Research on Solid Particle Erosion Mechanisms

When a surface is subject to repeated impacts by small abrasive particles, the damage and subsequent material removal that occurs is known as solid particle erosion.  Such damage can be thought of as constructive, such as in abrasive jet machining or blast cleaning operations, or as in destructive, such as in the damage to turbo machinery or gas pipelines that occurs due to gas-borne particulates.  Despite over 60 years of research, important questions remain regarding the fundamental mechanisms of solid particle erosion, and the effect that particle size, shape, velocity, target material properties, degree of particle embedment, etc.  have on the resulting erosion rate.

To answer some of these questions, we use a variety of experimental techniques to launch particles and observe the impact phenomena.

The high speed video below shows the impact of an idealized rhomboid particle on a metal target.

Multiple exposures of an idealized rhomboid particle in flight and striking a metal plate

Multiple exposures of an idealized rhomboid particle in flight and striking a metal plate

 

Modeling of particle impacts 

Using what we learn from impacts, we use a variety of modeling techniques to simulate particle impacts so that the fundamental material removal mechanisms can be better understood.
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Multiple exposures of idealized rhomboid particle striking metal target 3 times (top), and simulated impact using an in-house developed simulation (bottom)
Multiple exposures of idealized rhomboid particle striking metal target 3 times (top), and simulated impact using an in-house developed simulation (bottom)

 

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Multiple exposures of idealized rhomboid particle striking metal and machining a chip of material (top) and simulated impact using an in-house developed simulation (bottom)
Multiple exposures of idealized rhomboid particle striking metal and machining a chip of material (top) and simulated impact using an in-house developed simulation (bottom)

 

The series of videos below show simulated idealized rhomboid particle impacts on a metal using a finite element models:

 

The series of videos below show simulated single and multiple idealized particle impacts on a metal using smoothed particle hydrodynamics models:

 

The below video shows simulate multiple realistically shaped particle impacts on a metal using a smoothed particle hydrodynamics model:

 

Please see the publications tab at the top of the page for more information.

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