Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Ramana Pidaparti


Pitting corrosion is a form of highly localized corrosion that can lead to crack and failure of a structure. Study on pitting corrosion is necessary in order to predict and prevent the risk of failure of structure susceptible to corrosion. In this thesis, a combination of Cellular Automata (CA) and Boundary Element Method (BEM) was developed to simulate pitting corrosion growth under certain environment. It is assumed that pitting corrosion can be simplified to electrochemical corrosion cell. The distribution of potential around this corrosion cell can then be simulated by BEM. This distribution potential represents cathodic and anodic reactions around the corrosion cell. A CA model was developed that uses transition rules reflecting mechanism of pitting corrosion. The CA model has two types of cell states, one reflecting BEM simulation results and the other reflecting the status of corrosion cell (anode, cathode, and passive metal’s surface). For every CA iteration, the CA decides the state of the corrosion cells (the location and size of anode, cathode) while BEM simulate the level of electrochemical activity at discrete location on the surface (represented by potential distribution). In order to demonstrate the methodology, a simple case of rectangular corrosion cell with varied dimensions and under different polarization functions is considered. Results show certain shapes tend to grow at certain type environment and these pits are comparable to commonly observed pit shapes. In addition, stress analysis was carried out to investigate the severity of corrosion pits of varying shapes and sizes. Results show that certain pits induced highly varying stress concentration as it grows over time, while others have more steady increase of stress concentration.


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Date of Submission

August 2013

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Engineering Commons