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The behavior of spherical and angular particles on oblique impact with a metal surface is illustrated by experiments using macroscopic projectiles. Three classes of behavior are identified: plowing and two types of cutting. Results of energy loss and crater volume determinations are given which agree with theoretical predictions. The strain rates occurring in erosion are estimated and shown to be extremely high (105–107 s-1). This may explain the failure of quasi-static strength measurements to predict erosion resistance. The possibility of erosion being caused by melting is discussed and it is concluded that the process is primarily mechanical, with thermal effects playing only a subsidiary part.
erosion, impact, impingement, metals
University demonstrator and Fellow of St. John's College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge,