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Simulation-Led Strategy for Corrosion Prevention

S. Qidwai

Corrosion is a widespread concern costing the US billions of dollars annually. For the Navy, specifically, it is the number one maintenance problem. Therefore, at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), researchers are developing a method based on multiphysics simulation that will aid material designers in producing corrosion-resistant materials. Their work aims to provide a better understanding of how metal composition and microstructure affects the growth of the corrosion front in metals. As corrosion pit growth proceeds in a material, the structural integrity decreases and may cause the material or component to fail under load. Hence, their overall goal is to quantify the relationship between microstructure, pit growth, and mechanical performance. To establish this relationship, they are working towards developing a fully-coupled electrochemical mass transport model of corrosion that takes metal microstructure into account. In addition to features such as the moving mesh (ALE) technology, they're developing their model using COMSOL Multiphysics® with the LiveLink™ for MATLAB®

The plot demonstrates pit growth with an irregular corrosion front and shows the distribution of average metal concentration in the electrolyte.