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The basic factors which determine the ability of a slurry to abrade or erode its conduit are the properties of the slurry itself, the properties of the pipe material, and the nature of the flow. The Miller number currently used to predict sliding wear in pumps may be useful to predict relative wear resistance of pipelines until standardized pipeline tests are developed. Values of the hardness parameter of slurry and pipe material show a strong correlation with erosion capability of a slurry, although the derived empirical relationships are only valid for the specific system under study. Future abrasion studies should include: (1) standardization of slurry and pipe material properties and flow characteristics for laboratory and field investigations; (2) determination of the relationship between commonly used abrasion indices and pipeline service life; and (3) continued development of methods for measuring absolute abrasion rates.
pipeline abrasion, hardness, Miller number, standardization
Geologist, Fort Collins, CO