Understanding the mechanics of corrosion pits and their impact on crack growth will lead to more effective management of structures. While design codes provide methods of assessing certain types of defects frequently a more accurate approach is required to predict the impact of multiple corrosion pits on the crack growth rate and the critical crack size.
A series of BEASY models were developed where the surface topology was based on observed pitting damage. The model was used to predict the raised stress levels present in the corrosion pit and its impact of the crack growth rate. The model provided quantitative data for the assessment of defects consisting of multiple pits as well as providing a tool for the assessment of specific cases observed in the field.
Understanding the mechanics of corrosion pits will lead to a more effective use of crack initiation and crack growth models and improved corrosion resistant structural design.