ICME Framework for Simulation of Microstructure and Property Evolution During Gas Metal Arc Welding in DP980 Steel


An integrated computational materials engineering (ICME)-based workflow was adopted for the study of microstructure and property evolution at the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of gas metal arc-welded DP980 steel. The macroscale simulation of the welding process was performed with finite element method (FEM) implemented in Simufact Welding® software and was experimentally validated. The time–temperature profile at HAZ obtained from FEM simulation was physically simulated using Gleeble 3800® thermo-mechanical simulator with a dilatometer attachment. The resulting phase transformations and microstructure were studied experimentally. The austenite-to-ferrite and austenite-to-bainite transformations during cooling at HAZ were simulated using the Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov (JMAK) equation implemented in JMatPro® software and with phase-field modeling implemented in Micress® software. The phase fractions and the phase transformation kinetics simulated by phase-field method agreed well with experiments. A single scaling factor introduced in JMatPro® software minimized the deviation between calculations and experiments. Asymptotic homogenization implemented in Homat® software was used to calculate the effective macroscale thermo-elastic properties from the phase-field simulated microstructure. FEM-based virtual uniaxial tensile test with Abaqus® software was used to calculate the effective macroscale flow curves from the phase-field simulated microstructure. The flow curve from virtual test simulation showed good agreement with the flow curve obtained with tensile test in Gleeble®. An ICME-based vertical integration workflow in two stages is proposed. With this ICME workflow, effective properties at the macroscale could be obtained by taking microstructure morphology and orientation into consideration.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Data Availability

The data that support the results of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


  1. 1.

    Schmitz GJ, Engstrom A, Bernhardt R, Prahl U, Adam L, Seyfarth J, Apel M, de Saracibar CA, Korzhavyi P, Ågren J, Patzak B (2016) Software solutions for ICME. J Miner Metals Mater Soc 68:70–76

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Allison J, Backman D, Christodoulou L (2016) Integrated computational materials engineering: a new paradigm for the global materials profession. J Miner Metals Mater Soc 58:25–27. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-006-0223-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Helm D, Butz A, Raabe D, Gumbsch P (2011) Microstructure-based description of the deformation of metals: theory and application. J Miner Metals Mater Soc 63:26–33

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    John DM, Farivar H, Rothenbucher G, Kumar R, Zagade P, Khan D, Babu A, Gautham BP, Bernhardt R, Phanikumar G, Prahl U (2017) An attempt to integrate software tools at microscale and above towards an ICME approach for heat treatment of a DP steel gear with reduced distortion. Miner Metals Mater Ser Part F 4:3–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57864-4_1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Deepu MJ, Farivar H, Prahl U, Phanikumar G (2017) Microstructure based simulations for prediction of flow curves and selection of process parameters for inter-critical annealing in DP steel. IOP Conf Ser Mater Sci Eng 192:012010. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/192/1/012010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Rahul MR, Phanikumar G (2015) Correlation of microstructure with HAZ welding cycles simulated in Ti-15-3 alloy using Gleeble 3800 and SYSWELD. Mater Perform Charact 4:381–398

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Steinbach I (2009) Phase-field models in materials science. Modell Simul Mater Sci Eng 17:073001. https://doi.org/10.1088/0965-0393/17/7/073001

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    DeWitt S, Thornton K (2018) Phase field modeling of microstructural evolution. In: Shin D, Saal J (eds) Computational materials system design. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68280-8_4

  9. 9.

    Boettinger WJ, Warren JA, Beckermann C, Karma A (2002) Phase-field simulation of solidification. Ann Rev Mater Res 32:163–194

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Thornton K, Ågren J, Voorhees PW (2003) Modelling the evolution of phase boundaries in solids at the meso- and nano-scales. Acta Mater 51:5675–5710

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Mecozzi MG, Sietsma J, Van Der Zwaag S, Apel M, Schaffnit P, Steinbach I (2005) Analysis of the γ → α transformation in a C-Mn steel by phase-field modeling. Metall Mater Trans A 36:2327–2340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Mecozzi MG, Sietsma J, Van Der Zwaag S (2005) Phase field modelling of the interfacial condition at the moving interphase during the γ → α transformation in C-Mn steels. Comput Mater Sci 34:290–297

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Mecozzi MG, Sietsma J, Van Der Zwaag S (2006) Analysis of γ → α transformation in a Nb micro-alloyed C-Mn steel by phase field modelling. Acta Mater 54:1431–1440

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Militzer M, Mecozzi MG, Sietsma J, van der Zwaag S (2006) Three-dimensional phase field modelling of the austenite-to-ferrite transformation. Acta Mater 54:3961–3972

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Mecozzi MG, Militzer M, Sietsma J, Zwaag S (2008) The role of nucleation behavior in phase-field simulations of the austenite to ferrite transformation. Metall Mater Trans A 39:1237–1247

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Zhu B, Militzer M (2014) Phase-field modeling for intercritical annealing of a dual-phase steel. Metall Mater Trans A 46:1073–1084

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Zhu B, Chen H, Militzer M (2015) Phase-field modeling of cyclic phase transformations in low-carbon steels. Comput Mater Sci 108:333–341

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Mukherjee K, Prahl U, Bleck W, Reisgen U, Schleser M, Abdurakhmanov A (2010) Characterization and modelling techniques for gas metal arc welding of DP 600 sheet steels. Materialwiss Werkstofftech 41:972–983

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Arif TT, Qin RS (2014) A phase-field model for the formation of martensite and bainite. Adv Mater Res 922:31–36

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Bhattacharya A, Upadhyay CS, Sangal S (2015) Phase-field model for mixed-mode of growth applied to austenite to ferrite transformation. Metall Mater Trans A 46:926–936

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Düsing M, Mahnken R (2016) A thermodynamic framework for coupled multiphase Ginzburg-Landau/Cahn-Hilliard systems for simulation of lower bainitic transformation. Arch Appl Mech 86:1947–1964

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Ramazani A, Li Y, Mukherjee K, Prahl U, Bleck W, Abdurakhmanov A, Schleser M, Reisgen U (2013) Microstructure evolution simulation in hot rolled DP600 steel during gas metal arc welding. Comput Mater Sci 68:107–116

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Toloui M, Militzer M (2018) Phase field modeling of the simultaneous formation of bainite and ferrite in TRIP steel. Acta Mater 144:786–800

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Laschet G (2002) Homogenization of the thermal properties of transpiration cooled multi-layer plates. Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng 191:4535–4554

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Laschet G (2004) Homogenization of the fluid flow and heat transfer in transpiration cooled multi-layer plates. J Comput Appl Math 168:277–288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Laschet G, Apel M (2010) Thermo-elastic homogenization of 3-D steel microstructure simulated by the phase-field method. Steel Res Int 81:637–643

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Laschet G, Shukla M, Henke T, Fayek P, Bambach M, Prahl U (2014) Impact of the microstructure on the U-O forming simulations of a ferrite-pearlite pipeline tube. Steel Res Int 85:1083–1098

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Ramazani A, Mukherjee K, Quade H, Prahl U, Bleck W (2013) Correlation between 2D and 3D flow curve modelling of DP steels using a microstructure-based RVE approach. Mater Sci Eng, A 560:129–139

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Farivar H, Rothenbucher G, Prahl U, Bernhardt R (2017) ICME-based process and alloy design for vacuum carburized steel components with high potential of reduced distortion. Miner Metals Mater Ser Part F 4:133–144

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Farivar H, Deepu MJ, Hans M, Phanikumar G, Bleck W, Prahl U (2019) Influence of post-carburizing heat treatment on the core microstructural evolution and the resulting mechanical properties in case-hardened steel components. Mater Sci Eng A 744:778–789

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Santofimia MJ, Zhao L, Sietsma J (2011) Overview of mechanisms involved during the quenching and partitioning process in steels. Metall Mater Trans A 42:3620–3626

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    ImageJ (2020). https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/index.html. Accessed 26 April 2020

  33. 33.

    Rezayat H, Ghassemi-Armaki H, Bhat SP, Sriram S, Babu SS (2019) Constitutive properties and plastic instabilities in the heat-affected zones of advanced high-strength steel spot welds. J Mater Sci 54:5825–5843

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Simufact Welding (2020). https://www.simufact.com/simufactwelding-welding-simulation.html. Accessed 30 May 2020

  35. 35.

    Goldak J, Chakravarti A, Bibby M (1984) A new finite element model for welding heat sources. Metall Trans B 15:299–305

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    JMatPro (2020). https://www.sentesoftware.co.uk/jmatpro. Accessed 11 May 2020

  37. 37.

    Mecozzi MG, Eiken J, Santofimia MJ, Sietsma J (2016) Phase field modelling of microstructural evolution during the quenching and partitioning treatment in low-alloy steels. Comput Mater Sci 112:245–256

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Micress (2020). https://micress.rwth-aachen.de/. Accessed 26 April 2020

  39. 39.

    Goulas C, Mecozzi MG, Sietsma J (2016) Bainite formation in medium-carbon low-silicon spring steels accounting for chemical segregation. Metall Mater Trans A 47:3077–3087

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC), New Delhi, India, for the project ‘DP-Forge’ and Center for Excellence in Iron and Steel Technology (CoExiST), IIT Madras. The authors would also like to acknowledge JSW Steel, Karnataka, India, for providing the material for research.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. J. Deepu.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Deepu, M.J., Phanikumar, G. ICME Framework for Simulation of Microstructure and Property Evolution During Gas Metal Arc Welding in DP980 Steel. Integr Mater Manuf Innov 9, 228–239 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40192-020-00182-4

Download citation


  • Phase-field simulation
  • Dual-phase steel
  • Microstructure evolution
  • Welding
  • ICME
  • Vertical integration