRISMA).
Example P_01 is updated to include yield strength. This uses the results from a simulation as input to the Yield Strength Model, in other words, the calculated precipitate radius/radii for each time step is used to calculate the precipitation strengthening. Similarly, the matrix composition for each time step can be used to calculate the solid solution strengthening when this is selected in the Configuration panel on the Plot Renderer.
The Configuration window for the Plot Renderer 2 node as a successor to a Precipitation Calculator. This is from the updated P_01_Precipitation_Al-Sc_AL3SC.tcu example in Thermo-Calc. This example is available to all users.
The Precipitation Calculator Plot Renderer when “Yield strength” is selected as a plot variable. Click the Configuration panel button on the Plot Renderer to open the available settings for the Yield Strength Model. The greyed out sections (e.g. the Matrix and Precipitate phases) are defined on the Precipitation Calculator.
The video for this example is also updated to demonstrate the new functionality.
A model called the Effective Equilibrium Reaction Zone (EERZ) model has been added to the Process Metallurgy Module to allow for the simulation of kinetics during the steelmaking process. The addition of this model, along with accompanying changes to the module, makes it possible to simulate the entire steelmaking process from scrap to fully refined steel.
EERZ assumes local equilibrium at the liquid steel slag interface is reached, but that the kinetics of the reaction is limited by the mass and heat transfer along compositional and thermal gradients to and from this reaction interface.
As previously described for the 2020a release, viscosity of liquid (either as Dynamic viscosity or Kinematic viscosity) is available as a plot variable via the one-axis or grid calculators. This variable is now also available for the Process Metallurgy Calculator when setting up the Plot or Table Renderer.
The Process Metallurgy Module is available for free to Thermo-Calc users who have the thermodynamic database TCOX8 or newer and who currently have a valid Maintenance and Support Subscription. However, to best access the new kinetic features, it is recommended that the compatible TCOX10 database is used.
Process Schedule for the Process Metallurgy Calculator
The new Process Schedule available with the Process Metallurgy Calculator will help you design realistic process schedules. This example, which is available as example PMET_06_Ladle_Furnace_Kinetics.tcu, shows how to model an 165 t industrial ladle furnace.
You can read about the EERZ model and its implementation into Thermo-Calc in two papers available on our website.
Two new application examples demonstrate the new model:
The new examples included with the 2020b release demonstrate how to set up kinetic simulations. The examples below are accessible from the Thermo-Calc menu Help > Example Files > Process Metallurgy Module
The Ladle Furnace with Kinetics example is also available as an example video.
The POLY module used in Console Mode and the APIs has two new commands, MAKE_COMPONENT_SUSPENDED and MAKE_COMPONENT_ENTERED, which together make it easy to suspend a component. These commands are especially useful when working in an API with many calculations.
Together, these commands are useful when an element has a very low amount because you can now ignore it in the calculation instead of reading the entire system from the database, which can save a lot of time. More information is found in the Thermo-Calc Help.
Starting with Thermo-Calc version 2019b, the part of the calculation engine known as the Gibbs Energy System module, or GES for short, was updated from version 5 (GES5) to version 6 (GES6). GES6 is now enabled by default.
The PARROT optimization module in Console Mode previously required the use of GES5 for software versions 2019b and 2020a. As of 2020b (this release) PARROT is set to use GES6 by default.
For further information about the changes to GES, see the 2019b release notes.
The new databases (TCNI0, TCFE7 and TCOX10) have new Examples Collection PDFs available on the website and as part of the Help. In those collections, there are a variety of examples showing other properties as well as all the technical model details about these thermophysical properties, which are part of the Technical Information PDF and the Help.
The highlights of each database are included below, where you can find links to this new documentation.
Four new thermophysical properties are added to the aluminium-based alloys database: surface tension of liquid, viscosity of liquid, electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity. The database also includes several other improvements and fixes, details of which are included with the Release Notes or as part of the Revision History found in the Help or at the end of the new Technical Information PDF.
Highlights of the 2020b changes are:
New Elements and Systems
New Metastable Phase
The semi-coherent version of the quaternary Q_ALCUMGSI phase is modeled as a metastable phase, QPRIME. It is expected to be used in precipitation simulations.
Updated Systems and Phases
Using the TCAL7 database, this is the calculated electrical resistivity of the Al-Mg FCC_A1 solid solution in a wide temperature range from 250 K to 850 K, in comparison with data recommended by Ho et al. , which were from “annealed” alloys. This plot is included in the new Examples Collection PDF and in the Help.
Reference: C. Y. Ho, M. W. Ackerman, K. Y. Wu, T. N. Havill, R. H. Bogaard, R. A. Matula, S. G. Oh, H. M. James, Electrical Resistivity of Ten Selected Binary Alloy Systems. J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data. 12, 183–322 (1983).
The release of TCOX10 as a powerful part of the new EERZ model included with the Process Metallurgy Module is only one of the key improvements to this database. As mentioned above, viscosity of liquid oxides is added, and further to that, molar volume is now included for both solid and liquid oxides. The details about the assessed or estimated parameters can be found in the Technical Information PDF and the Help.
An example of viscosity of liquid in a calculation of a diopside-albite (MgCaSi2O6-NaAlSi3O8) system. With this new thermophysical property being available with TCOX10, it is possible to predict viscosity of the oxide slags for various industrial and mineralogical applications. Here, the solid lines represent the calculated viscosities of the diopside-albite system are compared with the experimental data by Scarfe et al. . This and many more examples are available in the new Examples Collection PDF.
Reference: C. M. Scarfe, D. J. Cronin, "Viscosity-temperature relationships of melts at I atm in the system diopside-albite," Am. Mineral. 71, 767–771 (1986).
Highlights of the some other 2020b changes to this database are:
As well as including surface tension of liquid and viscosity of liquid with the database, several other improvements and fixes were completed, details of which are included with the Release Notes, in the Help, as well as the new Technical Information PDF.
Highlights of the 2020b changes are:
Binary and Unary System Updates
Ternary System Updates
A new calculation example, available with the TCNI10 database documentation, uses the Precipitation Module (TC-PRISMA). Here the volume fraction of precipitates is simulated for 718-type alloy at 1023 K for 200 hours for a composition based on Sundaraman et. al. For more details, see the TCNI Examples Collection PDF.
Reference: M. Sundararaman, P. Mukhopadhyay, S. Banerjee, "Some aspects of the precipitation of metastable intermetallic phases in INCONEL 718," Metall. Trans. A. 23, 2015–2028 (1992).
The following databases all had minor updates made for 2020b. Details of these changes are included in the Release Notes.
Users who have a license for an updated database and a valid Maintenance and Support Subscription receive the updated database for free.
Go to the thermodynamic section on the website to find the latest technical information for each database.
A new feature is available for TC-Python where on the System class it is now possible to select/deselect and create species, create composition sets, select/deselect major constituents on sublattices and get database references. Details of this and the reworked functionality for listing, viewing, adding and changing GES parameters and functions for unencrypted databases is described in the Release Notes.