Within the Advanced Steel Research Centre, we have a range of modelling software including ThermoCalc, Dictra, FactSage, MICRESS, COMSOL and DEFORM. Some examples are given below:
COMSOL Multiphysics modelling
COMSOL Multiphysics is a platform software for modelling engineering applications. The software has the core package with additional modules; these modules can be used for simulating designs and processes based on electromagnetics, structural mechanics, acoustics, fluid flow, heat transfer, and chemical engineering behaviour. COMSOL can be used in conjunction with other software such as MATLAB and ThermoCalc through the LiveLink capability.
The Steel group uses COMSOL software for modelling many different aspects of the steel-making process: Modelling the diffusion and chemistry of solutes and oxidants within microstructure; using COMSOL to predict the behaviour of certain shaped steels under stress; understanding the electromagnetic interactions of magnetic sensors and hot steel etc.
The kinetics of the phase evolution (typically called microstructure formation) is critical in various fields of science and technology since their morphology and the length scale directly influences the quality of the cast material produced for usage in further downstream processes. The actual structural length scales of the phases that form during continuous casting of steel / industrial metal casting processes or during various processing stages of the cast product range from few micrometres to several millimetres, thereby defining its multi-scale nature. With the present age of high computing power, numerical modelling techniques have the advantage of providing thoughtful insights into the formation mechanisms of phase evolution as a function of process parameters prior to the actual experiments in an efficient and fast manner.
MICRESS is a commercial software package in the field of computational materials engineering which integrates the physics of the material thermodynamics and the transport phenomenon along with bridging the length scales of the evolving phases based on the phase-field method for multi-phase systems. It has been developed by Access at Aachen Technical University (RWTH). Starting from binary alloys, the software has been extended over the past couple of years to be used for microstructure simulation in multicomponent systems like Steels, Nickel base super alloys, Aluminium / Titanium / Magnesium base alloys etc. The figure below shows the dendritic solidification microstructure in Fe – 4wt% Mn binary alloy simulated with MICRESS. The solidification microstructure consists of the upward growth of the primary dendtries with numerous side-branches called the secondary dendrites. Within the steels group, we use MICRESS to consider solidification structures with respect to varying cooling rate, nucleation density and compositional effects.