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Abrasion and Erosion

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Abrasion and Erosion

Klaus Schneemann, Huls¨

AG, Marl, Federal Republic of Germany

1.

Introduction

1

2.

Types of Wear and Wear Mechanisms 1

3.

Behavior of Materials

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3.1.

Metals

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3.2.

Plastics and Elastomers

13

3.3.

Ceramics

15

4.

Surface Treatment and Coatings

15

5.

Practical Examples of Abrasion and Erosion Damage

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5.1.

Sliding Wear, Elastic Rolling Wear, and Oscillation Wear

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5.2.

Abrasion Wear

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5.3.

Damage by Particle Erosion

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5.4.

Solid Particles-Free Erosion

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5.5.

Damage Caused by Erosion – Corrosion

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6.

References

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1. Introduction

Practical experience with industrial equipment, machinery, and plant has shown that components have only limited service lives. Damage and ul- timate failure of the component can occur as a result of changes in the material that originate at the surface, even if the components are designed such that long-term action of the forces alone causes neither fracture nor undue deformation. If the reactions responsible for the damage are of electrochemical or predominantly chemi- cal nature, the term corrosion is normally used, whereas mechanical damage to the surface of the component is defined as wear. Attempts to avoid a loss of material due to wear, or at least to reduce the loss, concentrate on making the af- fected surface more resistant to wear. This can be achieved by mechanical, thermal, or thermo- chemical treatment of the surface or by applying or depositing metallic coatings. Under some cir- cumstances the wear conditions can be changed by design measures so that the danger for the affected component surface is eliminated or re- duced to a tolerable level. With few exceptions (e.g., running-in of bear- ings), wear in engineering means an undesired change that causes very high costs every year; in a highly developed, industrialized country this can amount to ca. 1 – 2 % of the gross national product [1]. Plant construction typical of the chemical in- dustry plays an insignificant role, and wear is correctly known as “the problem child of me- chanical engineering” [2].

c 2005 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Wear, friction, and lubrication are described under the term tribology as the science of the study, industrial application, and modification of the phenomena and processes occurring be- tween surfaces which are acting against each other and moving relative to one another; this includes boundary surface interactions between solids, and between solids and their gaseous or

liquid surroundings. Since at least two compo- nents of a system are involved in wear, it is not

a pure material characteristic, but only a sys-

tem characteristic. Wear itself is generally un- derstood as progressive loss of material from the surface of a solid body caused by mechanical action, i.e., contact and relative motion with a solid, liquid, or gaseous phase.

2. Types of Wear and Wear Mechanisms

The treatment of wear must take the diversity of tribological processes into account, and this requires precise analysis of the loads and of the appearance of the damage. It is usual to sub- divide the large number of wear processes into types of wear and wear mechanisms, in which different mechanisms have to be allocated to one and the same type of wear. The kinematic conditions and the types of materials involved in the wear determine the types of wear, such as sliding wear, elastic rolling wear, impact wear, and shock wear. Oscillating wear stress, or oscillation wear,

is caused by oscillating sliding and by oscillat-

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Abrasion and Erosion

Table 1. Classifaction of types of wear (based on DIN 50 320)

2 Abrasion and Erosion Table 1. Classifaction of types of wear (based on DIN 50 320)

Abrasion and Erosion

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ing sliding parts when rolling or even on im- pact. Wear mechanisms characterize the ener- getic and material interactions between the in- dividual elements of a wear system. DIN 50 320 differentiates between adhesion, abrasion, sur- face destruction, and tribochemical reaction as the principle mechanisms (Table 1) [3].

Adhesion. If the micro-roughnesses on the “clean” surfaces of two solid bodies are in con- tact with each other, high surface pressures are generated locally; relative movements cause cold welding which can lead to separation of ma- terial. Material transfer, scales, and shear dim- ples are typical wear patterns.

Abrasion. When two bodies of different hardnesses slide against each other, abrasion causes the softer surface of the base body to be scratched by the harder counter body. This harder body can be a micro-roughness of the counter body or a wear particle that has already been removed. The penetration of the harder counter body and the relative movement pro- duce wear grooves or furrows in the softer body, for which reason it is also called furrow wear (Fig. 1). If the softer material is plastically de- formed and is displaced to the furrow edges, the process is called microplowing. Material is not removed in a single event but by the simulta- neous action of many abrasive particles or by repeated furrowing by one particle [4].

particles or by repeated furrowing by one particle [4]. Figure 1. Mechanisms of material damage in

Figure 1. Mechanisms of material damage in furrow wear A) Microplowing; B) Microcutting; C) Microfatigue; D) Microgouging

More often the material is removed by cut- ting; so-called microchips are obtained. In duc- tile materials these two processes are predom- inant, but in relatively brittle materials micro- particles break away and microgouging occurs. Depending on the number of components in- volved, a distinction is made between two-body and three-body abrasion wear. Sliding, shock, and rolling are possible types of wear, see Ta- ble 2 [5]. Oscillating mechanical loads in the surface of a solid can lead to surface destruction by mate- rial fatigue. This appears as formation and prop- agation of cracks, and may lead to separation of material particles. Tribological stress in the system can lead to tribochemical reactions in addition to purely physical processes. As a result layers can appear on or between the touching surfaces. In general these wear mechanisms do not act in pure form in practice; they usually occur in combinations. According to [4] the relative proportions of microplowing and microcutting can be deter- mined from the profile of a wear groove (Fig. 2). The so-called f ab value is defined by

f ab = A v (A 1 +A 2 )

A

v

so that for the two extreme cases, pure mi- croplowing and pure microcutting, f ab becomes 0 and 1, respectively.

microcutting, f a b becomes 0 and 1, respectively. Figure 2. Profile of a wear groove

Figure 2. Profile of a wear groove

The linear wear intensity W l/s is defined as

W l/s = h

s

where h represents the reduction of thickness of the worn component and s is the wear path. Using the f ab value allows the wear intensity to be expressed as

W l/s =ϕf ab ·

p

H def

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Abrasion and Erosion

Table 2. Comparison of the characteristics of abrasive sliding, abrasive impact, and three-body abrasive wear
Table 2. Comparison of the characteristics of abrasive sliding, abrasive impact, and three-body abrasive wear

Abrasion and Erosion

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where p is the surface pressure, H def is the hardness of the wearing material in the strain- hardened state, and ϕ is the form factor. The f ab value is a function of the effective surface deformation caused by the abrading particles, the ductility of the worn material, and the ma- terial’s strain-hardening behavior [6]. The value decreases with increasing ductility, increasing strain-hardening capability, and decreasing sur- face deformation.

capability, and decreasing sur- face deformation. Figure 3. Dependence of the abrasive wear resistance of

Figure 3. Dependence of the abrasive wear resistance of metallic materials on the hardness of the material (A) and on the ratio of the particle hardness to the factor f ab (B), measured by the abrasive paper method, (SiC, 80 grain, p = 3.54 MPa)

According to the above equation, a high wear resistance means a small f ab value and a high material hardness in the strain-hardened state. According to this model, hardness alone often fails to provide a reliable assessment of the ex- pected wear resistance. Figure 3 A shows the wear resistance 1/W l/s as a function of hardness for various metals, and Figure 3 B shows the resistance as a func-

tion of the ratio HV def /f ab in accordance with the above equation. For different materials with the same hardness, the wear resistance increases with increasing strain-hardening capability; see Figure 4 [4]. This assumes that in the test method the wear takes place at the so-called upper shelf of the wear characteristic. In the treatment of wear problems, Wahl was the first to draw atten- tion to the connection between abrasive particle hardness and wear [7]. He found that at a certain value of the particle hardness the wear increases sharply, and at higher values remains virtually constant; see Figure 5. Note, however, that the pure furrowing de- scribed here occurs in tests with bonded parti- cles, a condition which occurs relatively rarely in practical situations. More typical is the case where unbonded, loose particles are carried over the surface of the component, and additional rolling motion is also possible. With increasing particle mobility, the wear caused by loose particles represents the transi- tion from abrasive sliding wear to erosion (abra- sive – erosive attack).

Erosion. Erosion phenomena are caused by flow, in which the flowing fluid itself is erosive or the fluid carries particles that are unable to follow the filaments of flow at surface irregu- larities. In this case a shock component is often superimposed on the plowing mechanism; this causes local deformation and destruction. If the fluid is a gas, tribochemical reactions with the solid are only possible at fairly high temperatures where the ablation mechanism can act through the processes of sublimation, vapor- ization, or fusion. Pure liquid erosion occurs relatively rarely because even at high flow velocities the forces acting are hardly sufficient to cause removal of material; exceptions to this are additional corro- sive elements and the involvement of cavitation.

Cavitation. Since the term cavitation is used to describe the processes occurring in the liquid and also the resulting damage to the material sur- face, the latter is often called cavitational erosion to avoid confusion. These processes are caused by the formation and subsequent collapse of va- por or gas bubbles in liquids. When the pressure falls, dissolved gases evolve from small gaseous

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Abrasion and Erosion

6 Abrasion and Erosion Figure 4. Schematic representation of the abrasive wear resistance in the upper

Figure 4. Schematic representation of the abrasive wear resistance in the upper shelf and the wear mechanisms plotted versus the material hardness

and the wear mechanisms plotted versus the material hardness Figure 5. Lower and upper shelf wear

Figure 5. Lower and upper shelf wear characteristic (abra- sive paper method, 80 grain, p = 0.37 MPa)

nuclei, or evaporation takes place if the pressure falls locally below the vapor pressure. In regions of higher pressure in the liquid the bubbles im- plode. If this implosion takes place directly at the surface of the component, the cyclic, locally con- fined compressive stresses finally lead to micro- scopic fatigue phenomena. This resembles the behavior of materials under vibratory stress. If the vapor bubbles formed do not implode di- rectly at the surface the shock intensity is atten-

uated by the interposed liquid layer [8]. Damage is therefore only caused by bubbles which col- lapse directly at or close to the surface.

which col- lapse directly at or close to the surface. Figure 6. Dependence of drop impingement

Figure 6. Dependence of drop impingement wear (wear depth per centimeter impinging liquid column) on the im- pact velocity for various materials a) Glass; b) Aluminum; c) Polyurethane; d) Sintered alu- mina

If the pressure differences are caused solely by flow, the resulting process is called flow cav-

Abrasion and Erosion

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itation. However, vibrations of sufficiently high frequency can initiate vibrational cavitation. The material damage described can take place by purely mechanical means, but in prac- tice it is often considerably intensified by super- imposed corrosion stress. Comparable damage can occur through the repeated impact of drops or liquid jets at high velocity. After the deformability has become ex- hausted in tough materials, initial cracks appear; these develop into breaks and progress to deep fissuring. This wear, known as drop impinge- ment, depends on the impact velocity (Fig. 6) and the angle of impact [9]. In chemical technology and process engi- neering, the most important instances of erosion are those where the fluid contains solid parti- cles. If the fluid is a liquid this type of wear is called hydroabrasive wear or scouring wear; with gaseous fluids it is called jet wear. In both types of wear, plowing is active as the essen- tial mechanism, and with steeper angles of im- pact there is an additional component causing destruction of the material. Tribochemical reac- tions also occur. During hydraulic transport of solids in pipelines, the flow path lines near the surface travel essentially parallel to the surface. The ero- sive effect of the particles is generally slight pro- vided that the flow remains undisturbed. Flow separation at irregularities causes turbulence, which can force the particles against the wall and produce erosion. Typical irregularities in pipelines are the protruding roots of welds. Fur- thermore, in turbulent flow more collisions be- tween particles occur, leading to impacts with the enclosing walls.

occur, leading to impacts with the enclosing walls. Figure 7. Path of motion of hydraulically transported

Figure 7. Path of motion of hydraulically transported parti- cles of various densities and diameters (calculated for water at 18 C and a flow rate of 2 m/s)

During hydraulic transport the particles fol- low the streamlines of the fluid better than in pneumatic transport due to the smaller differ- ence in densities. Sliding jet wear is always present in horizontal pipeline transport due to the influence of gravity. Where changes in direction of flow occur, (e.g., at pipe bends) the particles, due to their higher density, are pressed to an increasing ex- tent against the surface, where they have an ero- sive action (Fig. 7) [10]. The wear increases distinctly with increasing velocity and can be described by the empirically determined expression

W (α) =Cv n(α)

where α is the angle of impact, C is a constant

that depends on the material and the abrasive, v is the velocity, and n is a velocity exponent which depends on the material, the abrasive, and the angle. This equation is also valid for jet wear, in which material is removed by impacting and/or plowing particles in a carrier gas. Because of the large number of forms which occur in practice

it is necessary to distinguish between the sliding

jet, in which the particle slides over the surface

of the workpiece, and the impact jet, in which the particle strikes perpendicularly; all intermediate forms of jet (0 α 90 ) are called inclined jets.

◦ ≤ α ≤ 90 ◦ ) are called inclined jets. Figure 8. Energy balance for

Figure 8. Energy balance for the impact, without breakage, of a hard particle on a ductile metal surface

The basic process in jet wear is the impact of

a particle against the surface at some arbitrary

angle. About 90 % of the kinetic energy of the particle is converted into plastic deformation and heat (Fig. 8) [11]. The main energy conversion takes place in the softer body [12].

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Abrasion and Erosion

Estimates give values of a few thousand megapascals [13] for the pressures occurring on impact and of microseconds [14] for the impact times (Fig. 9). The fatigue mechanism is domi- nant where the impact is predominantly perpen- dicular, while at shallow incident jet angles the particle has a plowing action on the surface un- der the influence of a normal force component [15]. These result in different requirements for the material involved:

1) Very hard materials are best for withstanding plowing processes 2) Impact processes cause little damage if the energy can be absorbed elastically or plasti- cally.

if the energy can be absorbed elastically or plasti- cally. Figure 9. Variation of the calculated

Figure 9. Variation of the calculated impact force of a sphere (diameter 1 mm, velocity 100 m/s) with time for:

a) C60H; b) St 37; c) Rubber

100 m/s) with time for: a) C60H; b) St 37; c) Rubber Figure 10. Influence of

Figure 10. Influence of the jet angle on the wear rate

a) Rubber; b) St 37; c) C60H

Since hard materials normally have low duc- tility, wear is low at small angles, but fragments are removed easily with perpendicular impact.

Soft, ductile materials exhibit higher wear un- der furrowing conditions. At α = 0 , the vertical component of the force theoretically approaches zero, so after a maximum the wear should also approach zero, but this situation does not actu- ally occur in practice (Fig. 10) [15].

Erosion – Corrosion. Under certain corro- sive conditions many metals form covering lay- ers. If these are sufficiently dense they act as protective films against corrosive removal of material. An example of this is the protective layer of iron oxide formed in unalloyed or low- alloy boiler tubes. Erosion – corrosion is under- stood as the combined action of mechanical sur- face removal and corrosion. With some soft and loose layers the shear forces obtained with pure flowing liquids at medium flow velocities are sufficient to damage the protective layer with- out the involvement of abrasive solid particles. Where drop impingement or cavitation are in- volved the mechanical removal of material is understandable. On the other hand, diffusion- controlled corrosion inhibition may be nullified in flowing fluids as a result of saturation of the boundary layer [16]. The resulting purely chem- ical removal of material therefore no longer cor- responds to the usual term of erosion – corrosion and is now called flow-induced corrosion [17].

3. Behavior of Materials

The many outward forms assumed by wear mechanisms make it necessary to design the component to be resistant to wear, at least on the surface under attack. This can be accom- plished by selecting a suitable base material or by modifying the surface by mechanical, ther- mal, or thermochemical treatment or by apply- ing protective coverings of other materials [18]. Adequate wear resistance of a component is nor- mally only one of several criteria in the require- ment profile. Adequate strength, toughness, cor- rosion resistance, and other properties, such as ease of repair, are requirements which must also be met. Economic criteria also have to be con- sidered. In general, theoretical considerations and laboratory tests do not lead to a quick so- lution, and in most cases the final suitability is proved under operational conditions.Wear prob- lems can often be overcome by changes in de-

Abrasion and Erosion

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sign or in the process technology. Metals, plas- tics, ceramics, and protective coatings or layers are compared below purely from the aspect of material technology.

3.1. Metals

There is still no comprehensive correlation avail- able between wear and hardness of materials. Depending on the wear mechanism, other prop- erties, such as the state of the material’s mi- crostructure, also play a significant role. Because of the simplicity of the hardness test it is, how- ever, useful to know which wear processes de- pend essentially on hardness alone. In any case,

de- pend essentially on hardness alone. In any case, Figure 11. Dependence of wear intensity on

Figure 11. Dependence of wear intensity on the hardness of the abrasive particles for counterbody furrowing for various

materials (abrasive paper method, p = 0.1 MPa, v = 0.25 m/s)

a)

Rubber; b) Polystyrene; c) Cast basalt; d) Steel St 37;

e)

C60H; f) Hard metal G4; g) Hard metal H2

the loading of the material is confined to the sur- face region, and in abrasive wear a penetration process occurs that is similar to the hardness tests. Unlike hardness tests, an additional tan- gential force component also has to be taken into account in the case of wear, which initiates ef- fects such as increase in temperature (possibly associated with phase changes), reaction layer formation, and strain hardening by plastic de- formation, and can therefore lead to permanent changes in the tribological system.

lead to permanent changes in the tribological system. Figure 12. Dependence of wear intensity on the

Figure 12. Dependence of wear intensity on the hardness of the abrasive particles for particle furrowing for various materials

It is usual to subdivide furrow wear into:

1) counterbody furrowing, in which the miner- alogical grains are fixed on the surface of the counterbody (e.g., a grinding wheel), and 2) particle furrowing, in which the wear is caused by freely moving particles.

In trials both types show a similar dependence of the wear rate on the hardness of the attacking particle (lower shelf/upper shelf characteristic); see Figs. 11 [19] and 12 [20]. For steels an increase in wear resistance is observed with increasing hardness, whereby in-

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Abrasion and Erosion

10 Abrasion and Erosion Figure 13. Wear resistance of cast iron towards particle furrowing (wear pot

Figure 13. Wear resistance of cast iron towards particle furrowing (wear pot method, quartz sand) a) Martensitic cast iron alloyed with Cr and Ni; b) Unalloyed and low-alloy pearlitic cast iron; c) Steels with 0.15 – 0.5 % C and gray cast iron with lamellar or spheroidal graphite

% C and gray cast iron with lamellar or spheroidal graphite Figure 14. Linear relationship between

Figure 14. Linear relationship between wear resistance and hardness in the upper shelf region (abrasive paper method, corun- dum, 180 grain, p = 0.94 MPa)

creasing the hardness by alloying elements has a greater effect than increasing the hardness by heat treatment. With cast iron the wear resistance also tends to increase with increasing hardness. The maxi- mum resistance values increase in the following order: gray cast iron with lamellar or spheroidal graphite, pearlitic cast iron, and martensitic cast iron (Fig. 13) [21]. In the upper shelf region and in the presence of normal abrasive particles, all pure metals ex-

hibit a linear relationship between resistance and material hardness (Fig. 14) [22].

Jet Wear. Materials in chemical plants are usually transported through pipelines and con- verted in enclosing containers. Compressors and fans are used as the conveying units when gaseous materials are transported, while pumps are normally used for liquids. The resulting wear phenomena are therefore associated with the type of flow involved, and the various types of wear are covered by the term erosion.

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Even at very high velocities pure gases are only capable of damaging the enclosing solid body when the temperature is high enough to lead to thermally induced reactions. Prob- lems with gas conveying are therefore only to be expected when entrained solid particles are present. In jet wear the material is elastically or elastically/plastically deformed by impact of the particles against the surface. Apart from particle velocity the most impor- tant factor in jet wear is the jet angle: brittle met- als exhibit increasing wear with increasing an- gle of impact, with a maximum at 90 ; whereas with tough metals, wear increases up to an an- gle of 15 – 40 , after which the loss decreases at steeper angles. The ductility and strain hard- ening at the surface are thought to be responsible for this behavior (Fig. 15) [23].

thought to be responsible for this behavior (Fig. 15) [23]. Figure 15. Impact jet and sliding

Figure 15. Impact jet and sliding jet components in jet wear

a) Experimental curve for cast iron (2.8 % C, 21 % Cr);

b) Experimental curve for St 37; c) Impact jet component

for cast iron; d) Impact jet component for St 37; e) Sliding jet component for cast iron; f) Sliding jet component for St

37

The relationship between wear resistance and material hardness known from abrasion is valid only at small jet angles because of the compa- rable wear mechanisms. According to Bitter [24], abrasion is dominant with the sliding jet and surface destruction with the impacting jet. For the first-named conditions Wahl [25] gives an appraisal of working characteristics

(Table 3) which relates predominantly to steel and cast iron.

The forces that

particle-free liquids exert on metal surface are so low at the usual flow velocities of a few meters per second that they do not cause any removal of material. According to Heil, no erosion effects could be detected with plain carbon steel, even at 60 m/s, in a test method similar to that with the rotating disc [26]. Damage caused by liquid flow alone is therefore relatively rare in practice. The situation is different if, for example, a liquid under high pressure emerges with high velocity into a space of lower pressure; it may have an erosive action on the metal at the exit point. This applies to an even greater extent if the fluid forms dense protective layers with the metal. If these layers are removed mechanically, they must be reformed, otherwise erosion will act in combination with corrosion, which is known as erosion – corrosion. This situation occurs very frequently in practice as many metals can only be used, for example, with water because a thin, usually oxidic layer protects the metal against corrosive attack. Table 4 gives guide values for maximum permissible flow velocities for pure water and, for comparison, for the more aggres- sive seawater [27]. Since technical pure liquids usually contain very fine solid particles, it is often difficult in practice to differentiate between pure fluid ero- sion and so-called hydro-abrasive wear. As with jet wear, the number, hardness, and velocity of entrained particles determine the extent to which the protective covering layer is removed and the extent of the pure metal wear. If mechanical stressing due to entrained particles is predom- inant then hardness and strength are of decisive importance for metals, as shown in Figure 16for copper alloys [28].

Wear with Liquids.

Cavitation and Drop Impingement. Ac- cording to Grein all materials succumb to the exceptionally high mechanical stress occurring during cavitation if the intensity is sufficiently high [29]. In soft materials such as aluminum, cavitation erosion appears in the form of plas- tic indentations caused by single implosions. With higher strength metals the damage starts by roughening of the surface after a certain in- cubation time; as the destruction progresses the

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Table 3. Performance properties of wear resistant materials

Material

Tensile strength, MPa

Fracture strain, %

Wear resistance

Low-alloy austenitic manganese steel Austenitic manganese hard steel Unalloyed steels High-strength low-alloy steels Pearlitic steels

600

15

very low

550

50

medium

420

20

extremely low

600

18

extremely low

500 – 600 500 – 600

12

extremely low

Martensitic

steels

15 – 20

medium

Ledeburitic steels Heat-treated 66 (gray cast iron) Heat-treated 666 (nodular iron)

600

2

high

250

< 0.5

very low

500

3

low

Pearlitic white cast iron Martensitic white cast iron High-chromium white cast iron Co – Cr – W – C alloy Hard metal

250

< 0.5

high

350

< 0.5

very high

500

< 0.5

very high

500

< 0.5

very high

500

< 0.5

extremely high

interconnected holes eventually form a spongy structure.

interconnected holes eventually form a spongy structure. Figure 16. Maximum tolerable flow rates (water) as a

Figure 16. Maximum tolerable flow rates (water) as a func- tion of material hardness for various copper alloys

In general, the strength and the fatigue strength are the most important material param- eters for resistance to cavitation; hardness is therefore often used as a measure. With simi- lar microstructures, the metal with the higher hardness has the more favorable behavior, and where different metals have the same hardness, the resistance improves with increasing tough- ness. As cavitation attack takes place locally, the behavior is determined by the structural consti- tution to a greater extent with this type of erosion than with others. A homogeneous, fine-grained microstructure is required; soft inclusions and

soft, or very brittle, grain boundaries reduce the resistance.

Table 4. Maximum permissible flow rates for pure water and sea- water

Material

Flow rate, m/s

Pure water

Seawater

Aluminum Copper Copper + As Copper + Fe

1.2 – 1.5

1.0

1.8

1.0

2.1

1.0

4.0

1.5

CuZn28Sn

2.0 – 2.4 ca. 3.0

1.5 – 2.0 ca. 2.0

Al bronze

CuNi10Fe

5.0

2.4

CuNi30Fe

6.0

4.5

Steel

3 – 62 – 5

Nickel alloys

30

15 – 25 6– 8

Plastics

6– 8

The following factors increase the resistance to cavition erosion:

1) High corrosion resistance 2) Homogeneity 3) Ductility 4) Compressive residual stress 5) High strain-hardening capability 6) Smooth surface 7) Fine-grained structure 8) Fine-grained hard inclusions 9) High content of hard components 10) Layer structure 11) Wrought structure

while the following reduce the resistance:

1) Low corrosion resistance 2) Heterogeneity 3) Brittleness 4) Tensile residual stress

Abrasion and Erosion

13

5) Low strain-hardening capability 6) Rough surface 7) Coarse-grained structure 8) Coarse-grained hard inclusions 9) High content of soft components 10) Dendritic structure 11) Cast structure

The data provided by Piltz [30] and Rein- gans [31] can be used as guides for the selection of materials. As with other types of erosion, the superpo- sition of a corrosion process also has to be taken into account where damage by cavitation occurs. Removal of material by corrosion after destruc- tion of protective covering layers often repre- sents the more intensive attack, and the corrosion resistance of the material is then the dominant property. A comparable stress occurs with drop im- pingement, characterized by repeated, short- time liquid impacts. The comments made above about cavitation also apply here to the material behavior.

about cavitation also apply here to the material behavior. Figure 17. Relationship between wear and the

Figure 17. Relationship between wear and the reciprocal product of tensile strength S and fracture strain ε for poly- mers 1) Poly(methyl methacrylate); 2) Low-density polyethy- lene; 3) Polystyrene; 4) Polyoxymethylene; 5) Polyamide 66; 6) Polypropylene; 7) Epoxy resin; 8) Polytetraflu- oroethylene; 9) PMMA – acrylonitrile copolymer; 10) Polyester; 11) Polychlorotrifluoroethylene; 12) Polycar- bonate; 13) Polyamide 11; 14) ABS; 15) Poly(phenylene oxide); 16) Polysulfone; 17) Poly(vinyl chloride); 18) Poly(vinylidene chloride)

17) Poly(vinyl chloride); 18) Poly(vinylidene chloride) Figure 18. Wear relative to St 37 as a function

Figure 18. Wear relative to St 37 as a function of impact angle for various materials (abrasive: quartz sand, particle size 0.2 – 1.5 mm, HV = 1250)

Since residual stresses counteract the external loading of the material they can increase resis- tance to destruction perceptibly. In this sense, strain hardening has a similar effect to carbur- ization and nitriding [32].

3.2. Plastics and Elastomers

The relationship between wear and surface hard- ness obtained for metals would predict a com- paratively poor behavior for polymers. However, their special structural features give rise to prop- erties that can play a special role in wear. The viscoelastic deformation behavior is characterized by time-, temperature- and velocity-dependent deformation processes. Rel- atively low levels of hardness and strength, high plasticity, low thermal conductivity, and

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Table 5. Jet wear of polymers and metals

Material

Hardness

Abrasive *

Relative wear W /W St37

Steel T 80 H Polyurethane Poly(vinyl chloride) Polyurethane Poly(vinyl chloride) Rubber Poly(vinyl chloride) Steel St 37 Low-pressure polyethylene Steel St 34 Poly(vinyl chloride) Polyamide 6, Grilon R 50 Polyamide 6, Grilon R 70 Copper High-pressure polyethylene Low-pressure polyethylene Polyamide 11, Rilsan Besvo Low-pressure polyethylene Low-pressure polyethylene Polyamide 6, Ultramid Aluminum Brass Aluminum Polyamide 11 Poly(vinyl chloride) Poly(vinyl chloride) Resitex Poly(vinyl chloride) Glass Lead Plexiglas Pertinax Epoxy resin with glass fiber Epoxy resin with hardener and quartz powder

590 HV 18 Shore D 5 Shore D 34 Shore D 10 Shore D 17 Shore D 14 Shore D 122 HV 60 Shore D 124 HV 17 Shore D 62 Shore D 64 Shore D 99 HV 42 Shore D 58 Shore D 71 Shore D 58 Shore D 60 Shore D 70 Shore D 39 HV 150 HV 29 HV 69 Shore D 52 Shore D 78 Shore D 89 Shore D 76Shore D 6– 7 Mohs 4 HV 85 Shore D 92 Shore D 86Shore D 84 Shore D

II

0.109

II

0.143

II

0.143

II

0.403

II

0.42

II

0.57

II

0.96

I

1.0

I

1.06

I

1.07

II

1.12

I

1.33

I

1.33

I

1.36

II

1.4

II

1.4

I

1.81

I

2.0

II

2.0

I

2.21

II

2.68

I

2.76

II

3.23

I

3.31

II

4.2

II

6.3

II

8.2

II

8.5

II

9.7

II

10.5

II

10.75

II

18.5

II

19.5

II

31

* Abrasive I: sand, HV = 5000 MPa, particle size 0.9 mm;

Abrasive II: sand, HV = 7200 – 8100 MPa, particle size 0.3 – 0.5 mm

high thermal expansion are effects of the weak secondary bonding forces between the macro- molecules and their coiled structures. In particular, the low tendency to adhesion gives polymers their good slip characteristics with steels as the sliding partners – in the ab- sence of additional abrasive particles – because of the low frictional forces involved, and the slip system is characterized by additional emer- gency running properties. Polyamide and PTFE occupy the prime positions here as they possess good cohesive linkage properties compared with other unreinforced polymers [33], [34]. If abrasive sliding stress is present, the de- pendence on hardness known for metals can- not really be depicted in the same way. It has been demonstrated that polymers exhibit a good relationship between wear resistance and crack propagation energy, or even between wear and the product of tensile strength and fracture strain; see Figure 17 [35].

Due to their material properties, polymers have proved successful where streams of small particles cause impact stress in addition to slid- ing wear, i.e., with abrasive impact wear and with erosive attack. Although polymers gener- ally have poor resistance to abrasive sliding at- tack, their ductility, especially of elastomers, leads to a behavior superior to that of met- als when the impacting component is dominant (Fig. 18) [36]. Their behavior therefore differs significantly depending on the angle of impact. The material becomes heated due to internal fric- tion, which can lead to complete failure at high jet intensities. The preferred elastomers include the polyurethanes and synthetic rubbers because of their outstanding resistance to wear. In polyurethanes, greater resistance is found in the hardness range 70 – 95 Shore A, whereas normal grades of rubber reach their optimum between 50 and 70 Shore A [37]. It is not possible to

Abrasion and Erosion

15

separate the influencing factors systematically with respect to tribological behavior because of the large number of additives, types of rubber, and applications (see Table 5) [38], [39]. If, for rubber and C 60 H steel, the amount of wear relative to St 37 steel is plotted versus the impact angle and the hardness of the jet material then, according to [40], it is possible to show the very different wear behavior of these two mate- rials (Fig. 19).

3.3. Ceramics

Ceramic materials have gained increasing im- portance over the last few decades; in addition to corrosion resistance and suitability for high temperatures the resistance to wear is the im- portant property of these materials. The above- mentioned properties of the sintered body can be varied over a wide range by adjusting the pow- dered raw material. The nonmetallic, mechanically resistant ma- terials which are constituents of the ceramic ma- terials can be subdivided into oxidic and nonoxi- dic materials [41]. High melting points and hard- nesses are the outstanding properties, as shown in Table 6. :

Table 6. Hard materials

Material

mp, C

, g/cm 3

Vickers hard- ness HV 0.2

Oxides Al 2 O 3 ZrO 2 TiO 2 Carbides TiC TaC WC SiC B 4 C Nitrides TiN TaN Si 3 N 4 BN (cubic) Borides TiB ZrB Carbon Diamond

2

2

2050

3.9

2300

2700

5.7

1100

1860

4.2

1000

3150

4.9

3200

3780

14.5

1790

2600

15.7

2080

2180

3.2

3000

2450

2.5

3500

2950

5.2

2450

3090

13.8

3230

1900

3.2

1400

3000 *

3.48

8000

2900

4.4

3480

2990

6.0

2200

3750

3.5

8000 – 10 000

* Sublimes.

Alumina is the most important oxidic abrasion-resistant material. Metal carbides are in some ways superior to oxides with respect to

hardness and melting point, but they are much more brittle than the oxides and are only used in isolated instances as wearing bodies. Silicon carbide is characterized by its low thermal ex- pansion and high thermal conductivity and has proved to be more resistant to thermal shock than oxides. Zirconia is tougher than alumina; its modulus of elasticity is only about half as large and is comparable with that of steel. Zirconia is therefore very suitable for compound structures with steel. At present the applications of ceramic sintered materials in chemical plant construction are slide rings, pump parts, and slide bearings.

4. Surface Treatment and Coatings

The fact that wear starts at the surface of the workpiece suggests that only the tribologically stressed surface should be strengthened instead of making the entire component out of wear- resistant material. It should be borne in mind that the base material has to fulfill other, for ex- ample, load-bearing functions as well as surface stressing, i.e., the surface which has been made wear-resistant must not interfere unduly with the component. If the material involved can be hardened then various methods can be used to harden the sur- face to a certain depth by structural transforma- tion, making it resistant to wear. These include induction, flame hardening, HF impulse, elec- tron, and laser jet methods. In case hardening, a steel which originally cannot be hardened is made hardenable by inward diffusion of carbon, sometimes also with nitrogen; hardening is then carried out by rapid quenching. The hardness achieved is governed essentially by the contents of dissolved C and N; the usual depths of appli- cation are 0.5 to 2 mm. Nitride layers are produced after treatment in a salt bath or in a gas atmosphere by inward diffusion, usually below 600 C. Unlike trans- formation hardening, which is effected by lattice distortion as a result of embedded carbon atoms, nitriding and boriding provide the surface with an exceptional increase in hardness by the for- mation of an intermetallic bonding layer. These bonding layers also increase the general corro- sion resistance, but they are so thin that they can break by mechanical point loading.

16

Abrasion and Erosion

16 Abrasion and Erosion Figure 19. Dependence of jet wear on the jet angle and the

Figure 19. Dependence of jet wear on the jet angle and the hardness of the impinging mineral

Hardfacing, on the other hand, is a thick layer process. By means of various welding tech- niques, wear resistant alloys in rod, wire, or powder form build strong metallurgical bonds in the fused state with the surface, which is also fused. Mixing should be kept as low as possible. There is an exceptionally large variety of addi- tives available on the market and, among other things, the requirement for mechanical worka- bility must be taken into account. Most filler metals are alloyed on an Fe-base, but Ni or Co can also be the main constituents where high- temperature and/or additional corrosion resis-

tance is required. Where flat or rotationally sym- metrical surfaces have to be coated over large areas, automatic or fully-mechanized welding is much cheaper than manual welding [42]. Sheet metal plating by roll-bonded or explo- sion plating is not always as effective as weld plating with respect to adhesion. As the plating material must be very plastically deformable to achieve an intimate bond with the supporting material, highly wear resistant and high-strength materials are unsuitable for the purpose. Never- theless, this method is widely used in chemical technology because to a large extent corrosion

Abrasion and Erosion

17

stresses are superimposed on the wear processes. The selection of highly corrosion resistant alloys applied to mechanically heavily stressed base bodies provides satisfactory solutions to the ma- jority of problems in the construction of vessels and pipes [43]. Thermal spraying can cause even greater adhesion problems than those of the above- mentioned coating methods. Unlike hardfacing, after the coating additive has been fused in a flame, arc, or plasma it is projected against the cold or only slightly heated base. Adhesion to the surface and the density of the layer itself can differ greatly depending on the intensity of the spraying and the possibility of reaction with the surrounding medium on the way to the base ma- terial. From a micrograph it can be seen that, depending on the process used, the layers have a particular structure caused by agglomeration of many fine globules of molten material, which become deformed on impact and leave a visible porosity in the composite material. The most important groups of materials for wire flame spraying and arc spraying are

1) Low- and high-alloy steels 2) Bronzes, nonferrous metals such as nickel, copper, zinc, Monel metal, brass, aluminum

Powder flame spraying is a versatile method of thermal coating and also handles

1) Special steel alloys with embedded mechani- cally resistant materials 2) Ceramics with fairly high melting points

3)

So-called self-flowing Cr – Ni – B – Si alloys which, after the actual spraying process – without any adhesion layer – are submitted in a second operation to subsequent treatment at about 1100 C (liquid-phase sintering); this produces virtually pore-free layers with good adhesion characteristics.

Substantially higher temperatures are reached in the plasma process, so protective layers can be produced from high-melting ox- ides, carbides, and borides. The higher thermal energy and higher velocity produce improved homogeneity and adhesive strength. The quality of this method is improved by the use of an inert atmosphere under reduced pres- sure. Individual alloying elements are not burnt off, oxide and nitride formation is suppressed, and adhesion and layer structure is improved.

Typical materials and applications for vac- uum plasma spraying are:

1)

M – Cr – Al – Y alloys for protection against

2)

corrosion by hot gases Carbides (WC, Co – Cr 3 C 2 , NiCr – TiC –

NbC) for protection against abrasive wear and erosion 3) Oxides and refractory metals for the forma- tion of thick protective coatings [44]

The use of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) for form- ing coatings of carbides, borides, nitrides, and oxides has increased. The CVD method has been furthest developed for the deposition of TiC, TiN, CrC, WC, and Al 2 O 3 [45–48]. Surface treatment and coating of metals are discussed in more detail in Corrosion, Chap. 5. and in Metals, Surface Treatment.

5. Practical Examples of Abrasion and Erosion Damage

Chemical industry with its manifold process steps involves conveying products from vessels or tanks through pipelines to other vessels where new products are produced by chemical reac- tions, and then to still further apparatuses where the solutions or mixture of products are sepa- rated from one another. The process steps also include mechanical processing such as com- minution, kneading, and granulating. Produc- tion of large quantities requires a continuous material flow. This can be achieved most easily with fluid phases which are transported in con- veying units. Erosion and abrasion are therefore the predominant types of wear in the main chem- ical plant components, while sliding wear, elas- tic rolling wear, and oscillation wear are found more in drives and machinery. Transport velocities remain within defined limits and material flows are relatively constant, so characteristic wear data which have been determined under realistic conditions are quite readily transferable. Wear, as a form of damage, does not play a dominant part in chemical plants. Nevertheless, it does occur and the following ex- amples give an impression of the diversity.

18

Abrasion and Erosion

5.1. Sliding Wear, Elastic Rolling Wear, and Oscillation Wear

The pulsation in gases which have been com- pressed in reciprocating compressors must be adequately damped before the gases are trans- ferred to heat exchangers for cooling. This damping was not sufficient in the case of oxygen compression described here, so that the baffles were continuously striking against the support- ing spacer tubes; they deformed them increas- ingly and caused sliding wear to the tubes seated tightly against them (Fig. 20).

wear to the tubes seated tightly against them (Fig. 20). Figure 20. Sliding wear on copper

Figure 20. Sliding wear on copper tubes of a heat exchanger for oxygen

Instances of damage caused by sliding oc- cur quite frequently in piston machines. In the rotary compressor shown (Roots type) for am- monia compression the damage occurred after approximately 60 000 h operation (Fig. 21).

occurred after approximately 60 000 h operation (Fig. 21). Figure 21. Sliding wear damage on the

Figure 21. Sliding wear damage on the rotary piston of a Roots compressor for ammonia

The centrifugal pump is the most important hydraulic machine for setting a fluid in motion

and for increasing the pressure of the transported medium. Its roller bearings are highly stressed parts with a limited life. This can be shortened considerably if axial shocks are transmitted from the flowing liquid as a result of large numbers of stops and starts, i.e., predominantly discontinu- ous operation. This is often indicated by running tracks displaced towards the edges (Fig. 22).

by running tracks displaced towards the edges (Fig. 22). Figure 22. Surface destruction of a ball-bearing

Figure 22. Surface destruction of a ball-bearing inner race as a result of intermittent axial overloading

Predominantly transient stressing (radial im- pacts) occurred at the piston of an oxygen com- pressor where the surface of a stuffing box cham- ber ring showed tribochemical reaction zones as a result of heating in contact with oxygen (Fig. 23). Because of the danger of spontaneous ignition of metals in the presence of compressed oxygen any processes involving friction in such machines must be treated with great caution.

in such machines must be treated with great caution. Figure 23. Tribochemical reaction and surface destruction

Figure 23. Tribochemical reaction and surface destruction on the brass piston of an oxygen compressor

Abrasion and Erosion

19

5.2. Abrasion Wear

Where abrasive impact wear occurs in hammer mills, such as those used for comminution of raw coal in power stations, continuous replacement of plain plates of unalloyed steel is preferred to the application of sustantially more expensive materials with only moderately improved ser- vice lives. Three-body abrasive wear occurs relatively frequently in machines used for process engi- neering as the materials processed often contain additives with abrasive properties. This is par- ticularly true for the large number of barrel ex- truders used for kneading and milling processes. It is found, for example, in the draining of un- vulcanized rubber, in which the moisture con- tent is reduced from 60 to 10 % under a pres- sure of 6– 8 MPa. Screw elements made of 13 % Cr steel withstood these conditions for several years without any signs of wear. However, when the unvulcanized rubber contains carbon black the service life of screws made of X 40 Cr 13 is only about one year, even after hard-facing with Hastelloy C (16% Cr, 16% Mo, remainder Ni), Figure 24. This carbon black can be pro- cessed, for example, in a wet comminution mill:

1.5 t/h carbon black is ground with 30 t/h water at 3000 rpm between a stator and a rotor adjusted to a gap of approximately 0.4 mm. Both parts have impact ribs with special profiling and various flow diverters. In this case the most economi- cal solution was again to design the elements as wearing parts made of 18 % Cr steel and replace them after 7000 – 10 000 h operation (Fig. 25).

replace them after 7000 – 10 000 h operation (Fig. 25). Figure 24. Three-body abrasive wear,

Figure 24. Three-body abrasive wear, caused by carbon black, on a draining screw, hard-faced with Hastelloy C, used for unvulcanized rubber

hard-faced with Hastelloy C, used for unvulcanized rubber Figure 25. Impact ribs (18 % Cr steel)

Figure 25. Impact ribs (18 % Cr steel) of a wet comminution mill eroded by water containing carbon black

The screw housings which enclose the screw shafts are exposed to high stresses, similar to those in the screw combs of the extruders. The product, which is processed under high pres- sures, stresses the surface to an exceptional ex- tent, especially in the so-called kneading zones of worm extruders. If glass fibers or glass balls are added to the product (in this case, polypropy- lene), even wear-protecting layers (60 % Ni, 18 % Co, 13 % Cr, 2 % Mo, 1 % C) applied by centrifugal casting have only limited service life (Fig. 26). A suitable method of coating with ap- propriate protective material should be selected to suit the type of stressing.

material should be selected to suit the type of stressing. Figure 26. Abrasive wear caused by

Figure 26. Abrasive wear caused by glass-fiber-containing polypropylene on the high-alloy protective coating (60 % Ni, 18 % Co, 2 % Mo, 1 % C) of a screw housing

Permanent magnet pumps with no seals are being used increasingly for the sake of imission protection. The medium to be transported, in this case liquefied petroleum gas, flows through a gap of less than 1 mm around the non-contact internal rotor, which is fitted with permanent

20

Abrasion and Erosion

magnets. Magnetite particles (Fe 3 O 4 ) originat- ing from the pipeline adhere to the outer surface of the internal rotor and cause permanent slid- ing abrasion at the isolation shell and the rotor, (Fig. 27); finally, this causes the entire pump sys- tem to leak.

27); finally, this causes the entire pump sys- tem to leak. Figure 27. Abrasive wear on

Figure 27. Abrasive wear on the inner rotor of a canned pump caused by adhering magnetite particles

5.3. Damage by Particle Erosion

Abrasive wear is found predominantly in con- veying equipment, but in pipelines and appara- tus erosive wear is more typical, and is caused by tribological stressing during the flow of fluids, usually with the involvement of solid particles. Unlike the welded joints in apparatus, the butt welds in pipelines can normally only be made from the outside. Depending on geometrical fac- tors (e.g., edge misalignment, difference in wall thickness) and the welding method, weld seam roots are often produced which have a very con- siderable sag. This can cause a great reduction in the flow cross section and also, depending on the flow conditions, marked turbulences be- hind the roots. Figure 28 shows a section of a pipe made of St 35.8 (unalloyed steel) in which the carbon black content in a liquid mixture of organic compounds caused a breach in the wall after 15 months’ operating time as a result of hy- droabrasion. The wall retained its original thick- ness only a few centimeters behind the point of turbulence, which illustrates the effect of the an- gle of incidence of the particle on the surface.

of the an- gle of incidence of the particle on the surface. Figure 28. Hydroabrasive wear

Figure 28. Hydroabrasive wear caused by a liquid contain- ing carbon black in an unalloyed steel pipe as a result of turbulences behind a weld

High mechanical stressing occurs when dis- persions of plastics are atomized at high pres- sure. Under some circumstances the acceleration in a cone leading to the jet hole (a few tenths of a millimeter in diameter) and passage through the hole can change the geometry of a jet in a very short time by erosion. This can affect hard metals and oxide ceramics as well as steel. Due to the forces of acceleration produced in cen- trifugal pumps, they are particularly liable to hydroabrasive wear. Corrosion-resistant pumps made of cast CrNi (1.4408) had to be replaced af- ter only 6months’ operating time; this was due to the erosion damage shown in Figure 29 because the sharp-edged CuBi catalyst suspended in the aqueous solution had almost eroded through the pump cover.

aqueous solution had almost eroded through the pump cover. Figure 29. Pump cover (18-8 CrNi cast)

Figure 29. Pump cover (18-8 CrNi cast) eroded by sharp- edged catalyst particles in the liquid

Even a ducted-wheel pump made of G-X3 CrNiMoCu 24 6(Noridur 9.4460) hardly lasted any longer, but the tempered and quenched cast

Abrasion and Erosion

21

alloy G-X170 CrMo 25 2 (Niroloy NL 262) had a service life of several years. When solid particles are carried in a gas stream and not in a guided liquid stream, any changes in flow direction are very important as, due to the large difference in density, the solid particles are pressed with high force on to the tube surface which guides the flow. The veloci- ties of the transported gas may be very high and then, as a result of intensive sliding jet wear at localized points, lead to short term, but usually accelerated, loss of wall thickness and to rupture of the tube bends. An example of this is provided by bends from tube furnaces for the production, for example, of ethylene. Because of the high operating temper- atures of over 900 C, the required creep strength and oxidation resistance are usually obtained by using high-alloy materials (e.g., 30 % Cr, 30 % Ni) and considerably increasing the wall thick- ness at the bends. Figure 30 shows localized penetration of this type. The wear stressing oc- curs during repeated decoking with superheated steam.

oc- curs during repeated decoking with superheated steam. Figure 30. Bend in a tube furnace for

Figure 30. Bend in a tube furnace for ethylene production, worn by sliding jet wear (material: CrNi 30/30 alloy)

A comparable situation occurs in waste heat boilers that utilize the high temperature of syn- thesis gas (CO, H 2 ) produced in an oil gasifica- tion plant for generating steam. Condensing and solidifying particles of slag often form a dense and tightly adhering coating in the gas-carrying tubes, with the result that over a long period the system provides its own protection against jet wear on the heat-resistant, low-alloy steels used. When there are changes in the mode of opera- tion, this protective action often fails locally – the gas velocity apparently plays an important

role here – and the protective layer and the tube elbow are worn away in a very restricted area, as if with a milling cutter (Fig. 31).

very restricted area, as if with a milling cutter (Fig. 31). Figure 31. Tube elbow of

Figure 31. Tube elbow of a waste heat boiler whose pro- tective coating has been worn away in a restricted area by inclined jet wear, which ultimately penetrated the tube

by inclined jet wear, which ultimately penetrated the tube Figure 32. Plasma-coated protective shell of a

Figure 32. Plasma-coated protective shell of a steam super- heater tube, damaged by impact jet wear at ca. 1000 C

Superimposition of flow and transient stress- ing by particles in the gas flow, which is charac- teristic of impact wear and inclined jet wear, is not found to any great extent in chemical plants but does occur in power stations. It affects the first contact heating surfaces where the ash par- ticles, at temperatures up to 1000 C rising at ca. 10 m/s with the flue gas, lead to impact jet wear. These tubes, which are under high steam pressure, are therefore usually protected with heat-resistant wear-protecting half shells. In the case described, comparative tests have shown that high-alloy austenitic alloys (with 25 % Cr, 20 % Ni, and Si) last longer than high-chromium ferritic steels that have been plasma coated with an oxide layer (Fig. 32). It is assumed that metal-

22

Abrasion and Erosion

lurgical changes and chemical reactions caused by the high temperature combine with the purely mechanical stressing to form the complex out- ward appearance. However, if the wear-induced break occurs in steam tubes, the expanding steam escaping at high velocity causes erosion on adjacent tubes. Although in this case there are again solid par- ticles entrained in the flue gas, microscopic ob- servation of the affected surface shows that, un- like the situation with particle jet wear, there is an ripple structure, typical of steam jet action (Fig. 33).

an ripple structure, typical of steam jet action (Fig. 33). Figure 33. Scanning electron micrograph of

Figure 33. Scanning electron micrograph of the surface of a steam tube (material: 12 % Cr steel) damaged by a steam jet

5.4. Solid Particles-Free Erosion

Heat transfer systems are one of the basic re- quirements of thermal process technology. De- pending on the purpose of the heat exchange, the terms evaporator, liquefier or condenser, super- heater, boiler, and many others, are also used. If the flows of material taking part in the heat transfer are separated from one another by walls, the process is called indirect heat exchange. In general, the flow conditions and prevailing ther- mal conditions are sufficiently defined and main- tained, so only in critical cases does mechanical damage occur by erosion alone. Liquid erosion damage is to be expected if heating steam contains a proportion of conden- sate – again dependent on the angle of incidence. When compared with austenitic steels, steam- heated, high-pressure pipes made of low-alloy ferritic steel prove to be insufficiently resistant

if the heating is carried out with incompletely dried steam at 2 MPa (Fig. 34).

out with incompletely dried steam at 2 MPa (Fig. 34). Figure 34. Steam-heated high-pressure pipe showing

Figure 34. Steam-heated high-pressure pipe showing liquid erosion damage due to condensate carried with the steam

Rotary compressors include liquid ring pumps, in which a rotor eccentric to the hous- ing opens and closes chambers of different sizes with the aid of a liquid ring; they are used as compressors and vacuum pumps. Under some circumstances cavitation of spontaneously va- porizing liquid can lead to damage to the ro- tor at the narrowest gap between the rotor and the housing, as in the example shown in Fig- ure 35, where the rotor is made of nodular cast iron GGG 42. The different resistance to cavita- tional stressing can be seen clearly on the sur- face, where the harder iron phosphide eutectic is largely retained, while the iron matrix has been worn away (Fig. 36). There is also the possibil- ity that a certain corrosive component has con- tributed to the damage, so this may be a case of cavitation corrosion.

to the damage, so this may be a case of cavitation corrosion. Figure 35. Cavitation damage

Figure 35. Cavitation damage on a cast iron pump rotor

Abrasion and Erosion

23

Abrasion and Erosion 23 Figure 36. Micrograph of the rotor shown in Figure 35; al- though

Figure 36. Micrograph of the rotor shown in Figure 35; al- though the iron matrix has been removed by cavitation, the more resistant iron phosphide eutectic remained unaffected

more resistant iron phosphide eutectic remained unaffected Figure 37. Cavitation erosion in a steel (St. 35.8)

Figure 37. Cavitation erosion in a steel (St. 35.8) heat ex- changer tube due to excessive heating

Comparable conditions also caused the dam- age shown in the following examples. Damage occurred only in the region of the gas inlet of a shell-and-tube heat exchanger in which the tubes carry water in closed circuit for cooling. This was because local vaporization of the water followed immediately by collapse of the vapor bubbles led to deep holes, while immediately after the gas inlet point the existing protective layer remained completely undamaged on the unalloyed steel. The weakening visible in the micrograph resembles that of pitting corrosion, and clearly the already broken protective layer remains electrochemically active so that a corro- sive removal mechanism is superimposed. The hammering effect of the micro jet becomes ob- vious from Figure 37. In steam turbines even a chromium steel X 20 Cr 13 with otherwise good resistance properties is permanently damaged by

impingement of droplets at a water content of ap- proximately 8 % at room temperature (Fig. 38).

of ap- proximately 8 % at room temperature (Fig. 38). Figure 38. Impingement attack on a

Figure 38. Impingement attack on a steam turbine blade (X 20 Cr 13)

A type of drop impingement can also lead to purely mechanical damage and deformation on such parts where a liquid-filled gap, in this case between parts of a canned motor pump made of steel 1.4408, is submitted to transient stressing in the axial direction with simultaneous oscillat- ing radial movement without contact between the metal surfaces (Fig. 39).

without contact between the metal surfaces (Fig. 39). Figure 39. Surface destruction of the case (18-8

Figure 39. Surface destruction of the case (18-8 CrNi steel) of a canned motor pump

The reason for this unusual type of stress- ing was incorrect assembly in which the jointed parts had not been correctly secured.

5.5. Damage Caused by Erosion – Corrosion

The chemical resistance of many metals to elec- trolytes is achieved because the reaction prod- ucts adhere to the surface, hindering ionic trans-

24

Abrasion and Erosion

port that controls the electrochemical dissolu- tion process. Guide values can therefore be pro- vided, for example, for the maximum velocity of drinking water up to which certain copper al- loys, steels, and titanium retain their protective coatings, and only when the measured values are exceeded is removal of the protective layer to be expected. In many cases unalloyed steel and cooling water operating under defined flow conditions represent the most economical solu- tion for heat exchangers in the chemical indus- try. Even then, the alternating actions of erosion and corrosion can cause significant damage due to the design and the associated changes in flow direction, although with smooth flow it is pos- sible to maintain a protective covering layer for many years. Cases of this type of damage can be clearly demonstrated in heat exchangers from a CO con- version process in which the gas preheats the re- circulating water (nominal pressure 6.4 MPa) to a maximum of 220 C: excessive water veloci- ties through perforated impact plates, at changes in direction, and at tube openings through baffles prevented the formation of a complete protective layer; this led to progressive wear through liquid erosion accelerated by electrolytic dissolution of the metal (Fig. 40). It was possible to eliminate this type of erosion on the internal surfaces of vessels completely and permanently when they were spray-coated with stainless Cr – Ni steel.

when they were spray-coated with stainless Cr – Ni steel. Figure 40. Due to the high

Figure 40. Due to the high flow velocity of the cooling wa- ter, the protective layer was removed from heat exchanger tubes (St. 35.8) and sheets (St. 37), leading to intensive ero- sion – corrosion

Loss of material by preferential erosion – corrosion caused by the flow conditions can be seen at a product outlet connection of a wash col-

umn made of 15 Mo 3 (DN 300). The high veloc- ity together with the slightly corrosive medium is entirely responsible for the loss in wall thick- ness (Fig. 41).

responsible for the loss in wall thick- ness (Fig. 41). Figure 41. Erosion – corrosion due

Figure 41. Erosion – corrosion due to turbulence of the liq- uid caused by the reduction in diameter of a pipe (nominal diameter 300 mm, 15 Mo 5)

Occasionally the free fall of a corrosive liquid is also sufficient to remove protective layers and promote the corrosion process, as can be seen in a melting apparatus for dodecanedioic acid (Fig. 42).

in a melting apparatus for dodecanedioic acid (Fig. 42). Figure 42. Erosion – corrosion caused by

Figure 42. Erosion – corrosion caused by dripping molten acid (material: 18-8 CrNi steel)

Crystalline acid with a moisture content of 10 – 20 % is fed through a filling hopper and melted by heating tubes made of 18-8 CrNi steel, and the vapor produced is driven off. This dam- age, a combination of erosion and corrosion, occurred at the region of highest temperature. The complex stress profile of the extruder screw may also be demonstrated with the example of

a kneader for unvulcanized rubber, in which, as

a result of a localized escape of fumaric acid

Abrasion and Erosion

25

and very small quantities of water, serious dam- age occurred within one day due to superim- posed erosion and corrosion of a kneading ele- ment made of quenched and tempered ionitrided chromium steel X 35 CrMo 17 (Fig. 43).

tempered ionitrided chromium steel X 35 CrMo 17 (Fig. 43). Figure 43. Superposition of erosion and

Figure 43. Superposition of erosion and corrosion in a kneading element of a rubber extruder (material: X 35 CrMo 17, ionitrided)

Conclusion. In chemical plants the prob- lems of wear play a significantly smaller role than those of errosion. Damage in the component equipment and pipelines is met relatively rarely, although abrasion and erosion can occasionally be very detrimental to the potential availabil- ity of the plant components at risk. However, it is a different question with machines and con- veying units, in which exceptionally high wear stresses can sometimes result from the influence of high flow velocities and high accelerations at housing walls, and especially at sliding seal el- ements. The manufacturing industries make use of the most modern materials technology to con- trol these problems. Nevertheless, design mea- sures also have to be chosen so that components which are exposed to particular stresses and have limited service lives are designed as easily re- placeable wearing parts.

6. References

1. BMFT-Report: Damit Rost und Verschleiß nicht Milliarden fressen, BMFT, Bonn 1984.

2. B. Genath: “Der Verschleiß ist das Sorgenkind im Maschinenbau,” VDI-Nachr. 52 (1971) no. 47, 1, 6, 7.

3. DIN 50 320:Dec. 1979.

4.

K. H. Zum Gahr: “Grundlagen des Verschleißes,” in: Metallische und nichtmetallische Werkstoffe und ihre

Verarbeitungsverfahren im Vergleich, part III, VDI-Ber. 600.3 (1987) 29 – 56.

5.

H. Uetz, K. Sommer:

“Abrasiv-Gleitverschleiß,” in: H. Uetz (ed.):

Abrasion und Erosion, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munchen¨ – Wien 1986, pp. 108 – 157.

6.

K. H. Zum Gahr: “Einfluß des Makroaufbaus von Stahl/Polymer-Faserverbundwerkstoffen auf den Abrasivverschleiß,” Z. Werkstofftech. 16 (1985) 297 – 305.

7.

H. Wahl: “Verschleißprobleme im Braunkohlenbergbau,” Braunkohle Warme¨ Energie 3 (1951) 75 – 87.

8.

R. Schulmeister: “Zur Untersuchung der

Werkstoffzerstorung¨

durch Kavitation und

Korrosion mit Ultraschall-Koppelschwingern,” Metalloberflache¨ 21 (1967) no. 1, 17 – 25.

9.

H. Rieger: Kavitation und Tropfenschlag, Werkstofftechnische Verlagsgesellschaft, Karlsruhe 1977.

10.

H. Brauer, E. Kriegel: “Probleme des Verschleißes von Rohrleitungen beim pneumatischen und hydraulischen Feststofftransport,” Maschinenmarkt 71 (1965) no. 68, 140 – 151.

11.

J. M. Hutchings: “Some Comments on the Theoretical Treatment of Erosive Particle Impacts,” Proc. 5th Int. Conf. on Erosion by Solid and Liquid Impact, Cambridge 1979.

12.

G. Gommel: Stoßuntersuchungen Stahlkugel/Stahlplatte im Zusammenhang mit

Strahlmittelzertrummerung¨ und Strahlverschleiß, Dissertation, TH Stuttgart

1966.

13.

J. S. Rinehard, J. Pearson: Behavior of Metals

Under Impulsive Load, American Society of

Metals, Cleveland 1954.

14.

K. Wellinger, H. Uetz: “Strahlverschleiß,” Tech. Rundsch., 8 (1958) 1 – 8.

15.

J. Fohl:¨

“Strahl- und Spulverschleiß,”¨

in: K. H.

Zum Gahr (ed.): Reibung und Verschleiß, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur¨ Metallkunde, Oberursel 1983, pp. 157 – 176.

16.

H.-G. Heitmann, W. Kastner:

“Erosionskorrosion in

Wasser-Dampf-Kreislaufen¨

– Ursachen und

Gegenmaßnahmen, VGB Kraftwerkstech. 62

(1982) 211 –219.

17.

H. Tischner: “Korrosionserscheinungen in

stromenden¨

Chemiepumpen,” Chem. Ing. Tech. 62 (1989) no. 3, 220 – 228.

Medien am Beispiel von

26

Abrasion and Erosion

18. C. Razim, C. Dull,¨ W. Rauchle:¨

¨

“ Uber die

Beeinflussung der Bauteil-Grundeigenschaften durch Verschleißschutzschichten,” VDI-Ber. 333 (1979) 11 – 22.

19. K. Wellinger, H. Uetz: “Gleitverschleiß,

Spulverschleiß,¨

Wirkung von kornigen¨

VDI-Forschungsh. 449, ed. B(1955) no. 21.

Strahlverschleiß unter der

Stoffen,”

20. M. Y. Gurleyik:¨

Gleitverschleißuntersuchungen an Metallen und nichtmetallischen Hartstoffen unter

Wirkung korniger¨

TH Stuttgart 1967.

Gegenstoffe, Dissertation,

21. F. Henke: “Niedrig- und hochlegierter verschleiß-fester Vergutungsstahlguß,”¨ Gießerei-Prax. 1975, no. 23/24, 377 – 407.

22. M. M. Krushchov, M. A. Babichev:

“Experimental Fundaments of Abrasive Wear Theory,” Russ. Eng. J. (Engl. Transl.) (1964)

no. 6, pp. 43 – 48.

23. H. Uetz, K. J. Groß: “Strahlverschleiß,” in: H. Uetz (ed.): Abrasion und Erosion, Carl Hanser

Verlag, Munchen¨

– Wien 1986, pp. 236 – 278.

24. J. G. A. Bitter: “A Study of Erosion

Phenomena,” Part I: Wear 6 (1963) 5 – 21; Part II: Wear 6 (1963) 69 – 190.

25. W. Wahl: “Unterschiedliche

Werkstoffbewahrung¨

beanspruchten Bauteilen,” VDI-Ber. 600.3

(1987) 245 – 286.

bei abrasiv

26. K. Heil: Erosionskorrosion an unlegierten Eisenwerkstoffen in schnellstromenden¨

Wassern,¨

Dissertation, TH Darmstadt 1979.

27. D. Kuron: “Korrosion durch Kuhlwasser¨

und

Schutzmaßnahmen,” in W. J. Bartz (ed.): Die Praxis des Korrosionsschutzes, Expert Verlag, Grafenau 1981.

28. H. Sick: “Die Erosionsbestandigkeit¨

von

Kupferwerkstoffen gegenuber¨

Wasser,” Werkst. Korros. 23 (1972) no. 1, 12 – 18.

stromendem¨

¨

29. H. Grein: “Kavitation – eine Ubersicht,” Sulzer

Forschungsh. 1974, 87 – 112.

30. H. H. Piltz: Werkstoffzerstorung¨

durch

Kavitation, VDI-Verlag, Dusseldorf¨

1966.

31. W. J. Rheingans: “Cavitation in Hydraulic

Turbines,” Symp. on Erosion and Cavitation, ASTM Spec. Tech. Publ. 307 (1962) 17 – 31.

32. K. H. Habig: Verschleiß und Harte¨

von

Werkstoffen, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munchen¨ Wien 1980, p. 215.

33. H. Uetz, J. Wiedemeyer: Tribologie der Polymere, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munchen¨ Wien 1985.

34. J. Wiedemeyer: “Deutung des tribologischen Verhaltens ungeschmierter Thermoplaste auf

der Basis von Modellrechnungen sowie experimentellen Ergebnissen,” Fortschr. Ber. VDI Z. Reihe 5 96 (1985).

35. J. K. Lancaster: “Abrasive Wear of Polymers,” Wear 14 (1969) 223 – 239.

36. K. Wellinger, H. Uetz, G. Gommel:

“Verschleiß durch Wirkung von kornigen¨ mineralischen Stoffen,” Materialprufung¨ (1967) no. 5, 153 – 160.

37. H.-D. Ruprecht: “Elastomere-Polyurethane,” in: H. Uetz (ed.): Abrasion und Erosion, Carl

9

Hanser Verlag, Munchen¨

pp. 438 – 450.

– Wien 1986,

38. H. P. Lachmann: “Elastomere-Gummi,” in H.

Uetz (ed.): Abrasion und Erosion, Carl Hanser

Verlag, Munchen¨

– Wien 1986, pp. 451 – 465.

39. H. Brauer, E. Kriegel: “Untersuchungen uber¨ den Verschleiß von Kunststoffen und Metallen,” Chem. Ing. Techn. 35 (1963) 697 – 707.

40. K. Wellinger, H. Uetz: “Verschleiß durch

mineralische Stoffe,” Aufbereit. Tech.

kornige¨

4 (1963) 193 – 204, 319 – 335.

41. E. Dorre:¨

“Nichtmetallische Hartstoffe,” in H.

Uetz (ed.): Abrasion und Erosion, Carl Hanser

Verlag, Munchen¨

– Wien 1986, pp. 451 – 465.

42. W. Wahl, I. Kretschmer, J. Wabnegger:

“Auftragschweißen,” in H. Uetz (ed.):

Abrasion und Erosion, Carl Hanser Verlag,

Munchen¨

– Wien 1986, pp. 374 –394.

43. H. Grafen:¨

“Beschichtungen in der

Chemietechnik,” in: Beschichtungen fur¨ Hochleistungs-Bauteile, VDI-Ber. 624 (1986) 273 – 296.

44. H.-M. Hohle:¨ “Thermische Spritzverfahren,” in: Beschichtungen fur¨ Hochleistungs-Bauteile, VDI-Ber. 624 (1986)

71 – 83.

45. F. Wendl: “Aktuelle Trends bei der

Oberflachenbehandlung¨

der Kunststoffverarbeitung,” Thyssen Edelstahl Tech. Ber. 15 (1989) no. 2, 110 – 125.

von Werkzeugen in

46. H.-A. Mathesius: “Herstellen von verschleißfesten Schichten mit Hilfe von CVD-Verfahren,” in: Beschichtungen fur¨ Hochleistungs-Bauteile, VDI-Ber. 624 (1986)

37 – 48.

47. H. Weiß: “Elektrochemische Beschichtung und Sonderverfahren der Oberflachentechnik,”¨

Thyssen Edelstahl Tech. Ber. 15 (1989) no. 2,

85 – 114.

48. H. Simon, M. Thoma: Angewandte

Oberflachentechnik¨

Carl Hanser Verlag, Munchen¨

fur¨ metallische Werkstoffe,

– Wien 1985.

Abrasives

1

Abrasives

Jean-Claude Menard, Federation of European Producers of Abrasives, 75041 Paris, France

Newman W. Thibault, Norton Co., Worcester, Massachusetts 01606, United States

1.

Introduction

1

2.

Natural Abrasives

1

2.1.

Quartz

1

2.2.

Garnet

2

2.3.

Corundum and Emery

2

2.4.

Diamond

2

3.

Manufactured Abrasives

3

3.1.

Fused Aluminum Oxides

3

3.1.1.

Raw Materials

3

3.1.2.

Furnace Designs

3

3.1.3.

Fused Alumina Types

3

3.2.

Fused Zirconia – Aluminas

5

3.3.

Sintered Aluminas

5

3.4.

Silicon Carbide

6

3.5.

Boron Carbide

6

3.6.

Diamond

7

3.7.

Cubic Boron Nitride

7

4.

Manufacture and Testing of Sized Grains

8

1. Introduction

An abrasive has been defined as “any of a wide variety of natural or manufactured substances used to grind, wear down, rub away, smooth, scour, clean or polish, often combined with a binder to make grinding wheels or affixed with glue to the surface of paper or cloth” [1]. Although this broad definition could include such products as plastic pads, metal wool, pumice, and various tools employing large sin- gle diamonds, as in bits for oil-well drilling, this article is limited to granular abrasives as hard as, or harder than, quartz (crystalline silicon di- oxide) with grit sizes from about 5 mm average diameter down to 1 µ m or smaller. The abra- sives can be used in their loose, bonded (grinding wheel), or coated (sandpaper) forms. Abrasives have applications that are so ex- tensive and varied that only the major ones are mentioned in this article. For further informa- tion see [2–12]. In addition major manufactur- ers of abrasives, bonded and coated products, and related trade organizations have their own brochures, reprints of published articles, etc.,

c 2005 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

5.

Physical and Chemical Properties .

11

5.1.

Hardness

11

5.2.

Grain Strength or Fracture Tough- ness

11

5.3.

Resistance to Attrition or Plastic Flow

12

6.

Loose-Grain Applications

12

7.

Bonded Abrasive Products

13

7.1.

Vitrified Bonds

13

7.2.

Organic Bonds

14

7.3.

Metal Bonds

15

8.

Coated Abrasive Products

15

8.1.

Components

15

8.2.

Production

16

8.3.

Applications

16

9.

International Quality Specifications 16

10.

Safety

16

11.

References

18

available on almost any aspect of the applica- tion of their products. Most of them, as well as some universities and miscellaneous organiza- tions, also have Internet sites.

2. Natural Abrasives

2.1. Quartz

Quartz [14808-60-7] is found worldwide. Ma- jor applications include the abrasive for common flint sandpaper used industrially for the finish- ing of nonmetallic substances, such as leather and felt, and also for miscellaneous household applications. Other uses are in sandblasting, in lapping of soft materials, as the cutting medium in wire sawing of soft stone, such as marble, and in scouring compounds. The use of this abrasive has declined greatly because inhalation of free silica dust may lead to silicosis. Quartz has been replaced to a considerable extent by manufac- tured abrasives, such as fused aluminum oxide and silicon carbide, as well as by garnet, glass, and slags.

2

Abrasives

2.2. Garnet

Mineralogically, the term garnet refers to a group of minerals with similar crystal structure but varying considerably in chemical composition. Most abrasive garnet is almandite [1302-62-1], an iron aluminum silicate, Fe 3 Al 2 (SiO 4 ) 3 . Almost all of the garnet used for high- performance coated abrasives is mined in the Adirondack area of New York State. The ore is crushed and beneficiated and the resulting gar- net is separated into various grit sizes and heat treated. This particular garnet is unique, as the mineral fractures to produce grains having sharp, continuous edges that are optimum for use as a coated abrasive. Also its hardness is at the upper end of the range for garnets. The coated product is used for finish sanding of wood in furniture and woodworking plants. Other U.S. operations in New York, Idaho, and Maine, and those elsewhere in the world, produce garnet of inferior quality for coated applications, but which is used extensively for sandblasting, metal lapping, and the fine grind- ing of glass. Estimated 1996world production in 10 3 t/a are [49]:

United States

68.2

India

15

Australia

40

China

15

Others

16.8

Total

155

Approximately 30 % of U.S. production was used for water-filtration applications.

2.3. Corundum and Emery

Corundum [1302-74-5] is a naturally occurring aluminum oxide mineral of high purity. Esti- mated production in 1990 in 10 3 t/a was [50]:

South America

0.25

Europe + CIS

10

Africa

20

Asia (India)

2

World total

32.25

The major use of corundum is for the loose- grain grinding and polishing of optical compo- nents. Emery [12415-34-8] consists predomi- nantly of corundum but also contains varying

amounts of other minerals, particularly mag- netite [1309-38-2] and hematite [1317-60-8]. High-quality emery has been produced on the Greek island of Naxos for at least 2000 years and also is mined in Turkey. Major uses include polishing metals with the coated products and incorporation of the abrasive in nonslip floors, pavements, and stair treads. The term “emery” has also been applied to a rock mined near Peekskill in New York State. Also known as spinel emery, it contains little or no corundum. However, because of its content of spinel [1302-67-6], a mineral with hardness between quartz and corundum, this “emery” has

utility in less demanding applications. Very lit- tle, however, is used for coated abrasives. Estimated world emery production in 1990 was 20 000 t/a and has decreased sharply since

1983.

2.4. Diamond

Diamonds [7782-40-3] apparently were found first in India and Borneo over 2000 years ago, but the discovery of them in South Africa in 1866 began an era of great expansion that is still con- tinuing (Carbon). Diamonds may be classified as gem quality, high-grade industrial, and bort, the borderlines between grades overlapping and varying with demand. Bort contains inclusions, microcracks, and other flaws, giving rise to translucency or opacity, off-color, etc. The material therefore is used almost exclusively in grain and powder forms. Most natural diamonds are single crys- tals, but carbonado [12414-51-6], a type found in Brazil, and ballas, found in Brazil and Africa, are polycrystalline in structure. They are espe- cially tough because of the absence of well- developed cleavage planes, and are particularly useful for heavy-duty applications, such as tru- ing and dressing grinding wheels. World production of natural industrial dia- monds in 1996in 10 6 carats, including bort, which accounts for over 85 %, was:

Congo (Kinshasa)

15

Russia

9.2

Botswana

5

Republic of South Africa

6

Australia

23.1

All others

3.3

Total

61.6

Abrasives

3

Australia is the worlds largest producer since the startup of the Argyle alluvial operation in Western Australia in January 1983. Major uses of diamonds are discussed in Sec- tion 3.6.

3. Manufactured Abrasives

3.1. Fused Aluminum Oxides

Differences in the composition of natural corun- dum and emery gave rise to variability in grind- ing wheel manufacture and in end-use perfor- mance. Therefore attempts were made to pro- duce more consistent synthetic corundum abra- sives. Although some early work was carried out in Europe, the first commercially successful product resulted from the experiments of C. B. Jacobs, C. M. Hall, and A. C. Higgins in the United States at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th [13]. This tech- nology was the foundation for a variety of fused aluminum oxide [1344-28-1] abrasives (Aluminum Oxide).

3.1.1. Raw Materials

Bauxite [1318-16-7] is used directly for the pro- duction of some fused alumina types, and in- directly, through the Bayer process, for other varieties. Largely for economic reasons, baux- ites used for the production of fused aluminum oxide abrasives are of relatively high Al 2 O 3 con- tent. Materials from various sources are usually blended, a typical specification being:

Al 2 O 3 = 82 % minimum SiO 2 = 8 % maximum Fe 2 O 3 = 8 % maximum TiO 2 = 4 % maximum

determined by subtracting total SiO 2 , Fe 2 O 3 , and TiO 2 from 100 %. Abrasive-grade bauxite consumption in the United States and Canada was quoted as 197 × 10 3 t in 1994 and 133 × 10 3 t in 1995, both on a dry basis. This is less than 2 % of the total consumption of bauxite, 90 % of which was used for the production of aluminum.

The alumina from the indirect Bayer process contains about 99 % Al 2 O 3 . The type commonly used for fused alumina production contains ap- proximately 0.4 – 0.5 % Na 2 O, the remainder being small amounts of SiO 2 , Fe 2 O 3 , and water.

3.1.2. Furnace Designs

Two general types of furnace are employed, one resulting in a batch process and the other in a continuous one. The first, generally known as the Higgins fur- nace, consists of an open-ended, slightly tapered cylinder of sheet steel, smaller diameter up, rest- ing on a hearth protected by a carbon coating [14]. Fusion of the bauxite is accomplished using an electric arc. Water continuously flows down the outside of the shell, keeping it from melt- ing during the process. After fusion is complete, the product is cooled for several days, resulting in a coarsely crystalline material. This is sorted and rough crushed to yield crude abrasive about 50 mm in size. Continuous furnaces are patterned after the batch type except that they are generally much larger and arranged for tilting and tapping the molten products into suitable containers [15], [16]. For economic reasons most fused aluminas being produced in similar large-capacity casting furnaces where fusion may continue uninter- ruptedly for many days or even months.

3.1.3. Fused Alumina Types

The fused alumina produced in largest tonnage is known as regular aluminum oxide. The raw materials are calcined bauxite, carbon usually in the form of coke, and iron borings, a typ- ical mass ratio being 80 : 15 : 5. Because the relative ease of reduction of the bauxite feed to metal in the fusion process with carbon is

of

considerably higher Al 2 O 3 content than that of

Fe 2 O 3 > SiO 2 > TiO 2 > Al 2 O 3 , an abrasive

the furnace feed can be attained. During fusion two immiscible liquids exist. The upper one be- comes the abrasive on crystallization, and the lower one becomes a byproduct, ferrosilicon. Regular aluminum oxide is brown and has a chemical composition of approximately 95 %

4

Abrasives

Al 2 O 3 , 1.5 % SiO 2 , less than 0.5 % Fe 2 O 3 , and 3 % TiO 2 . Because of very slow cooling in the Higgins furnace, the crystals of alumina are coarse, averaging 10 – 15 mm in diameter. If the fused material is cast, the upper liquid must be poured into very large molds holding at least 5 t of product to insure similar slow cooling and coarse crystallization.

A second brown type is semifriable fused alu-

mina. It is purer than regular, containing approx-

imately 97 % Al 2 O 3 , 0.5 % SiO 2 , less than 0.5 % Fe 2 O 3 , and 2 % TiO 2 . Both batch and continu- ous processes are used to produce this variety. Because the regular and semifriable types are close in composition, the present trend is to- ward a single brown fused alumina of intermedi- ate composition, produced in casting furnaces. The relative friabilities are adjusted by crush- ing and processing methods to give different grain shapes, the more equidimensional being the regular and the sharper, less blocky being the semifriable. In general, the major use of fused alumina abrasives is for processing high-tensile-strength ferrous metals, such as carbon steels. The reg- ular kind is employed in loose-grain form in blasting, lapping, and barrel finishing, in bonded form mostly in nonprecision operations, such as cutting off and rough grinding in organic- bonded products. Semifriable alumina is more commonly used in vitrified-bonded products for precision grinding operations, and on coated belts and discs.

A third type, similar in composition and fu-

sion method to the above, is known as microcrys- talline. In order to produce an abrasive with very small alumina crystals, rapid cooling of the melt is required. This is effected by pouring it into small molds or onto pans to produce slabs. The resulting abrasive has higher intrinsic strength than the others. It formerly was used extensively in heat-treated form for very heavy duty grinding wheel applications, such as the conditioning of steel slabs and billets using resin-bonded prod- ucts. For the most part this abrasive has been su- perseded by fused zirconia – alumina of the ZS type (Section 3.2), or by sintered alumina of the 76Alundum type (Section 3.3). White fused alumina is produced by direct fusion of Bayer process alumina [14]. Either the batch or the continuous casting process may be employed. Because the raw material is of

high purity, only fusion and crystallization take place. The resulting abrasive has about the same chemical composition as the alumina. However, a small amount of the soda is volatilized, giving rise to pores in the resulting product. Sometimes small amounts of chromium oxide [1308-38-9] are added to the furnace feed, producing a pink or ruby-colored abrasive. Similarly, a small ad- dition of vanadium oxide [1314-34-7] results in an emerald green color. Although claims have been made for the value of such additions, con- trolled grinding tests have failed to detect pos- itively any advantages. The major use for the white abrasive is in vitrified-bonded wheels for toolroom grinding or precision grinding of heat- sensitive steels. Monocrystalline aluminum oxide is a very high purity abrasive, produced directly from bauxite in a single-stage fusion [17]. The pre- ferred method employs a furnace feed consist- ing of bauxite, pyrite (FeS 2 ) [1309-36-0] or sul- fur [7704-34-9], carbon, and iron borings. When subjected to fusion in the Higgins batch furnace, two immiscible liquids are formed as with reg- ular aluminum oxide. However, in the present case very slow cooling of the upper liquid results in essentially pure, individual crystals of Al 2 O 3 in a matrix of sulfides. After the pig has cooled and been crushed, the matrix is removed chemi- cally and mechanically. This treatment releases alumina crystals in the range of sizes required by the industry. Little or no crushing is needed, so in this re- spect this abrasive is entirely different from all the other types of fused aluminas in use today. Chemical analysis approximates 99.2 % Al 2 O 3 , 0.6% TiO 2 , 0.2 % impurities. This abrasive also may be produced in a casting furnace provided that the fusion is poured into a large receptable capable of holding many tons of product to per- mit slow cooling of the melt. The size distri- bution of the resulting abrasive crystals can be varied by changes in manufacturing parameters. Surprisingly the monocrystalline type also may be produced from a mixture of Bayer process alumina, elemental sulfur, and carbon [18]. In this process only one liquid is present in the fur- nace during fusion, but otherwise the sequence of operations is similar, and the resulting prod- uct is the same as that produced directly from bauxite. This premium-priced abrasive is found to be more cost efficient than others, such as the

Abrasives

5

semifriable type, in many precision operations using vitrified-bonded wheels. Production. World production capacity for fused aluminum oxide is listed in Table 1.

Table 1. World production capacity (10 3 t/a) for fused aluminum oxide in 1996and 1997 (estimated) [49]

19961997

USA and Canada Australia Austria Brazil China France Germany India Japan Others World total (rounded)

220

220

75

50

60

60

100

100

450

500

45

45

150

150

20

20

55

55

125

100

1300

1300

Trade Names: Alundum, Aloxite, etc.

3.2. Fused Zirconia – Aluminas

The most outstanding commercial development in the area of alumina-containing abrasives in the last two decades was the invention of fused zirconia – alumina products. For the applica- tions in which they are most useful, they re- sult in substantially greater efficiencies (lower total grinding costs) than the fused aluminas pre- viously employed. United States and Canadian production for 1980 was 17.2 × 10 3 t, amount- ing to 11 % of all fused aluminas, including the zirconia – aluminas. No production data were available for 1981 or 1983; however, 1982 pro- duction was quoted as 7.3 × 10 3 t or 6 % on the same basis as the 11 % for 1980. This reduction was caused by the severe depression in those seg- ments of the metal-working industry in which zirconia – alumina abrasives are most applica- ble. These abrasives also are produced in Japan, France, Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, and possibly other countries. However, produc- tion data are not available for them. Zirconia Content 25 wt %. Although the ba- sic patent specified an abrasive alloy consisting essentially of zirconium oxide [1314-23-4] and aluminum oxide, with the content of the for- mer between 10 and 60 wt %, the resulting com- mercial product typically contains about 25 %

[19]. The alumina may be derived from baux- ite or from the Bayer process, and the zirconia from the mineral zircon (a zirconium silicate) [14940-68-2], baddeleyite (a naturally occurring mineral high in ZrO 2 ) [12036-23-6], or fused zirconium oxide. Zirconia and alumina are fused by electric-arc casting furnaces to give primary crystals of alumina with diameters no greater than about 300 µ m but typically less than 30 µ m in a matrix of a eutectic of alumina and zirconia. The resulting abrasive is dense and very tough. The grains dull slowly during heavy-duty grind- ing operations, as with resin-bonded wheels on floorstand machines in foundries. They also have a longer life on high-speed, high-pressure grinders used for conditioning billets and slabs, particularly those made of alloy steels or of stain- less steel, where better surface finish is required than produced by the sintered alumina of the 76 Alundum type (Chap. 3.3.). Trade Names: ZF-ZS Alundum, BX, BZ, etc. Zirconia Content 40 wt %. The raw materi- als and fusion methods are similar to those dis- cussed above; however, in this case the melt must be solidified very rapidly in order to produce ex- tremely small crystals [20]. In addition to a rela- tively slow dulling rate, these grains tend to frac- ture to a greater extent than the 25 % analogue and do so in such a manner as to provide new cutting edges rather than being shed from the grinding wheel or coated abrasive product. Ma- jor applications include resin-bonded portable wheels, cones and plugs, cloth-backed resin- bonded belts, and fiber-backed discs for grinding castings of steel, gray and ductile iron, and stain- less steel alloys. In some cases mixtures of this abrasive with the less expensive fused alumi- nas or with silicon carbide are used for specific purposes; for example, the latter blend can effi- ciently clean and grind castings having burned- on sand. Trade Names: NZ Alundum, etc.

3.3. Sintered Aluminas

From Bauxite. Calcined bauxites are ground to a fine powder, mixed with an organic binder, such as grease, extruded through an orifice, cut, and fired statically or in a rotary furnace to tem- peratures between 1400 and 1600 C [21]. This

6

Abrasives

results in limited recrystallization of the alu- mina, increased density, and great strength of the particles, which have the desired grain size with- out being crushed. The major use of this abrasive is the conditioning of stainless steel billets and slabs using hot-pressed resin-bonded wheels. Trade Names: 76Alundum, SO 200, etc. From Alumina Gels. A colloidal dispersion of alumina monohydrate [12252-67-4] and of modifying oxides, such as zirconia and/or mag- nesia [1309-48-4], is formed, and the resulting gel dried to produce chunks. These are crushed and air fired (sintered) to above 1250 C, re- sulting in considerable shrinkage and forma- tion of a dense, sharp, and extremely tough abrasive [22], [23]. These expensive abrasives are now widely used in industry as they sig- nificantly outperform fused alumina grains for high-precision grinding and creep-feed grind- ing. They are mostly used in vitrified wheels, but specific operations requiring organic-bonded wheels, such as flute grinding, surfacing, and calibrating with disk grinders, also use sol – gel aluminas. Coated abrasives are also produced with these grains for foundry snagging with belts and fiber disks and for other work on stainless steel and high-resistance alloys. As new types of sol – gel aluminas are developed and production volume grows, they are progressively replacing fused aluminas in many operations. Trade Names: Cubitron, SG, TG, etc. Often referred to with the generic name “ceramic abra- sives”.

3.4. Silicon Carbide

The discovery of silicon carbide [409-21-2] by Edward G. Acheson in 1891 was indeed epoch-making because it was the first synthetic abrasive invented and commercialized, and sig- naled the gradual decline in the use of natural abrasives (Silicon Carbide). In an attempt to make diamonds by an electric-arc heating pro- cess, Acheson produced a very few hard crys- tals. Knowing that they were not diamond but thinking that they were a combination of carbon and corundum, he called them “carborundum,” a term that remained even after the crystals were determined to be silicon carbide. Carborundum became the name of the company he organized to exploit the discovery. Abrasive SiC is produced

today in furnaces similar to the one he patented

in 1893 [24]. Silica sand plus carbon in the form

of coke, or low-ash coal in the approximate mass

ratio of 60 : 40 is heated in a troughlike electric resistance furnace to produce SiC according to the equation:

SiO 2 +3C −→ SiC + 2 CO

Several grades of this abrasive are produced. The most common black or gray type is used in bonded and coated form for grinding low- tensile, nonferrous metals such as aluminum, brass, copper; some cast irons; and nonmetallics, such as glass, stone, concrete, ceramics, and re- fractories. A higher purity green variety is em- ployed for those operations, such as rough grind- ing of cemented carbide tools with vitrified- bonded wheels, in which this abrasive’s more friable characteristic and the light green color are helpful. A type lower in purity than that used for bonded and coated products has utility in loose- grain applications, such as wiresawing and lap- ping. World production capacity for silicon carbide abrasives is listed in Table 2.

Table 2. World production capacity (10 3 t/a) for silicon carbide abra- sives in 1996and 1997 (estimated) [49]

19961997

USA and Canada Argentina Brazil China France Germany India Japan Mexico Norway Venezuela Others World total (rounded)

90

90

5

5

43

43

450

450

1616

3636

5

5

90

90

60

60

80

80

40

40

185

185

1100

1100

Trade Names: Carborundum, Crystolon, etc.

3.5. Boron Carbide

Abrasive boron carbide, B 4 C [12069-32-8], is produced in electric resistance furnaces from

a charge of high-purity boron oxide glass and

high-purity coke according to the equation [25]:

Abrasives

7

2B 2 O 3 +7C −→ B 4 C + 6 CO

As explained in Section 5.3, this abrasive is unsuited for use in bonded or coated products. However, for loose-grain applications, such as the lapping of cemented carbides and other hard materials, it is used alone or mixed with silicon carbide. Trade Names: Norbide, etc.

3.6. Diamond

Commercial availability of manufactured dia- mond [7782-40-3] is the most important abra- sive development in the 20th century (Car- bon). Not only did it eliminate occasional short- ages of natural diamond grain, but also it made possible a great variety of diamonds with vastly different characteristics, thereby increasing dia- mond efficiency and consequent use. Commercial manufacture of diamond re- quires high pressure (5.0 – 6.5 GPa) and high temperature (> 1400 C) [26]. Depending upon manufacturing parameters, a wide range of prop- erties may be obtained, from very friable com- posite structures of small diamond crystals to stronger single crystals containing various de- fects and inclusions, to very strong, almost flaw- less crystals, equidimensional in shape, with well-developed crystal faces. One leading pro- ducer offers no fewer than seven different basic types. Over the years the major manufacturers have gradually been able to produce economi- cally high-quality single diamonds of larger and larger size, now up to 20 – 25 mesh (approx- imately 700 – 850 µ m in diameter). No doubt they will continue to extend availability further in the coarse direction. The two major producers further improved the efficiency of diamonds for use in resin- bonded products by introducing metal-clad va- rieties in 1966 [27]. These coatings are believed to improve wheel efficiency by controlling abra- sive breakdown, and by acting as a heat sink be- tween the abrasive and the bond, retarding dete- rioration of the latter from heat generated during grinding. The most commonly employed coat- ings are nickel-based (30, 55, or 60 wt %) or copper (50 wt %). Although used mostly with manufactured diamonds, the 55 % nickel coat- ing is also available on natural diamonds.

World production of synthetic diamond is listed in Table 3. In general, diamonds, both natural and manu- factured, are used for lapping carbides and other hard materials, and for grinding, drilling, and sawing cemented carbides and a wide variety of nonmetallics, such as plastics, glass, stone, concrete, ceramics, refractories, and such elec- tronic materials as silicon and quartz. Silicon carbide also can be used for these same ma- terials. However, bonded diamond products, in spite of their higher cost, often are more effi- cient, resulting in lower total costs per unit of work performed. This is particularly true in ce- mented carbide grinding, where diamond, now nearly always one of the manufactured types, is used almost exclusively except for offhand roughing with vitrified-bonded green silicon car- bide wheels. Because of the affinity between di- amond (carbon) and iron, diamonds are not eco- nomical for grinding ferrous metals except those containing relatively large amounts of hard con- stituents, such as certain vanadium steels. The cost of synthetic diamond has greatly decreased since the mid-1980s, and this has al- lowed it to be used in nonprecision applications such as cutting masonry materials, stones and bricks with steel disks on hand-held grinders. The disks have laser-welded, metal-bonded dia- mond segments, and their low cost and long life have allowed them to replace most conventional silicon carbide cutting-off disks.

3.7. Cubic Boron Nitride

The second, and eventually possibly the most important development in the abrasive area this century, was the invention [28] of cubic boron ni- tride (CBN) [10043-11-5], first introduced com- mercially in 1969 (Boron Carbide, Boron Ni- tride, and Metal Borides). This abrasive may be made in any of the high- pressure, high-temperature apparatuses used for diamond production. By using different raw ma- terials and manufacturing conditions, a variety of products having a range of friabilities may be produced. Color ranges from almost colorless through shades of yellow, red, and black. As with diamonds, the producers supply CBN in sized grains and flours. Metal cladding of this abrasive also has improved its efficiency in resin-bonded

8

Abrasives

Table 3. Estimated world production of synthetic diamond (10 3 carat)

 

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Belarus

30 000 15 000 10 000 3 500

30 000

25 000

25 000

25 000

China

15 000

15 000

15 000

15 000

Czech Republic

5 000

5 000

5 000

5 000

France

3 500

3 500

3 000

3 000

Greece

750

1 000

1 000

1 000

750

Ireland

60 000

65 000

65 000

60 000

60 000

Japan

30 000

32 000

32 000

32 000

32 000

Poland

320

98

271

256250

Romania

3 000

5 000

5 000

5 000

5 000

Russia

80 000

80 000

80 000

80 000

80 000

Slovakia

5 000

5 000

5 000

5 000

South Africa

60 000

60 000

60 000

60 000

60 000

Sweden

25 000

25 000

25 000

25 000

25 000

Ukraine

10 000

10 000

8 000

8 000

8 000

USA

90 000

103 000

104 000

115 000

114 000

Total

418 000

440 000

434 000

440 000

439 000

Czechoslovakia

products [29]. A 60 % nickel-based coating is used commonly. Initial successful applications of CBN were for high-performance grinding of difficult to grind ferrous metals where use of fused alumina abrasives results in high rates of wheel wear per unit of material removed from the workpiece and in rapid dulling of the abrasive grains. Therefore machine productivity is low and grinding costs high, as is the liability of metallurgical damage to the work. Because of its hardness (inferior only to diamond), strength, low coefficient of friction during operation, and thermal and chem- ical stability to well over 1000 C, CBN wheels, although expensive, increase productivity. This is because of much lower wheel wear, improved workpiece integrity, and fewer rejections and re- works. Now, with the development of computer- controlled, high-production systems especially designed for use with this abrasive, its applica- tion is being extended to more common, less dif- ficult to grind ferrous metals. This has resulted in increased productivity for such operations as camshaft grinding in the automobile industry. In 1981 one producer introduced a CBN fam- ily (trade names: Borazon 550, 560, 570) with sized grain that is polycrystalline and extremely tough. In certain applications resinoid- and vitrified-bonded wheels containing this abrasive have shown lower wheel wear than similar prod- ucts containing the usual monocrystalline CBN. However, the expense of the abrasive has been a problem in establishing lower overall grinding costs in many cases.

Production of CBN by region is summarized in Table 4.

Table 4. Production of CBN by region (10 6 carat) [51]

 

1992

1993

1998

Pacific Rim

12.5

13.2

18.8

United States

10.9

13.1

37.7

Europe

9.9

10.9

19.5

Total

33.3

37.2

76.1

Trade Names: Borazon, Amber Boron Ni- tride, etc.

4. Manufacture and Testing of Sized Grains

As mentioned in Chapter 3, some abrasive types are produced directly to size for use in bonded or on coated products. Other abrasives, such as the fused aluminum oxides, must be crushed, sized, and otherwise treated before use. Crushing is accomplished by a variety of means, depending on the shape and other char- acteristics of the desired product. Jaw crushers, hammer mills, roll mills (in which precrushed crude is passed through sets of alloy steel rolls), and ball or rod mills commonly are employed. If exceptionally equidimensional particles are de- sired, the grain may be mulled by the use of heavy steel rollers working the grain in a revolv- ing pan. To produce specific grit sizes, screening is used for the coarser ones (macrogrits; >50 µ m

Table 5. Standards for sizing of abrasive grains

Abrasives

9

Type of abrasive

Screen sizes (macrogrits)

Subsieve sizes (microgrits)

All except diamond and CBN for :

Grinding wheel and general industrial usage

ANSI B74.121992 [30] FEPA 42/93 ISO 8486, part 1 (1996)

ANSI B74.101977 (R1992) FEPA 42/93 ISO 8486, part 2 (1996)

Coated Applications

ANSI B74.181996ANSI B74.181996

Diamond, CBN, all uses

FEPA 43/93 ISO 6344, parts 1 and 2 (1998) ANSI B74.161995 FEPA 61/97

FEPA 43/93 ISO 6344, part 3 (1998) ANSI B74.201997 FEPA 60/77 (under revision)

in diameter). Finer sizes (micogrits) are sepa- rated by various elutriation methods. Centrifug- ing often is employed for the finest grains. For checking the sizing of abrasive grits, the standards shown in Table 5 are used. Conventional (i.e., non-diamond and non- CBN) abrasive grits are sized according to stan- dards that assign each size a number and de- fine the mean size and the proportion and di- mensions of coarser and finer sizes that can be present. The standards usually differ for bonded and coated abrasives, as the optimum perfor- mance of the products requires different grain shapes and a different size distribution for each grit number. For example, FEPA (Federation of European Producers of Abrasive Products) has issued two standards: FEPA 42/93, which de- fines the F series for bonded abrasives, and FEPA 43/93, which defines the P series for coated abra- sives. Similarly, ISO has issued ISO 8486for bonded and ISO 6344 for coated abrasives. The grit numbers and the mean particle sizes in mi- crometers in the F series (aluminum oxide and silicon carbide grains for grinding wheels and other bonded abrasives are as follows:

Macrogrits

F4

4890

F5

4125

F63460

F7

2900

F8

2460

F10

2085

F12

1765

F14

1470

F161230

F20

1040

F22

885

F24

745

F30

625

F36525

F40

438

F46370

F54

310

F60

260

F70

218

F90

154

F100

129

F120

109

F150

82

F180

69

F200

58

Microgrits

F230

55.7 ± 3

F240

47.5 ± 2

F280

39.9 ± 1.5

F320

32.8 ± 1.5

F360

26.7 ± 1.5

F400

21.4 ± 1

F500

17.1 ± 1

F600

13.7 ± 1

F800

11 ± 1

F1000

9.1 ± 0.8

F1200

7.6 ± 0.5

The grit numbers and the mean particle sizes in micrometers in the P series (aluminum oxide and silicon carbide grains for coated abrasives are as follows:

Macrogrits

P12

1815

P161324

P20

1000

P24

764

P30

642

P36538

P40

425

P50

336

P60

269

P80

201

P100

162

P120

125

P150

100

P180

82

P220

68

Microgrits

P240

58.5 ± 2

P280

52.2 ± 2

P320

46.2 ± 1.5

P360

40.5 ± 1.5

P400

35 ± 1.5

P500

30.2 ± 1.5

P600

25.8 ± 1

P800

21.8 ± 1

P1000

18.3 ± 1

P1200

15.3 ± 1

P1500

12.6 ± 1

P2000

10.3 ± 0.8

P2500

8.4 ± 0.5

10

Abrasives

10 Abrasives Figure 1. Example of size gradations of the FEPA standard F series for bonded

Figure 1. Example of size gradations of the FEPA standard F series for bonded abrasive grits

The approximate relationship between the FEPA and other national diamond and CBN grit size designations is summarized in Table 6.

Table 6. Approximate relationship between the FEPA and other na- tional diamond and CBN grit size designations

FEPA grit designation (approx. mean size, µ m)

ASTM 11

BS 1987

Narrow-range grades

1181

16/18

14/16

1001

18/20

16/18

851

20/25

18/22

711

25/30

22/25

601

30/35

25/30

501

35/40

30/36

42640/45

36/444

35645/50

44/52

301

50/60

52/60

251

60/70

60/72

213

70/80

72/85

181

80/100

85/100

151

100/120

100/120

126120/140

120/150

107

140/170

150/170

91

170/200

170/200

76200/230

200/240

64

230/270

240/300

54

270/325

300/350

46325/400

350/400

Wide-range grades

1182

16/20

14/18

852

20/30

18/25

602

30/40

25/36

502

35/45

30/44

427

40/50

36/52

252

60/80

60/85

The grit designation is prefixed with a “D” to denote diamond and a “B” to denote CBN.

Figure 1 shows the relationship between grit size designations, sieve numbers, aperture size of sieves, and micrometer dimensions of par- ticles for both screen-size and subscreen-size grains according to FEPA standards [31]. In practice various manufacturers use other equipment for checking abrasive sizing, such as the Coulter counter. The major suppliers of subsieve diamond and cubic boron nitride products offer their own se- ries, many items of which are extremely well classified into the very narrow ranges demanded by the trade. One supplier, for example, offers 17 sizes from 40 – 80 µ m down to 0 – 0.5 µ m. After sizing, grits are washed, processed fur- ther, and tested using the methods in Table 7. Instrumental techniques such as atomic ab- sorption, emission spectroscopy, and X-ray flu- orescence are used in practice for chemical anal- yses. Eventually new standards based on such methods will be forthcoming. Strength of abrasive grains containing glass as a minor impurity, as in regular fused alumina, can be increased significantly by heat treatment in air to 1250 – 1350 C. The glass migrates to the surface, sealing microcracks, and thus re- pairing damage caused by the crushing opera- tion. Alternatively, the grain may be coated with a glass frit that matures at 800 – 1000 C. Such treatments increase abrasive efficiency in heavy-

Table 7. Test methods for abrasive grain properties

Abrasives

11

Application

Test method

Comments

Presence of magnetic particles Measure of coating weight for diamond and CBN grains Relative strength of saw diamond grits Degree of capillarity

Grain shape

ANSI B74.191990 (R1995) FEPA 62/93

FEPA 63/93 ANSI B74.51964 (revised 1995) ISO 9137 (1990) FEPA 44/93, part 3 ANSI B74.41992 (R1997)

capillarity is increased by heating to 500 – 600 C used for conventional abrasives used for conventional abrasives equidimensional shapes pack to a higher bulk density than flat or slivery ones this method is used for testing diamond and CBN used for conventional abrasives

Bulk density

ANSI B74.171973 (revised 1993) ISO 9136, parts 1 and 2 (1989) FEPA 46/93, part 2 ANSI B74.81987

Grain strength (friability)

ball mill test (see Section 5.2 for interpretation of strength data) used for fused aluminum oxides used for fused aluminum oxides used for fused aluminum oxides used for silicon carbides used for silicon carbides used for silicon carbides used for conventional abrasives used for conventional abrasives used for conventional abrasives

Chemical analysis (classical wet methods)

FEPA 46/93 ISO 9285 (1995) ANSI B74.141992 ISO 9286(1995) FEPA 45/93 ANSI B74.151992 ISO 9138 (1993) FEPA 44/93, part 1 ISO 9284 (1992)

Sampling and splitting

Test-sieving machines

duty applications, such as in the conditioning of steel slabs and billets with resinoid wheels. Sometimes grits are treated with a liquid sili- cone resin before being incorporated into resin- bonded products. Silicon carbide grain may be subjected to froth flotation to remove free car- bon and/or treated with a sodium hydroxide so- lution to remove free silicon. In order to insure vitrified-bonded products free from iron spot- ting, fused alumina grains, especially the white variety, may be acid-treated to remove ferro- silicon or tramp steel not eliminated by magnetic separation.

5. Physical and Chemical Properties

5.1. Hardness

The hardness level required of an abrasive obvi- ously depends upon the specific use. However, the vast majority of industrial applications ne- cessitates abrasives at least as hard as quartz. A common means for determining hardness is by use of the Knoop indenter, a gem-quality diamond carefully lapped to the shape of an elongated pyramid. This device indents the ma- terial to be tested under controlled-load condi- tions [32]. The applied gram load must be spec- ified, e.g., K 100 , because it can cause consider- able variation in the resulting Knoop hardness

number. Values of K 100 for common abrasives compared with the Mohs’ hardness scale gener- ally used by mineralogists are:

 

Knoop, K 100

Mohs’

Quartz (silica) Spinel (magnesium aluminate) Garnet (almandite from Adirondacks, U.S.) Fused zirconia-alumina (NZ Alundum type) Fused alumina (white type) Silicon carbide Boron carbide Cubic boron nitride Diamond

820

7

1270

1360

8

1600

2050

9

2480

2800

4700

7000 – 8000

10

5.2. Grain Strength or Fracture Toughness

Strengths resulting from three different proper- ties are important and usually act together during an abrasive operation. First is the grain shape, the blocky or equidimensional one being referred to as a strong shape, that with many flakes and slivers as a weak shape. Second, grains contain- ing microcracks and other flaws produced by crushing tend to be weaker than those produced directly to size without subsequent comminu- tion, assuming that the grains are otherwise of about the same overall shape. Third, is the in- trinsic strength of the body of the abrasive itself.

12

Abrasives

Although this is difficult to measure in finished grain form because of the effect of shape and crushing, relative intrinsic strengths may be es- timated. If the difference between abrasives is large, this is done by means of data derived from ball milling (method of ANSI B 74.81977) or by crushing or blasting tests, provided that the difference in grain shape has at least been mini- mized and crushing histories are similar. The fracture strength or toughness of ce- ramics is determined by studying the cracking produced by indenting polished sections with a Vickers indenter. The load is such that frac- tures are produced at the corners of the indenta- tions. The fracture toughness (K c ) may be calcu- lated by measuring the average crack length and the diagonals of the indentations when Young’s modulus and the microhardness are known [33]. This method of measuring intrinsic strength or toughness of abrasives is destined to replace the other procedures because it is a direct one.

5.3. Resistance to Attrition or Plastic Flow

When abrasive boron carbide was first produced in the early 1930s, its hardness was greater than that of any known material except diamond. Its effectiveness as an abrasive in loosegrain lap- ping operations, such as on cemented carbides, correlated well with relative hardnesses, being greatly superior to silicon carbide and fused alu- minas, but inferior to diamond. For that rea- son boron carbide was excepted to have exten- sive applications in bonded products, replacing those older, softer abrasives. However, extensive grinding tests proved boron carbide to be com- pletely unsuitable in any such operation because the wheels quickly became dull. The major rea- sons appear to be oxidation of the boron carbide, and the reaction or diffusion between the abra- sive and the material being ground. A similar ex- planation appears to apply to the relatively poor performance of diamond when grinding com- mon ferrous metals. Temperatures at the inter- face may approach the melting point of steel. Under these conditions both the abrasive and piece being worked are greatly softened, with reaction or diffusion between the two greatly ac- celerated. The result is attritious wear or plastic flow, leading to the development of polished flats

on the abrasive grains and so the loss of much or all of their stock-removal capabilities [34–36]. For loose-grain lapping operations, hardness and strength are the most important abrasive properties. However, stock removal with fixed abrasives is a complicated process involving the interaction of hardness, strength, and chemical properties of both the abrasive and the work- piece. In addition the conditions of operation also must be considered.

6. Loose-Grain Applications

Blasting. In this operation, screen-size abra- sives, such as quartz sand, garnet, fused alumina, and silicon carbide, impact the work material by means of compressed air, centrifugal force, or pressurized water. Blasting is used to descale or otherwise clean and deburr metal parts, clean buildings, and carve letters and designs on stone. Wire Sawing. Endless, multistrand, twisted wire under tension is used to carry a slurry of water and abrasive for sawing blocks or slabs of stone such as limestone, marble, and gran- ite. Quartz sand may be used to cut the softest stones, but fused alumina or silicon carbide is required for the harder granites and sandstones. This method is used both in the quarrying pro- cess itself and to shape and slice blocks removed from the quarry. Barrel Finishing. Metal parts requiring cleaning, deburring, and/or refining of surface finish are tumbled in a slowly rotating barrel with water, acid or alkaline cleaning compounds, and suitable abrasives. Depending upon the work material and finishing requirements, the abra- sives may be natural ones, such as emery or crushed granite, or, more commonly, manufac- tured abrasives, such as fused aluminas. The lat- ter may be used as such, or they may be bonded with vitrified or organic materials into specific shapes, such as triangles, stars, or pins. A more efficient finishing method, involves vibrating the materials in bowls or tubs. Lapping. Loose abrasives in a vehicle of wa- ter, soluble oil, kerosine, greases, etc., can be used to fine grind flat, cylindrical, or other sur- faces. Laps of cast iron and other metals are used, and the abrasive grains may become embedded to some degree in these during the operation. The choice of abrasive depends upon the nature of