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Numerical simulation software for microstructure evolution

The aim of DIGIMU® is to propose an industrial solution for simulating microstructure changes, at the mesoscopic scale and on Representative Elementary Volumes (REVs), during metal forming processes.

Software derived from Research

DIGIMU® is the result of research projects conducted for more than ten years at the CEMEF (Material Forming Center) in collaboration with many industrial stakeholders from the metallurgy, aeronautics and nuclear sectors.

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The full-field approach proposed by DIGIMU® has two main objectives:

  • To simulate local and heterogeneous phenomena that are undetectable to larger order models
  • To improve medium-field models used for industrial part-scale simulations

DIGIMU® generates digital polycrystalline microstructures representative of the material's heterogeneities (compliance with the topological characteristics of the microstructure). The boundary conditions applied to the REV are representative of that experienced by a material point at the macroscopic scale (thermomechanical cycle of the considered point). Based on a Finite Elements formulation, the various physical phenomena involved during metal forming processes are simulated (recrystallization, grain growth, Zener pinning due to second phase particles, etc.).

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about DIGIMU®

Digital polycrystalline microstructure (RVE) generated for a specific location of the workpiece Respect of a given grain size distribution

Major product upgrades

The solutions proposed by DIGIMU® advance hand in hand with the most recent research work.

In the short term:

  • 3D computations : Creation of a specific tool in order to generate 3D polycrystal. Enable 3D computations on high parallel computing architecture.
  • Coupling with FORGE®’s sensor output : Possibility to input the whole velocity gradient tensor and consequently to consider shearing effects occuring into the polycrystal.
  • Enhanced numerical resolution : Improved numerical settings (mesh adaptation parameters, time step) in order to significantly reduce CPU time and provide a realistic solution consistent with common computing standards (e.g. typical 8 cores workstation).
Thermal treatment of a 304L austenitic stainless steel: simulation of the microstructural evolution


In the medium term:

  • CPU optimizations : enhancement of meshing techniques
  • Smart interfacing with Mean Field Models from DIGIMU : Being able to launch the mean field model from DIGIMU® interface keeping the same setup.
  • Smart interface for quick and easy identification procedure : Being able to create a material file from experimental data on an easy way using the mean field model.
  • First simulations with evolving second phase particles  Using a mean field model to make second phase particles radius evolve quite basically.

Inco718, example of meshing adaptation in the grain and SPP interfaces

In the long term:

  • Platform allowing multi-scale approach: the DIGIMU® full-field simulations will be able to calibrate the medium-field models to be used for macroscopic calculations at all points of an industrial part.

The scope of application and use of DIGIMU® will also expand thanks, on the one hand, to the continual improvements made to the models and, on the other hand, to the new developments in the simulation of additional physical phenomena.


DIGIMU® is also synonymous with technical and numerical innovations

Fully automated adaptive anisotropic meshing

In order to improve digital precision and to reduce computation times, the software is capable of providing a precise description of the interfaces (grain boundaries) while using an appropriate number of elements thanks to a fully automated anisotropic meshing and remeshing adaptation technology.

Automatic mesh refinement in the direction normal to the grain boundaries (anisotropic meshing)

Fully parallelized calculations

Like all other TRANSVALOR software, DIGIMU® is built around an optimized high-performance architecture capable of running on one or more cores in order to guarantee maximum processing power.