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Materials Science & Technology 2009


Development of Web-based Metal Property and Metal Information Databases

Bingji (Benjamin) Li
Metal Pass LLC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Key Words: Metal Technology, Metal Information, Web-Based, Tech Resources, Tech Directories, Categorization, Data Population


A list of web-based metal property and metal information databases have been developed and made accessible through metalpass.com. The property databases include Flow Stress, High-Temperature Property and General Property, etc. The information databases consist of Metal Dictionaries (both Tech Terms and Translation), Metal Software, Metal Patents, and Metal Directory, etc. Number of entries in each database usually ranges from several thousand to over fifty thousand. Flow stresses in dependence of strain, strain rate and temperature, etc. are provided in the form of both data and models, while high-temperature properties are available in temperature dependence. As extensions to the databases, over a thousand pages of short papers describing technical details and dozens of applications for predicting process/product parameters are provided. Besides data development, data management and data application, etc., technical significance of the data such as temperature dependence of metal properties in hot forming modeling is also covered.


In modeling metal forming processes such as rolling, forging and extrusion, one of the most critical factors to achieve high prediction accuracy is to enter accurate metal property data such as flow stress and physical properties (specific heat, thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity, modulus of elasticity, and Poisson ratio, etc.). Increasing degree of process automation and computer application in the manufacturing industry has led more and more process modeling to be integrated into production operation. For example, in the steel rolling, especially the flat rolling, the use of Level 2 model to create instant draft schedule for compensating any variation of rolling conditions (e.g. slab temperature and slab dimension) has become a common practice. Draft scheduling is mainly based on rolling process modeling such as determination of roll separating force, temperature, roll deformation and metal flow in the roll gap, etc. The high requirements for equal deformation targets, metallurgical temperature targets and high productivity targets, etc. in such a complicated process involving both roll deformation and metal flow, are far beyond operator’s knowledge, and therefore, a computer model (Level 2 model) is of great help to operators. Today, process modeling is not a theoretical concept any more; it has since long become a manufacture-operational practice. Prediction accuracy has very high impact on the production performance. For example, for many steel plate mills (often with an annual sales of 800 million US dollars), an increase of force prediction accuracy of 1% often has an economic value of 1 million US dollars per year! [1]

Most hot-forming models, either offline or online ones, have considered flow stress as a function of temperature, strain and strain rate, though problems involving high-level understanding of the flow stress still occur, such as formula valid range, balance between accuracy and robustness, and metallurgical effects (especially when warm forming is involved) [2][3]. High quality flow stress data and model will greatly increase force prediction accuracy. In this aspect, Metal Pass’ practice of the Guided Two-Parameter Learning [2][3], by accurate designing flow stress coefficients and applying them in the adaptive learning, usually achieves a high accuracy with force prediction error below 5%.

In comparison with the flow stress, the material property data are often greatly simplified in most models. For example, the material properties are usually entered as constant values and so, temperature dependence for them is usually ignored. Temperature dependence of metal property could be significant; so in certain situation the value of specific heat, for example, could be doubled from one forming temperature to another. A prediction model with too much simplification will heavily reduce its quality and reach only a limited accuracy. See discussion in the “High-Temperature Properties” section.

Even in the room temperature, material data are different from grade to grade. Many systems use the same property values for all grades of steels and cause system errors.

Metal Pass has collected a great number of metal property data and models, and posted them in the website metalpass.com, in order for development and design engineers to improve model quality. The property databases hosted in the metalpass.com currently consist of three sections: Flow Stress (metalpass.com/flowstress) [4], High-Temperature Property (metalpass.com/hit) [5] and General Property (metalpass.com /general) [6].

As one of the largest metal technology networks, metalpass.com also hosts technical information databases, such as Metal Dictionary - Tech Terms, Metal Dictionary - Translation, and Metal Software. Metal Pass also categorizes and posts a great number of industry patents, and provides over 50,000 supply listings for technical products and services. As extensions of the information databases, over a thousand pages of short papers and dozens of software programs are available.

In this paper, primary attention is paid on the metal property databases, though the key features of the metal information databases are also outlined.


This paper introduces a list of web-based metal property and metal information databases accessible through metalpass.com. The property databases include Flow Stress, High-Temperature Properties and General Properties. The information databases consist of Metal Dictionaries (both Tech Terms and Translation), Metal Software, Metal Patents, and Metal Directory, etc. Primary focus is on the metal properties such as flow stress. Data for flow stress are provided with model coefficients. Model types and user screens for the flow stress database are described. Outlines for metal information databases were provided including the extensions of the information database with short papers and model-based software suites.


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