Multiphysics Modeling of Stress Corrosion in Underground Pipelines

Kiran Deshpande April 11, 2018

Stress corrosion is a type of degradation of a metal surface that is exposed to a corrosive environment and is subjected to mechanical stress, either residual or applied. This phenomenon can be difficult to predict and detect in underground pipelines, which could result in costly leaks and damage to the surrounding area. When modeling stress corrosion, a major challenge is coupling the mechanical and electrochemical interactions. Here, we look at how to overcome this challenge in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Edmund Dickinson March 14, 2017

In corrosion analysis, we often want to study corroding surfaces whose electrical connectivity is not as simple as a controlled current or voltage. Instead, an electrode surface might be short circuited to another electrode through a direct connection, such as the electrical connection between a monopile and transition piece. Here, we look at how to describe these electrodes and external short circuits using the appropriate boundary conditions in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Scott Smith August 24, 2016

Resistive and capacitive effects are fundamental to the understanding of electrochemical systems. The resistances and capacitances due to mass transfer can be represented through physical equations describing the corresponding fundamental phenomena, like diffusion. Further, when considering the resistive or capacitive behavior of double layers, thin films, and reaction kinetics, such effects can be treated simply through physical conditions relating electrochemical currents and voltages. Lastly, resistances and capacitances from external loading circuits can easily be represented in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bertil Nistad February 17, 2016

In version 5.2 of COMSOL Multiphysics, we offer a new feature for simulating corrosion in slender structures. This significantly speeds up the total time spent when working with structures such as oil platforms. By using the boundary element method (BEM) and specialized beam elements in the Current Distribution on Edges, BEM interface, there is no longer a need for a finite element mesh to resolve the whole 3D structure, saving time for large corrosion problems consisting of slender components.

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Caty Fairclough August 6, 2015

Avoiding corrosion in a harsh ocean environment often requires the use of cathodic protection methods. These utilize different tools, such as sacrificial anodes or impressed currents, to help maritime-based industries stay afloat. One such system, impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP), mitigates corrosion by applying an external current to a ship hull. The efficiency of this method depends on factors such as the use of a coated propeller. Here, we use simulation to investigate how coating a propeller affects ICCP efficiency.

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Pankaj Nerikar July 20, 2015

Corrosion is a widely encountered issue in the automotive industry. To account for and prevent this problem, industry leaders often run experiments to test the corrosion resistance of vehicles. Simulation, however, offers a simplified approach to addressing this phenomenon in automobiles — one that saves time, money, and resources.

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Jennifer Segui September 3, 2014

Billions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. to repair corrosion damage. To help reduce the high cost of corrosion, engineers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. are using multiphysics simulation to gain a better understanding of the fundamental mechanism. A successful research outcome at NRL will establish the correlation between metal microstructure, corrosion, and mechanical strength. Material designers could then develop stronger, corrosion-resistant materials using this new information.

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Fanny Griesmer May 22, 2014

If you work in the oil and gas industry dealing with offshore drilling, corrosion is your worst enemy. A corroded oil platform is a dangerous platform and it can cost you a lot — in both lives and money. To avoid such a dark fate, you need to safeguard the steel structure from corrosion via a protection system, such as the cathodic protection process shown here.

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Melanie Pfaffe February 10, 2014

When designing electrochemical cells, we consider the three classes of current distribution in the electrolyte and electrodes: primary, secondary, and tertiary. We recently introduced the essential theory of current distribution. Here, we illustrate the different current distributions with a wire electrode example to help you choose between the current distribution interfaces in COMSOL Multiphysics for your electrochemical cell simulation.

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Edmund Dickinson February 7, 2014

In electrochemical cell design, you need to consider three current distribution classes in the electrolyte and electrodes. These are called primary, secondary, and tertiary, and refer to different approximations that apply depending on the relative significance of solution resistance, finite electrode kinetics, and mass transport. Here, we provide a general introduction to the concept of current distribution and discuss the topic from a theoretical stand-point.

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Phil Kinnane June 12, 2012

One dangerous aspect of corrosion is that it can compromise the stability of structures, which is particularly relevant in the naval industry, where material failure leads to leaks. However, another danger of corrosion has recently become apparent.

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