Prediction of Service Life in Concrete Structures based on Diffusion Model in a Marine Environment using Mesh Free, FEM and FDM Approaches

Document Type: Regular Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Tafresh University, Tafresh, Iran, P.O.Box 39518-79611. (

2 Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, P.O.Box 11155-4563, and Director and Owner of Smart Plan Solution (SPS) Company registered in Alberta, Canada.



Chloride-induced corrosion is a key factor in the premature corrosion of concrete structures exposed to a marine environment. Fick's second law of diffusion is the dominant equation to model diffusion of chloride ions. This equation is traditionally solved by Finite Element Method (FEM) and Finite Difference Method (FDM). Although these methods are robust and efficient, they may face some numerical issues due to discretization process. This study solves the Fick's equation using the Element-Free Galerkin (EFG) method as well as traditional FEM and FDM. The results of these numerical methods are compared together, and validated with the analytical solution in special cases. The results show that the EFG method predicts the service life of the concrete structures, more accurately than the other methods, and exhibits the lowest displacement error and energy error for a constant diffusion coefficient problem. FDM can be performed very efficiently for simple models, and the displacement errors produced by this method do not differ considerably from the EFG results. Therefore, FDM could compete with the EFG method in simple geometries. FEM can be used with a sufficient number of elements while the convergence of the results should be controlled. However, in complicated models, FEM and especially the EFG method are much more flexible than FDM.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 24 May 2020
  • Receive Date: 07 February 2020
  • Revise Date: 25 April 2020
  • Accept Date: 24 May 2020