New Electrodeposition Module for COMSOL Multiphysics Released

COMSOL, Inc., today announced the release of the Electrodeposition Module, a new add-on expansion module for the company's flagship product COMSOL Multiphysics. The Electrodeposition Module provides engineers the ability to model and simulate the shape and composition of electrodeposits for such processes as copper and gold electroplating in the electronics industry, wear and corrosion-protective coatings of mechanical parts, decorative coatings such as chrome and nickel plating of automotive parts, as well as electroforming of thin and complex manufactured parts.

"The Electrodeposition Module allows for very accurate descriptions of the electrochemistry, heat transfer, and fluid flow in electrochemical cells used for electrodeposition,” says Dr Henrik Ekstrom, technical program manager for electrochemical applications at COMSOL. “With this tool, developers can run realistic simulations of electrodeposition processes, from the micro-scale on up, using interfaces tailored for exactly these applications. This saves a lot of time and money in the development process."

An electrodeposition simulation for predicting the thickness of the decorative deposited layer in a furniture fitting. The Electrodeposition Module computes the layer thickness, here on the order of micrometers, using a secondary current distribution model and a deposit thickness variable at each point on the surface.

The Electrodeposition Module enables realistic simulations for investigating the influence of cell and electrode geometry, chemistry, material properties, and operating conditions. The shape and composition of a deposited metal layer is modeled with either a thickness variable for very thin layers or as a moving boundary for thicker layers.

"You don’t have to be a modeling expert to make good use of COMSOL," comments Dr. Philippe Gendre, head of research and development at the electroplating firm PEM in Siaugues, France. "By using COMSOL we have made significant advances, often including savings between 10% and 30% of the metal we deposit during electrolysis. With the new Electrodeposition Module, model set up of the electroplating process is very easy. The module includes all the electroplating physical effects in a single user interface, including conductive media for the electrical current, Navier-Stokes for the electrolyte flow, and electrokinetic flow to simulate the transport of species."


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