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The contribution of laboratory tests to understanding the rate and distribution of erosion by slurries in industrial hardware is reviewed. The unifying principle that erosion rate must depend on the rate of dissipation of particle kinetic energy on the target is emphasized. The application of laboratory test results to wear in centrifugal pumps and to slurry pipelines is evaluated and it is noted that reliable, quantitative information on mass removal as a function of the rate of particle impact or the motion of particles in an abrasive bed is required. Laboratory erosion tests have been widely used to determine material rankings and to examine the effect of some experimental variables, but have not yielded information on the frequency and velocity of particle impact. Such information is now available through suspension flow modelling of laboratory test geometries. This approach allows the prediction of changes in erosion rate with changes in test variables and hence can provide the required quantitative data for industrial application. The need for further laboratory work to understand the energetics of material removal by sliding particle beds is emphasized.
Slurry erosion, test methods, specific energy, particle impact, particle abrasion, two-phase flow, flow modelling
Associate Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS