Sliding erosion measurements in the Coriolis slurry erosion tester (Technical Note)

Clark, H. McL. ; Tuzson, J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Introduction Wear of pumps, wet cyclones and pipelines by suspended solid particles will impact their operating economies by limiting their useful life, reducing their reliability and increasing the amount of servicing. Erosion is considered a materials problem. The empirical solution consists of testing different materials in field applications. Such tests are time consuming and expensive. The prediction of localized wear rates, life estimates and appropriate material selection demand a better understanding of the slurry wear process in environments corresponding to those found in working equipment. Key words: Wear, Slurry abrasion, Coriolis erosion tester The slurry wear process Solid particles suspended in liquid generally move with the flow, but such particles deviate under the centrifugal and Coriolis forces encountered in pumps. The concentration of particles will increase, and a solid layer or bed may accumulate if the acceleration is directed against the flow passage wall. Large particles in dilute suspensions may impact the wall. dissipating their kinetic energies and removing material. However, particles smaller than about 11)(1 µm encounter great drag when moving through the liquid. and such par¬ticles have little kinetic energy left when they reach the wall. They cannot penetrate the stagnant boundary layers present in pumps. Therefore, small particles tend to form beds that slide along the wall, removing material by a process that could he called sliding erosion or wet abrasion. Wear by impact erosion from large particles in dilute slurries can he predicted by appropriate analytical and empirical methods. However, laboratory tests and calculations of wear rates that correspond to sliding erosion are more likely to correlate with field experience from wear under similar conditions. Specific energy Data from laboratory slurry erosion experiments have shown that the amount of material removed is approximately in proportion to the energy expended in the erosion process. Thus. the specific energy-energy expended in removing by erosion a unit volume of material-offers a simple, practical measure for the erosion resistance of materials. The concept was found to also apply to sliding erosion (Clark et al.. 1997). Generally, the study of the material-removal process in slurry erosion continues to remain a subject of research. Conceptually, if the flow velocities and accelerations could be calculated in a pump or pipeline, the energy dissipated at the passage walls could also be estimated, and the material removal rate would become known from the specific energy determined by laboratory tests. Slurry erosion testing Laboratory devices made specifically for slurry erosion testing may be grouped into the following: jet erosion devices, slurry pots and the Coriolis test machine (Pagalthivarthi and Helmly, 1992). Jet erosion devices use a slurry pump and nozzle to produce a high-velocity slurry jet that is directed at a flat material specimen, either perpendicularly or at some acute angle. Combined impact and sliding erosion are produced. but the processes cannot be separated, and the wear is difficult to assess except by weighing. Slurry pots consist of a cylindrical vessel containing the slurry of interest. In the slurry pot, test specimens are attached to a rotating arm. The samples are rotated in the slurry and experience local flow conditions that result in combined impact and sliding erosion. Wear depth measurements from detailed laboratory experiments have been successfully correlated with results from an analytical model of the process, and specific energy values have been calculated (Wong and Clark, 1995). In industrial use, the samples are weighed to determine the total material loss. Materials are ranked with respect to some reference material. The Coriolis erosion tester (Tuzson, 1984) consists of a rotor with a central cavity, from which two opposing radial passages lead out (Fig. 1). The slurry is fed to the centerof the rotor in one pass from a stirred overhead tank. The slurry particles are subjected to the Coriolis acceleration as they flow out through the radial passages. The material specimens are mounted into the radial passage walls facing the direction of rotation and are eroded by the particles that are pressed against them as they flow out radially. A narrow groove is worn into the sample within a few minutes, using a few gallons of slurry. Material removal is estimated accurately from profilometer traverses across the wear scar at different locations. The energy dissipated by the particles can be estimated, which leads to a well-defined experimental value for the specific energy.
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