Scientific Software

The Chair of Materials Engineering uses the following software to carry out analyses, simulations, etc:

Abaqus FEA

Abaqus FEA is a finite element method simulation software to perform linear and nonlinear static and dynamic simulations. These include solid-state statics and dynamics, heat conduction, and fluid dynamics problems.

The software suite includes, in addition to implicit and explicit solvers, a user-interface app designed for modelling and post-processing. In addition, the Abaqus products use the open-source Python programming language for scripting. This primarily enables interfacing with other software packages for modelling and optimization.

Abaqus FEA is of central importance in the context of Multiscale Materials Design because it offers unlimited modelling possibilities thanks to the implementation of self-written FORTRAN® subroutines.


Technical specifications

Current Abaqus FEA version

FORTRAN® compiler



Abaqus FEA is primarily used for mechanical, thermal and coupled thermomechanical simulations to determine temperature, deformation and stress fields in a variety of materials and applications. These include the simulation of:

  • Manufacturing processes
  • Heat treatments
  • Micro- and macroscopic mechanical testing processes
02 Abaqus Fea 1
02 Abaqus Fea 2


MATLAB® is a proprietary programming language, numerical computing environment, and integrated development environment developed by MathWorks. As the name MATrix LABoratory implies, this software is primarily designed for numerical computations with matrices.

MATLAB® lends itself to graphical representation of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other programming languages. In addition, the scope of the software can be extended with toolboxes and self-programmed functions or scripts. Thus, MATLAB® offers a wide range of applications in the field of materials characterization and materials design.


Technical Specifications

  • Current MATLAB® version
  • Complete toolbox set



  • App development with user interface
  • Image analysis
  • Data acquisition, analysis, evaluation and visualization
  • Coupling with Abaqus FEA for simulation optimization
  • Microstructure modelling and design
03 Matlab 2
03 Matlab 1

Thermo-Calc and DICTRA

Thermodynamic calculations of stable and metastable heterogeneous phase equilibria are an important part of materials science, especially in alloy development. In this field of research, Thermo-Calc is probably the best-known software based on the CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) method.

The CALPHAD method relies on selected experimental and theoretical data compiled into databases. The quality of both the software and the databases is crucial to obtain reliable results.

Thermo-Calc enables alloy development and optimization by predicting the influence of chemical composition or heat treatment on the microstructure of the desired material.

Among the add-on modules that can be purchased separately is the Diffusion Module (DICTRA), which is used to simulate diffusion-controlled reactions in multicomponent alloy systems. DICTRA achieves this by incorporating kinetic data stored in separate databases.


Technical specifications

  • Current Thermo-Calc and DICTRA version
  • Current TCFE and TCNI database



Together with the corresponding databases, Thermo-Calc can be used for a wide range of applications. Among these are the calculation of:

  • Phase fractions and compositions
  • Transformation temperatures
  • Solubility limits
  • Driving forces for phase formation
  • Activities and chemical potentials
  • Phase diagrams
  • Interdiffusion in composite materials
  • Microsegregations during solidification
04 Thermo-calc 1
04 Thermo-calc 2

MatCalc 6 from FA. MatCalc Engineering GmbH is a simulation software which can calculate thermodynamic multi-component phase equilibria as well as multi-phase precipitation kinetics of metallic alloys. In addition, metastable (non-equilibrium) states for metallic alloys can be calculated taking into account kinetic and physical approaches. Through this unique approach, the microstructure and the resulting mechanical and chemical properties of the material can be predicted for each possible heat treatment, which is typically far from the equilibrium state. Thus, with the help of the MatCalc software, it is possible to model and optimise the heat treatment consisting of several time-temperature sequences, taking into account the initial state of the material.


Technical specifications

  • Current MatCalc Pro version and its databases
  • Databases: 
    1.    thermodynamic Fe database: Me-FE 1.3 tdb
    2.    diffusion Fe-database: ME-Fe 1.2 ddb
    3.    physical database: physical_Data.pdb



Together with the corresponding databases, MatCalc can be used for a wide range of applications. The main applications include the calculation of:

  •  Proportions and composition of phases 
  • Transformation temperatures
  • Phase diagrams
  • Microstructure and property simulation:
  • Grain growth
  • Recrystallisation
  • Recovery
  • Atomic inclusions
  • Dynamic yield strength
  • Precipitates (size, distribution, chem. composition)
  • Diffusion calculation
Matcalc Komp