WIT Press

Pitting corrosion analysis of stainless steel by boundary element method with strain-dependent polarization curve


Free (open access)


Volume 9 (2021), Issue 1



Page Range

51 - 62

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Osamu Kuwazuru, Aruto Kawakami, Yuma Miura, Eduardo Divo & Alain Kassab


This study aims at evaluating the corrosion rate at the first stage of stress corrosion cracking by a numerical simulation. The stress corrosion cracking starts with a pitting corrosion which appears from a damaged portion of passive film induced by plastic deformation. From micromechanical standpoint, the stress and strain are concentrated around the grain boundaries due to the heterogeneity of micro-structures; therefore, the plastic slip occurs mainly around the grain boundaries and generates a fresh surface without passive film. This produces a microcell and affects the macroscopic polarization curve. We obtained this polarization curve of stainless steel from the open-circuit tensile tests associated with the microscopic electrostatic simulations. Moreover, this paper shows the two-dimensional formulation for coupling analysis of elastic stress and electrolytic potential. Both fields are solved by the boundary element method with the discontinuous quadratic element. The strain-dependent polarization curve is used as a nonlinear boundary condition of the potential problem. First, the elastic problem is solved to obtain the surface strain which governs the polarization curve on the surface. Next, the potential prob- lem is solved to obtain the current density on the surface which determines the corrosion rate. Since each node has two corrosion rates in different directions coming from the neighbouring elements, we average these two rates and directions, so as to conserve the volumetric reduction rate unchanged. After moving the nodes as a result of corrosion during the time step, we return to the stress analysis and iterate this procedure during the interested period of time. We demonstrate a corrosion pit growth from a small hemi-elliptic surface defect and show the availability of the proposed method.


boundary element method, coupling problem, electrochemistry, mechanical damage, oxide film, polarization, stress concentration, stress corrosion.