The starting point was inexplicable damage to storage containers for a process fluid at our customer. They assumed that the multilayer, coated construction would be sufficient to store the fluid without problems.
However the damage indicated that the low-viscosity fluid had found a way between the layers, resulting in damage. A quick solution was required in order to reassure their customer that there was no problem in principle.
In close cooperation with the customer, we investigated the transient diffusion of the process fluid through the materials, taking into account the temperature-dependent material data. These simulations indicated that there shouldn’t be a problem. Although this did not explain the damage, it confirmed the customer’s assumptions.
Thereupon we decided with the customer to look for the effects of potential damage to the coating: It turned out that for the intended storage period even small imperfections can result in the wall material “absorbing” process fluid – connected with the loss of the anticipated material property.
In a very carefully conducted Six Sigma process, which we were able to support with our simulations, the problem could eventually be rectified and the end customer convinced by a globally unique solution.