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erosive wear erosion on solid surface

Erosive Wear

What is Erosive Wear?

The Basics of Erosive Wear

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The Basics of Erosive Wear

Erosive wear is a type of surface degradation that occurs when solid particles, liquid droplets, or gas bubbles impact a surface at high velocity, leading to the progressive removal of material. This phenomenon is commonly observed in mechanical systems where components are exposed to a flowing medium carrying abrasive particles or droplets.
Erosive wear may be defined as the loss of material from a surface due to the repetitive abrasive impact of particles, droplets, or gas bubbles, causing progressive material removal through a combination of deformation, cutting, and fatigue mechanisms. It is generally classified into two categories: abrasive erosion – erosion in which the relative motion of particles is nearly parallel to the solid surface; and impingement erosion (impact erosion) – erosion in which the relative motion of the solid particles is nearly normal to the solid surface.

Several factors influence the occurrence and severity of erosive damage in mechanical systems. These variables include:

  • Particle or Droplet Characteristics: The size, shape, and hardness of the impacting particles or droplets significantly affect the wear mechanism. Larger, harder, and sharper particles typically cause more severe wear.
  • Impact Velocity and Angle: The velocity of the impacting particles or droplets and the angle at which they strike the surface are crucial factors in determining the wear rate. Higher velocities and impact angles closer to perpendicular (90°) generally lead to increased erosion rates.
  • Environment and Operating Conditions: The environment, including temperature and humidity, can also impact the erosive wear process. Additionally, the operating conditions, such as flow rates and pressures, can influence the severity of erosive damage.

To minimize the occurrence and severity of erosive damage in mechanical systems, various mitigation steps should be considered:

  • Geometric Design: Optimize the design of components to minimize the exposure to erosive wear, for example, by using streamlined shapes to reduce the impact of particles or droplets on the surface.
  • System Design: Reducing fluid velocity, minimizing turbulence, and providing adequate bend radii in piping systems are all effective methods to minimizing erosive degradation.
  • Flow Control: Regulate the flow of the abrasive medium by adjusting flow rates, velocities, and particle concentrations to minimize erosive damage.
  • Surface Treatment: Harder materials or hard surface coatings like chrome and HVOF can be effective at mitigating the likelihood of erosive damage. Surfaces subject to erosion are often internal and any coating method needs to be applied via non-line of sight methods, limiting the use of PVD or HVOF coating methods.
  • Maintenance and Monitoring: Regularly inspect and maintain mechanical systems to identify and address signs of erosive wear early, preventing premature failures and extending component life.

Armoloy's Solution to Erosive Wear

Armoloy offers multiple metal surface treatments with varying levels of protection from the common causes of erosive damage. Offering both broad-spectrum and industry-specific applications, our protective metallic coatings add significant value through increased performance and decreased revenue losses from unplanned maintenance and downtime.

Our protective coatings ensure a thin, precise coat that won’t impact production, but will improve surface hardness and prevent environmental defects. Beyond increasing wear life, Armoloy tailors our metallic coatings based on the specific requirements of your application and industry.

Beyond the Lab: Metal Failures in Narrative Form

Other Metal Failure Modes

Other common metal failures include:

Erosive wear can also result from, or be a precursor to, other potential metal failures

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