The Division is a key participant in the EU project SICOM which aims to develop numerical models capable of simulating corrosion in aircraft structures. A number of different types of models covering typical corrosion found in aircraft will be developed and upscaled for application to structural elements of aircraft. The influence of surface treatment on modelling results will be included with regard to inhibitor release from protection systems, role of clad layer and oxide degrading effects. A decision support tool will be established to enable exploitation and implementation of the projectaircraft.jpg results in scientific and technical applications.

SICOM will provide models that will become an essential part of future predictive maintenance concepts to avoid unanticipated and unscheduled maintenance with high costs. Data from monitoring systems and non-destructive inspection can be used as model input. Models output will be utilised for the repair decision process or can supply integrity concepts and hereby fill the gap between monitoring or inspection and calculation of the structural impact of corrosion. Aircraft development costs will be reduced through saving on testing time and quantity. The prediction models can be combined with expert systems and databases for a more efficient and reliable development and selection of materials.

 

Supported by several industries.

rig1.jpg The research concentrates on the acurate prediction of corrosion and the development of effective control systems to protect structures and predict their performance over their life-cycle. The Division leads the world in research related  to simulating galvanic corrosion, optimising CP system design, reducing interference, and electric and magnetic field production. There are many important applications of this research in Offshore and Naval structures as well as underground infrastructure systems.

 

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Preparing for the hydrogen economy by using the existing natural gas system as a catalyst

The main objective of NaturalHY is to prepare EU countries for the hydrogen economy by identifying and removing potential barriers regarding the introduction of hydrogen into society, using the extensive existing natural gas system. The basic concept of the project is the smooth and short term introduction of hydrogen, at relatively low cost, by using the existing natural gas system to carry and distribute mixtures of natural gas and hydrogen. The research focuses on investigating how hydrogen will affect the integrity and durability of pipelines in particular crack growth and corrosion.

- Improvement of Inspection Tools -

  • One of the tasks in the project is to investigate how inspection tools can be improved to improve the integrity management of pipelines carrying Hydrogen gas mixtures. The benefits of the integrating computer models of the cathodic protection system with monitoring and survey data to more accurately determine the condition of the pipeline is being evaluated.

 

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  • By integrating a computer model of the CP system based on the BEASY CP software with data collected at points along the pipeline the detailed potential and current distribution along the pipeline can be predicted. This information can be used to identify critical locations on the pipeline.
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- Predicting Probability of Failure -

  • The Integrity of gas transmission pipelines is threatened by crack like defects, corrosion defects and third party damage. The addition of hydrogen into pipelines changes the mechanical and fracture/fatigue properties which consequently make the pipeline more vulnerable to failure unless the pipeline is managed adequately. A new tool has been developed to predict how the mechanical properties, inspection and management  strategies affect the probability that the pipeline will fail. The Probability of Failure (POF)  tool can be used to assess crack like defects, corrosion damage and third party damage.
  • The POF is computed using a probabilistic Monti Carlo simulation approach with all the input data having statistical properties.
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crack.jpgSupported by different industrial partners

 This work is of fundemental importance for product durability prediction. It is based on original methodologies developed at WIT. The resulting software products provide a comprehensive tool for the assessment of the residual strength of damaged structures and the risk of failure. It can be used as part of the design process to predict the impact on components and structures of defects and damage caused by service loads, manufacturing and production processes as well as material defects.

 

Dr Adey
Dr Robert Adey

The Industrial Research Division works on solving problems of practical importance. It also trains professional engineers through an intensive programme of the latest techniques for advanced engineering design. The division is headed by Dr Robert Adey.

 

Current projects that the Industrial Research Division is involved in are described below:

 

Fracture Mechanics and Crack Propagation

crackThis work supported by industry is of fundamental importance for product durability prediction. It is based on original boundary element methodologies developed at WIT. The resulting software products provide a comprehensive tool for the assessment of the residual strength of damaged structures and the risk of failure. It can be used as part of the design process to predict the impact on components and structures of defects and damage caused by service loads, manufacturing and production processes as well as material defects.


 

Cathodic Protection

rig1The research supported by industry concentrates on the simulation of cathodic protection systems to develop optimum corrosion control systems to protect structures and predict their performance over their life-cycle. This research leads the world in simulating galvanic corrosion, optimising CP system design, reducing interference, and in electric and magnetic field prediction. There are many important applications in the Offshore, Oil & Gas Industry and Naval structures as well as underground infrastructure systems such as pipelines.


 

Aircaft Corrosion

aircraftThis research aims to develop numerical models capable of simulating corrosion in aircraft structures which is a key part of an EU project. A number of different types of models covering typical corrosion found in aircraft will be developed and upscaled for application to structural elements of aircraft. The infl uence of surface treatment on modelling results is included with regard to inhibitor release from protection systems, role of clad layer and oxide degrading effects. The project provides models that are an essential part of future predictive maintenance concepts to avoid unanticipated and unscheduled maintenance with high costs. Data from monitoring systems and non destructive inspection can be used as model input. The output from the models can be utilised for the repair decision process or to calculate the structural impact of corrosion.


 

Defect Scanner

defectThe Defect Scanner tool has been developed to enable stress analysis models to be scanned to provide definition of areas of a structure where engineers/designers anticipate increased risk associated with crack development; and to report the critical size of cracks in each of the user defined areas in the model, ie for each required load condition or Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) reference value. The critical crack size, in this analysis, is the crack size at which a crack reaches a pre-defi ned SIF value. This could either be the threshold SIF value, in order to compute the size at which cracks may start growing, or the critical SIF value, thus computing the size of crack that will cause part of the structure to fracture.


 

Simulated Based Corrosion Management

The “Simulated Based Corrosion Management” is an EU project the main objective of which is to develop and validate numerical models for simulating corrosion at different scales in an aircraft. The models ranging from the micro to the macro scale include galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion, inter-granular corrosion, inter-metallic corrosion and pitting, among others.

Contributions are being made with the development of the galvanic corrosion model for the macro- scale, the development of modelling strategies for coatings and protective layers, and producing a Decision Support Modelling Tool that integrates all existing models into a unifi ed modelling environment for the industrial sector.

 



Computational Algorithms for Large Scale Numerical Problems

The project is involved with the development of algorithms of linear complexity for solving large scale models with Boundary Element Methods applied to Corrosion and Cathodic Protection Systems. The techniques under study include Fast Multipole Methods, Low Rank Approximation, Multi-grid and Multi- Domain Decomposition.

 

 

Recent projects include:

  • NaturalHY - "Preparing for the hydrogen economy by using the existing natural gas system as a catalyst"
  • "Development of New Repository Concepts for Toxic Waste Disposal" sponsored by EU Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme
  • "Enhanced Simulation of ICCP System" sponsored by USA Navy
  • "Optimisation of Cathodic Protection Systems" supported by BEASY Ltd
  • "High Performance Computing for Interactive Design" EU Esprit Programme