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Materials Selection

Thermo-Calc can be used to predict temperature and chemistry-dependent thermophysical properties, as well as simulate potential interactions between materials, for a more comprehensive approach to materials selection.

Applications to Materials Selection

Deciding which materials to use for a particular application is driven by not only the material properties, but also how different materials will interact in a given application. Handbooks are a common source of property data, but these typically do not have temperature-dependent data for many industrial alloys, nor data for novel materials. They also lack information about material interactions.

Thermo-Calc can calculate temperature- and chemistry-dependent thermophysical properties, as well as potential interactions between materials, for a more comprehensive approach to the materials selection process.

Calculate the following as a function of material chemistry and temperature:

  • Thermophysical properties as a function of chemistry and temperature, such as:
    • Specific heat, enthalpy, latent heat, viscosity, density as a function of temperature, coefficient of thermal expansion, and more
    • Interaction between dissimilar materials
    • How chemistry variations within a material specification impact phase transformations and amounts of secondary phases
    • The long-term stability of a material through the formation of life limiting phases
    • The reactions between a material and its containment, for example, liquid – crucible reactions in a ladle

Application Examples

Thermo-Calc has many applications to materials selection. Below is one such example.

Predicting Thermal Expansion Coefficients for Dissimilar Joints

When joining materials, mismatches in the coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) can cause high levels of internal stress or even failure in service. This can be mitigated by using an interlayer of a material that has a CTE value in between the materials to be joined. Handbooks typically only provide data for a limited amount of nominal chemistries, and also cannot predict properties for novel materials. Some properties, like the CTE, can also vary as a function of temperature, which is not always captured in the literature. Since Thermo-Calc predicts the chemistry and temperature dependence of molar volume in multicomponent systems, the CTE, or even just the absolute volume change, can be calculated when data cannot be found otherwise.

The plot shows the comparison of the coefficient of the thermal expansion for cast iron, alloy 625 and 304L stainless steel, as calculated in Thermo-Calc. As can be seen, the CTE of alloy 625 falls between the other two, making it a good candidate for an interlayer.

A plot showing the comparison of coefficient of thermal expansion for cast iron, alloy 625, and 304L stainless steel.

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