Image made using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and is provided courtesy of COMSOL.
A steel structure immersed in seawater is protected from corrosion through 40 sacrificial anodes. This example models the potential distribution at the surface of the protected structure assuming a constant limiting current for oxygen reduction at the protected surface.
Corrosion costs the world upwards of $1 trillion each year. Most corrosion occurs due to electrochemical reaction processes taking place underwater and in wet or humid environments. The Corrosion Module allows engineers and scientists to investigate these processes, gain an understanding of the extent to which corrosion could occur over the lifetime of a structure, and implement preventative measures to inhibit electrochemical corrosion, in order to protect their structures. The module can be used to simulate corrosion at the microscale in order to investigate the fundamental mechanisms, and at larger scales to determine how to protect massive or long-ranging structures from corroding.
The Corrosion Module includes features, interfaces, and example models that enable a straightforward approach to the simulation of all electrochemical corrosion processes, such as galvanic, pitting, and crevice corrosion. Transport in corrosive and corroded material is accounted for through the dynamic modeling of changes in the corroding surface and the electrolyte in contact with such surface. The Corrosion Module includes standard interfaces for modeling the corrosion potential and current distributions of corrosion processes where the electrochemical reaction kinetics can be described by the Tafel, Butler-Volmer, or other user-defined equations. The electrochemical reactions are fully resolved together with electric potentials in electrolytes and metal structures, homogeneous chemical reactions, and phenomena unique to corrosion processes such as the change of the shape of a metal surface due to corrosion.