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Wear 253 (2002) 403410

A study of single particletarget surface interactions along a specimen in the Coriolis slurry erosion tester
H.M. Hawthorne , Y. Xie, S.K. Yick
Surface Technology/Tribology Group, National Research CouncilInnovation Centre, 3250 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1W5 Received 17 August 2001; received in revised form 13 May 2002; accepted 27 May 2002

Abstract The Coriolis test is used for evaluating the slurry erosion behaviour of materials. Experiments with a model single glass bead-in-water slurry have revealed the nature of, and extent of damage at, all contact sites along a soft copper specimen surface. The results conrm previous theoretical predictions that in the Coriolis test mode erodent particles interact with the specimen in a series of low angle impacts of decreasing angle, rebound height and normal velocity component along the specimen. . Crown Copyright 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Slurry erosion; Coriolis tester; Particletarget impact

1. Introduction Slurry erosive wear studies of materials are usually carried out in slurry pot or slurry jet tests. However, a so-called Coriolis erosion tester was developed by Tuzson [1] to better simulate the action between abrasive slurries and slurry handling equipment such as pumps, etc. In this tester slurry is accelerated centrifugally from a rotating bowl through two small pipe specimens 180 apart, and the Coriolis force helps increase the slurrys interaction with the specimen back wall. Clark et al. [2] then developed an improved version of the Coriolis tester with simpler, at specimens mounted on either side of a diametral slot in a solid rotor, as shown schematically in Fig. 1(a). A typical scar worn on a specimen surface after erosion in this Mark II tester is illustrated in Fig. 1(b). A materials erosion resistance dened as the energy needed to remove unit volume of material from the surface, or specic energy (SE)was then readily derived [2,3] from the wear scar cross-sectional area using a force analysis on particles sliding along specimen surfaces, as shown in Fig. 1(c). This Mark II tester has been used to compare the erosion behaviour of a variety of materials [4], and a range of values of relative slurry erosion resistance several orders of magnitude greater than that from slurry jet test evaluation was obtained. The relative erosion resistance of different steels as determined by this laboratory tester, also correlated well with steel hardness,
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-604-221-3070; fax: +1-604-221-3088. E-mail address: (H.M. Hawthorne).

which accords with industrial experience of slurry transport equipment [5]. In addition to its inherently greater discriminating power, the Coriolis test is also rapid because of the accelerated wear, and the well-dened eroded groove that is obtained facilitates wear measurement. However, two aspects of the method still hinder its wider use. A practical issue is that the apparatus is complex, and prone to inadvertent small changes in conditions within the tester. Wear results depend on erodent particle size, slurry velocity and concentration, as shown in Fig. 2. However, wear prole shape, and SE values, are sensitive not only to these parameters but also to slurry ow constancy and to small geometrical changes inside the tester resulting from either wear on, or replacement of, specimen holders, most likely due to turbulent ow effects [6,7]. Some improved reproducibility of slurry erosion evaluation was obtained using continuously metered slurry mixing [8], ultra wear-resistant WC/MoC (Roctec 500, Boride Products, USA) specimen holders, and high resolution measurement of wear scars with an optical interferometer based surface imaging system (WYKO NT 2000, Veeco Metrology, USA). This was sufcient to allow good discrimination between the relative performance of very erosion resistant materials such as WC-based cermets [8], and enabled the construction of Coriolis slurry erosion wear maps for various materials, including thermal sprayed cermet coatings [6]. A second issue is that the actual mode of interaction between the erodent particles of a slurry and the specimen surfaces has been largely unknown. Although not often mentioned in the literature, this deciency is also common

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Fig. 3. Theoretical trajectories of three erodent particles in the channel (radial slot) of a Coriolis erosion tester (under test conditions specied) estimated from two-phase ow calculation [10]. The initial heights of the particles at channel entrance are equal to 1/3, 2/3 and full channel height.

Fig. 1. Schematic illustration of: (a) the rotor/specimen assembly; (b) a typical worn specimen after slurry erosion; (c) the main forces acting on an erodent particle in a Mark II Coriolis slurry erosion tester.

to all slurry erosion test methods [9] and it hinders study of basic erosive wear mechanisms. Some earlier preliminary experiments with very dilute slurry suggested that erodent particles might also damage the target surface by impact. Subsequent two-phase uid ow calculations, made with assumptions about both the forces acting on uid-entrained particles and particletarget rebound conditions [10], gave typical particle trajectories in a dilute slurry in this test rig as shown in Fig. 3. (Note: Fig. 3 only illustrates typical trajectories. Trajectories will differ quantitatively for different particle sizes or test parameters, but their trends will remain the same.) Such theoretically derived results indicated that,

Fig. 2. Different shapes of wear scar proles previously found [6,7] on a 1020 steel after erosion by different concentrations of 200 m alumina particle slurry. Test conditions: 5000 rpm rotor speed; 278 g of erodent used in each case; 30 ml/s slurry ow rate over each specimen.

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rather than sliding [2,3], particles were likely to interact with the specimen surface in a series of low angle impacts, at decreasing incidence angle, rebound height and normal impact velocity component, along the specimen length. As these predictions were somewhat unexpected, there was a need to establish whether or not they could be veried experimentally. Limited progress towards this was obtained using very dilute slurries of alumina particles or of glass beads [8], but the present paper describes a more denitive experiment designed specically to check the predictions of the theoretical particle trajectory study [10]. This experiment involved the use of a model single particle slurry and the results reveal further insights on erodent particletarget specimen surface interactions in the Coriolis erosion tester. 2. Experimental 2.1. Outline of the method In any slurry erosion test the erodent particletarget impact velocity is different from that of the surrounding uid because of drag and hydrodynamic effects, and it is difcult to derive accurate values theoretically. In this work actual impact velocity and trajectory information is determined from an experiment in which a single spherical particle interacts with a soft metal target specimen in the Coriolis tester. Microscopic examination identies a series of interaction damage sites along its surface. The dimensions of the damage marks are then measured and the normal component of the particle impact velocity is estimated from the crater depth, following Clark [11]. 2.2. Experimental details Pure copper was used as the target material. Specimens (29 mm 16 mm 5 mm) were rst annealed at 450 C for 1 h and then ground, lapped and polished to obtain highly reecting surfaces. Their Vickers hardness after annealing was about 60 kg/mm2 . The Coriolis tester was dismantled and components thoroughly cleaned to remove any traces of previous erodent particles. A pair of specimens was mounted, the test rig assembled and the whole ushed with clean water. The rotor was spun up to 5000 rpm, a dummy test run made with water only (30 ml/s across each specimen for 10 s) and both specimens examined meticulously in the SEM for any signs of surface damage. There being none, the single particle experiment was performed, under the same conditions as above, by dropping a clean glass bead into the owing water feed. The specimens were then examined again by SEM, where the appearance and precise location of all contact interaction sites on one of them was determined. Quantitative topographic measurements of the damage marks at the sites were obtained using the NT 2000 surface imaging system. The impacting particle was a 460 m diameter glass bead (Microbeads, Cataphote, USA). Such beads had good spherical shape (Fig. 4(a)), but they have a matte surface texture
Fig. 4. Typical glass beads (a), with small protruding defects on their surfaces (b), used in single particle slurry and static indentation experiments.

that is due to the presence of many small raised defects (Fig. 4(b)). The density of these glass beads was estimated previously [11] at 2500 kg/m3 . In order to estimate the impact velocity from the crater depth a loadindentation depth calibration was needed. To obtain this, a glass bead of 235 m diameter and a sintered tungsten carbide ball of 1000 m diameter were mounted on specially made probe tips of a Leitz microhardness tester. Indentations were produced with these on the copper specimen at loads ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 N. Indentation depths were measured by the NT 2000 surface imaging system with a vertical resolution of 3 nm. Approximate correlations, P (N) 2.7 105 h (m) for the glass bead and P (N) 10.6 105 h (m) for the ball, were found over this load range from the indentation tests. These results agree with contact mechanics predictions that the product (indentation depth indenter radius) is a constant at each indentation load regardless of the indenter radius as long as the indent depth is much smaller than the indenter radius. Accordingly,


H.M. Hawthorne et al. / Wear 253 (2002) 403410

it was determined that the 460 m diameter glass bead has a loaddepth correlation of P (N) 5.3 105 h (m) when it indents the copper specimen.

3. Results and discussion 3.1. Single particlespecimen interaction sites The SEM photomicrographs in Fig. 5 show the appearance of surface damage sustained at all particle interaction sites found along the length of the copper specimen surface. (Note that the leading edge of the target specimen is 39.5 mm from the rotor centre in the Mark II Coriolis tester [2,3].) Initially, each damage site consisted of a cluster of small scratches within a well-dened mark. The rst site, at 42.6 mm from the rotor centre, certainly appears to be a residual impression of an impact of the spherical glass bead that approached from left to right, its elliptic shape indicating the impact angle was less than 20 [11]. The ne scratches, due to the raised defects on the glass bead surface and not to any bead fracturing (similar scratch marks were found in a separate experiment where the glass bead was recovered intact after use), also indicate a similar directional component to the particles impingement. Subsequent damage marks are progressively more elongated and less like a discrete impression. By site 11 (at 56.52 mm from the rotor centre), they consist of a series of scratches and, by site 12, essentially two separate scratches. In our view, this indicates a gradual change from predominantly low angle impact to a rolling/sliding interaction of the glass bead with the target surface. Several of the ensuing damage sites again appear to have a small impact component to the particlesurface interaction, before nally exhibiting features mainly indicating only a rolling/sliding particle. No long scratches were observed that would indicate a purely sliding interaction between the glass bead and the specimen surface. Topographic images, along with their X- and Y-proles, of the rst seven particle interaction sites obtained from the optical 3D surface imager are shown in Fig. 6. These clearly reveal the precise shape and dimensions of the contact damage. The rst site is seen to have a similar shape (albeit with an aspect ratio of about 1.3:1) in both X- and Y-directions. Taking account of the different ordinate and abscissa scales, the impression prole in the Y-direction corresponds closely to an arc of the 460 m diameter spherical glass bead. From Fig. 6, only the rst ve particlesurface interaction sites clearly show evidence of a spherical impression shape. Site 6 probably shows a slight indication, but site 7 reveals only the cross-sectional prole of scratches. (Note that only the Y-prole is considered because the shape of most X-proles, and especially those of subsequent sites, are affected by both the forward motion of the glass bead as well as by whether or not the prole is sampled along a scratch.) Sites 8 and 1418 showed some evidence again of a slight spherical im-

pression within the surface damage mark, but all others only showed evidence of a scratching interaction. The depth of impact impressions (craters) as measured from the Y-proles, is shown by the solid symbols in Fig. 7. Depth values below about 0.05 m are uncertain since it was difcult to judge from these particular proles whether or not there is actually a residual impression. The sequential positions of all of the glass bead contact sites along the copper specimen surface are shown more clearly by the open symbols on the ordinate. The overall spherical impression shape of the rst ve or six contact sites, and the diminishing impression depth and spacing between contacts are all consistent with the glass bead interacting initially with the target surface in a series of low angle impacts of decreasing intensity. This is in general agreement with our earlier theoretical prediction of slurry erodent particle velocities and trajectories in the Coriolis tester [10]. Intermittent particletarget surface contacts continue over the rest of the specimen, but the glass beads normal component of velocity must be less than the critical velocity for plastic deformation of the surface of even the soft copper specimen, and only the scratch marks from the bead surface defects remain. However, at several positions the particle normal velocity component does again exceed the threshold velocity for plastic damage, possibly due to local turbulence within the slurry. (Wear scar prole anomalies like that in Fig. 2, some 5060 mm. . . depending on test conditions. . . from the rotor centre in Coriolis slurry erosion tests of steels were ascribed previously to turbulence effects [6,7].) 3.2. Comparison of experimental results with theoretical calculations The experimental results are now compared quantitatively with values calculated from our previous model of slurry particle dynamics in the Coriolis erosion tester [10]. The method of determining normal particle impact velocity is based on the following proposition. That when a spherical particle of mass m hits a soft metal target at low speeds and plastically deforms it, the depth of the crater produced is a function solely of the loss of the kinetic energy associated with the normal component of the particles velocity at impact. This energy dissipated in plastic ow, Ep , is given by
1 1 m(Vi 2 Vr 2 ) = 2 mVi 2 (1 e2 ) Ep = 2


where Vi is the normal impact velocity, Vr the normal rebound velocity and e is the coefcient of restitution (Vr /Vi ). On the other hand, if the same spherical particle is loaded slowly against the same soft metal, the work done by the load to produce plastic deformation (plastic work), W is given by W =
0 hmax

P (h) dh


where P(h) is the indentation load when the penetration depth of the spherical indenter is h, and hmax is the maximum

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Fig. 5. Surface damage at all sites of the glass bead contacts on the copper specimen. Sites are numbered sequentially, and with their distances from the rotor centre. All photomicrographs have the same magnication.


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Fig. 6. X- and Y-proles of the rst seven contact sites and surface images showing the prole locations.

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Fig. 7. Measured particle impression depths at, and positions of, all contact sites.

penetration. Both theoretical analysis by Johnson [12] and our experiments have found that, when indentation depth is much smaller than the radius of the spherical indenter, indentation load is proportional to penetration depth. Therefore, Eq. (2b) can be expressed as
1 W =2 Pmax hmax


where Pmax is the indentation load at hmax . It is assumed that the mechanical properties of the material are independent of strain rate, so that the depths of craters produced by the same mechanical work are the same whether they are produced by impact or by slow indentation. Then the normal velocity of single particle impacts can be calculated by combining Eqs. (1), (2a) and (2b) Vi = Pmax hmax m(1 e2 ) (3)

restitution coefcient is below 0.5 but it increases with an increased elastic component of the impact energy. A coefcient of restitution about 0.7 was reported from experiments in which steel microspheres of 6476 m diameter impacted a silicon surface at velocities between 0.45 and 1.9 m/s and incident angle down to 8 [13]. Since the extent of plastic deformation in these experiments is believed similar to that in the present single particle Coriolis erosion test, a value of e = 0.7 was used to estimate the normal impact velocities in the Coriolis test from measured crater depths and Eq. (3). The estimated values are presented in Fig. 8. When the normal component of the impact velocity is very small, the coefcient of restitution is close to unity. According to experimental data, an empirical equation [14] e= 1 1 + aVi /Vt (4)

When determining normal impact velocities and trajectories of the erodent particle from Eq. (3) a value for the coefcient of restitution, e, is needed. In impacts where most of the impact energy is dissipated in plastic deformation, the

was obtained to describe the coefcient of restitutionincident angle relationship. Here Vi is the normal impact velocity, Vt the tangential velocity and a is a constant. However, the value of a can only be obtained by experiment, because there is no theoretical foundation for this empirical equation.

Fig. 8. Normal component of single particle impact velocities calculated from impression depths, and comparison with model predictions.


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The estimated normal velocities in Fig. 8 are also compared with normal impact velocities predicted from our model for a given value of the constant a = 6. The calculation for the predicted values was initiated at the measured location and estimated normal velocity of the rst crater. The results shows that, by choosing this value of the constant a in Eq. (4), our model can predict approximately the slurry particle dynamics in the Coriolis test. 3.3. Future work It was shown previously [8] that the superior ability of the Coriolis test to distinguish between the slurry erosion resistance of different materials probably resulted from a lower intensity of interaction of erodent particles with the target. Although the extent to which particleparticle interactions in practical slurry concentrations may modify the particletarget interactions revealed here is not known, it remains likely that most particles will have a normal target impact velocity below the critical velocity for plastic deformation of materials in the Coriolis test. This is in contrast to the situation in slurry jet testing. With its excellent discriminating power, known particlespecimen contact conditions and short test duration, the Coriolis method promises to become a more widely used way of evaluating the slurry erosion behaviour of materials. However, the sensitivity of Coriolis erosion test results to specimen holder replacement, despite utmost care to ensure identical positioning in the rotor, remains a practical testing issue. Simplication of the rotor, holder and specimen design should help eliminate the source of such problems and this is presently being pursued. 4. Conclusions Some information has been obtained from the single particle slurry experiments about the motion of erodent particles in the Mark II Coriolis tester, which conrms the theoretical predictions about the predominant mode of erodent particlespecimen surface interactions. In particular it has been shown that: 1. initially, the particle bounced along the specimen surface with decreasing intensity; 2. it then interacted with the surface mainly in a rolling/ sliding manner; 3. subsequently, local ow turbulence induced some measure of particle impact again, before it nally settled to a mainly rolling/sliding interaction;

4. in general, our theoretical model reasonably predicts the slurry particle dynamics in this Coriolis erosion test. Without knowing the precise value of the coefcient of restitution, however, accurate calculation is not possible.

Acknowledgements Thanks are due to Hector Clark for encouraging pursuit of the single particle experiment. References
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