A level set model for stress-dependent corrosion pit propagation

Richard Dekker (Corresponding author), Frans P. van der Meer, Johan Maljaars, Lambertus J. Sluys

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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A numerical model for corrosion pit propagation under mechanical loading is presented. The level set method is used for corrosion front tracking and also enables the domain to be split into a solid and a pit domain. In the pit the diffusion of atoms originating from the dissolution process occurring at the pit front is simulated. The model is capable of automatically capturing lacy cover formation due to the inclusion of activation control, diffusion control, and passivation. In the solid static equilibrium is solved to obtain strains and stresses. A parameter, dependent on the signs of the plastic strain increment and the back stress, is introduced to define the influence of plasticity on the corrosion rate. The model is used to study pit growth under electrochemical and mechanical loading. Under activation control combined with an elastic material response, pits propagate faster under constant loading than under cyclic loading. When plastic deformation occurs, cyclic loading can significantly increase the pit growth rate. Increasing the cyclic load frequency results in faster propagation due to kinematic hardening. Under diffusion control, mechanical loading does not influence the pit growth rate, given that the salt layer leading to diffusion control remains intact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2074
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021


  • corrosion fatigue
  • level set method
  • multiphysics
  • pitting corrosion


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