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Multiphysics Modelling at TWI

Multiphysics modelling allows engineers to fully explore the real-world interactions of a system by coupling a broad range of phenomena across the full spectrum of science. As engineering becomes more complex, the interlinking of differing fields, from electrical to chemical, from fluid flow to solid mechanics, must be modelled to understand how parts will perform in-service. Examples of multiphysics modelling range from corrosion management, hydrogen embrittlement, and electro-static discharge risk assessments, and the thermal management of battery trays in electric vehicles and aircraft.

Numerical Modelling and Optimisation at TWI

The Numerical Modelling and Optimisation Section at TWI supports industry with a range of computational engineering capabilities from finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to data analysis and software development. TWI provides a range of multiphysics services to its Industry Members, including, but not limited to, corrosion modelling, electrostatic charge accumulation, and hydrogen embrittlement, and electro-resistance welding.

Sulphide stress cracking test at TWI
Sulphide stress cracking test at TWI

Corrosion Modelling

Corrosion is a dangerous and costly problem which can compromise structural integrity. The annual worldwide cost of metallic corrosion is estimated to be over $2 trillion yet experts believe that 25-30% of this could be prevented by proper corrosion planning and engineering.

TWI has experience in modelling corrosion and corrosion protection techniques in both aqueous and atmospheric environments. The chemistry of corrosion can be considered as an electrochemical phenomenon, whereby oxidation occurs at an anodic site, causing electrons to travel to a cathodic site, where reduction occurs.

To aid in corrosion protection, TWI models cathodic protection in subsea structures to determine the level of protection and the corrosion rate of the structure and sacrificial anodes. The effects of different coatings and paint on corrosion rate can be evaluated to find the most suitable solution for a given environment.

Simulation of Hydrogen Embrittlement

Hydrogen embrittlement occurs when metals become brittle as a result of the diffusion of hydrogen into the material. Hydrogen embrittlement can lead to failures, even when loads are small, due to the presence of welding residual stresses, a strong hydrogen presence, and undesirable microstructures.

However, multiphysics modelling can predict the diffusion of hydrogen in metals and its effect on mechanical properties. TWI have state-of-the-art capabilities that couple hydrogen diffusion models with fracture mechanics principles to assess the risk of hydrogen-induced cracking. TWI’s unique and world-class corrosion and environmental testing labs enable accurate calibration and validation of the modelling methods.

Contact us for more information.


Hydrogen concentration prediction at a crack tip [1]
Hydrogen concentration prediction at a crack tip [1]