Steel Properties

Steel Model Library

A set of Property Models designed to help experts working in the steel industry quickly and easily set up calculations using the Property Model Calculator.

About the Steel Model Library

The Steel Model Library is a package of property models used to set up calculations in the Property Model Calculator. The library currently includes seven models intended for those working in the steel industry: Martensite Temperatures, Martensite Fractions, Critical Transformation Temperatures, Pearlite, Bainite, CCT, and TTT Models.

The Steel Model Library is available for free to all users who have a license for the databases TCFE11/MOBFE6 and/or TCFE10/MOBFE5 and/or TCFE9/MOBFE4, and valid Maintenance & Support Subscription (M&SS).

Martensite Temperatures Model

The Martensite Temperatures Property Model calculates the martensite start temperature (Ms) based on modeling the transformation barrier. The Model is based on Stormvinter et al. (2012) with subsequent update and extension by Gulapura Hanumantharaju (2018) and Thermo-Calc internal assessment. The partitionless equilibrium temperature T0 is calculated using the thermodynamic database. The model also gives temperatures corresponding to 50%, 90%, and 99% transformations. Martensite fractions are calculated with the same algorithm as in the Martensite Fractions Property Model.

The plot shows all the Ms temperatures of different types of martensite morphologies (lath, plate, and epsilon (hcp)) compared with experimental epsilon Ms values.

Martensite Fractions Model

The Martensite Fractions Property Model calculates the fraction of athermal martensite based on a model developed in Huyan et al. (2016). It is assumed that the first forming martensite morphology is the only forming one. The first morphology is determined based on the Ms-temperatures of all morphologies.

The image is a plot of the transformation curves showing Fe-Cr-C martensite with intercritical annealing.

Critical Transformation Temperatures Model

The Critical Transformation Temperatures Property Model calculates critical transformation temperatures for steels. This Property Model can output the transformation temperatures for the following:

  • Liquidus: First austenite or ferrite transformation from the liquid
  • Solidus: Liquid fully transformed to solid
  • A0: Magnetic transformation (Curie temperature) of cementite. The cementite is paramagnetic above A0 and ferromagnetic below
  • A1: Austenite (FCC_A1) transforms to ferrite (BCC_A2) + carbide (cementite or graphite or M23C6)
  • A2: Magnetic transformation (Curie temperature) of ferrite (BCC_A2)
  • A3: Austenite (FCC_A1) transforms to ferrite (BCC_A2)
  • A4: Delta-ferrite (BCC_A2) transforms to austenite (FCC_A1)
  • Acem: Austenite (FCC_A1) transforms to cementite
  • Agraph: Austenite (FCC_A1) transforms to graphite 

The plot shows the distribution of the A1 and A3 phase transition temperatures for a low alloyed steel (Fe-0.3Cr-1.0Mn-0.3Mn-0.18C) when the composition is varied within the specification.

Pearlite Model

The Pearlite Property Model describes the thermodynamics and kinetics of pearlite formation from austenite during isothermal heat treatment. It is assumed that the overall composition of pearlite is the same as the austenite composition, and growth rate is constant over time. Growth rate and lamellar spacing of pearlite are determined by a criterion where either growth rate or Gibbs energy dissipation rate is maximized. The model considers Gibbs energy dissipation due to formation of ferrite-cementite interface in pearlite, finite austenite-pearlite interfacial mobility, solute drag, and diffusion of elements within austenite and along austenite-pearlite interface. A complete description of the model is available from Yan et al. (2020).

The plot is a TTT (time-temperature-transformation) diagram showing times of start (2% transformation) and finish (98% transformation) as functions of isothermal heat treating temperature in an Fe-0.69C-1.80Mn alloy (mass %).

Bainite Model

The Bainite Model describes the thermodynamics and isothermal kinetics of bainite transformation from austenite. This Model can calculate bainite start temperature, transformation times, bainite plate lengthening rate, and phase constitution at the final state. In this Model, bainite is modeled as either ferrite or a ferrite-cementite mixture, depending on the driving force of cementite precipitating at the ferrite/austenite interface.

WBs is calculated following Leach et al. (2018) by a driving-force-barrier balance approach. Lengthening rate is calculated by extending the approach from Leach et al. (2019) to account for interfacial mobility and possible cementite formation in bainite. The overall kinetics of bainite transformation is calculated in the extended-volume approach, with considerations for both grain-boundary nucleation and volume nucleation of bainitic plates.

The plot is a TTT diagram which shows the calculated start (2%), half (50%), and finish (98%) curves of bainite as compared to the experimentally measured 1% transformation times. The alloy is a hypereutectoid steel with the composition Fe-0.97C-0.72Mn-0.32Si-1.54Ni-0.8Cr-0.26Mo (mass %).

Easily Set Up CCT & TTT Diagrams

The Steel Model Library makes it easy to set up time-temperature-transformation (TTT) and continuous-cooling-transformation (CCT) calculations using the TTT and CCT templates that are accessed directly from the homescreen of Thermo-Calc. The templates have several preconfigured settings to help you set up and calculate TTT and CCT diagrams using the TTT Diagram or CCT Diagram Property Models, respectively.

The TTT Diagram and CCT Diagram Property Models combine the Pearlite, Bainite, and Martensite Property Models and calculate the kinetics of concurrent transformation of austenite into pearlite, bainite, and martensite.

CCT Diagrams

The CCT mode in the CCT template makes it easy to set up CCT diagrams by allowing users to define the axes for the plot and automatically arrange the calculation results, which are time-temperature pairs. 

The plot is a CCT diagram for an En 18 1% chromium steel (Fe-0.48C-0.86Mn-0.25Si-0.18Ni-0.98Cr-0.04Mo, mass %) with a grain size of 53 micrometers, made using the CCT template and the CCT plotting mode. The CCT diagram shows the starts of pearlite, bainite, martensite, together with 50%- and 98%-transformations of austenite, under different cooling rates. Selected cooling curves are also added automatically in the CCT mode.

TTT Diagrams

The TTT template includes a plotting mode called TTT mode, which is used to define Temperature on the y-axis and Time on the x-axis for all selected quantities. For example, as shown in the TTT diagram here, transformation times for 2% pearlite/bainite and 50% and 98% austenite transformation are shown as functions of reaction temperature. Additionally,  time independent results, like the Ms temperature, are drawn as horizontal lines. 

The plot is a TTT diagram for an En 18 1% chromium steel (Fe-0.48C-0.86Mn-0.25Si-0.18Ni-0.98Cr-0.04Mo, mass %) with a grain size of 53 micrometers, made using the TTT template and the TTT plotting mode. The TTT diagram shows transformation times for pearlite start (2%), bainite start (2%), austenite transformation 50% and 98%, and time independent results, like the Ms temperature, which are drawn as horizontal lines. 

Steel Model Library Examples

The Steel Model Library includes eight examples to help users get started. The examples are available from within the software from the Help menu > Example Files > Property models > Steel.

One of the examples has an accompanying videos that walk you step-by-step through setting up the calculation in the Steel Model and includes interpretation of the results. Another example, Hardenability Design of Steel, has an in-depth PDF discussing this application of the Steel Model Library.

Videos about the Steel Model

Application Example – Hardenability Design of Steel

Steel Models References

  1. Yan, J., Ågren, J. & Jeppsson, J. 2020. “Pearlite in Multicomponent Steels: Phenomenological Steady-State Modeling.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 51: 1978–2001. Read now
  2. Huyan, F., P. Hedström, L. Höglund, and A. Borgenstam. 2016. “A Thermodynamic-Based Model to Predict the Fraction of Martensite in Steels.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 47 (9): 4404–10. Read now
  3. Gulapura Hanumantharaju, A. K. 2018. “Thermodynamic Modelling of Martensite Start Temperature in Commercial Steels”. Master’s Thesis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Read now
  4. Stormvinter, A., A. Borgenstam, and J. Ågren. 2012. “Thermodynamically Based Prediction of the Martensite Start Temperature for Commercial Steels.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, A 43 (10): 3870–79. Read now
  5. L. Leach, P. Kolmskog, L. Höglund, M. Hillert, and A. Borgenstam, “Critical driving forces for formation of bainite.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 49: 4509–4520 (2018). Read now
  6. L. Leach, J. Ågren, L. Höglund, and A. Borgenstam, “Diffusion-controlled lengthening rates of bainitic ferrite a part of the Steel Genome.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 50: 2613–2618 (2019). Read now


The Steel Model Library is available for free to all users with licenses for the databases TCFE11/MOBFE6 and/or TCFE10/MOBFE5 and/or TCFE9/MOBFE4, and a valid Maintenance & Support Subscription (M&SS). If you do not already have a Thermo-Calc license or you are interested in expanding your license, please contact us to discuss which license is right for you.

Learn More about the Steel Model Library

Hardenability Design of Steel

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A collection of videos demonstrating the capabilities of the Steel Model Library.

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