Corrosion of metals is a ubiquitous phenomenon that costs the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year. As such, it is important to understand how various alloys oxidize and corrode so that new corrosion resistant alloys can be designed. The goal of the Office of Naval Research MURI: Understanding Corrosion in 4D is to use a combination of experiment, computation, and theory to form a detailed understanding of the early stages of oxidation and corrosion. The project is a collaboration between Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Virginia.
As part of this ONR MURI, the Voorhees group is engaged in the development of simulations and theory for the early stages of oxidation of Ni-Cr-Al alloys. We have developed a phase-field model for metal oxidation, and a mean-field model of oxide island growth. Recently, the MURI team has identified solute trapping and morphological instabilities as important phenomena in oxide growth. We have developed a thermodynamic and kinetic model for solute trapping in oxides, focusing on the Ni-Cr alloy system. Morphological instabilities in oxide growth are being studied using linear perturbation theory and stability analyses.
More information about this project can be found here.