SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1962

Erosion by Liquid Impact


A description of the problem of steam turbine blade erosion is presented along with many of its aspects that remain unexplained.

Several materials testing and research methods are discussed and one of these, the jet impact method, has been chosen for experimental study of erosion. The development and characteristics of this apparatus are given and several features noted that make it attractive for research and materials testing work.

Experimental work using this apparatus has produced information which may help to establish the basic mechanism of erosion damage. First of all, ranking of several metals according to erosion resistance was done and profiles of erosion damage obtained. No increase in damage was found in experiments in which the liquid was allowed to impinge on surface indentations. Under certain conditions light is emitted at impact; the circumstances of this emission are explored. It is found that fatigue failure need not be postulated to explain turbine blade damage since it has been found that a single impact will produce measurable damage on blade materials at operating speeds.

A jet having an irregular leading surface will cause substantially less damage than one of smooth surface.

Author Information

DeCorso, S.
Westinghouse Research Laboratories, Pittsburgh, Pa
Kothmann, R.
Westinghouse Research Laboratories, Pittsburgh, Pa
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Developed by Committee: G02
Pages: 32–45
DOI: 10.1520/STP45079S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5946-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6121-4