High-temperature slurry erosion of vinylester matrix composites – The effect of test parameters
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Glass fibre (GF) reinforced vinylester composites (VE-FRP) are commonly used materials in hydrometallurgical reactors, the pulp and paper industry and waste water treatment plants, due to their excellent chemical resistance combined with good mechanical performance. In these applications, materials can be subjected to erosion, elevated temperatures (as high as 95 °C) and various chemical environments. However, studies on the slurry erosion of vinylester-based composites at high temperatures have not yet been reported. In this study, the erosion resistance of GF reinforced VE-FRP was investigated with a pilot-scale reactor. The effect of slurry concentration, erodent particle kinetic energy and slurry temperature was studied. The dominating wear mechanism was found to be abrasive wear. The VE-FRP structure was found to be prone to erosive turbulent flow and cavitation. Moreover, an increase in the erodent concentration of the slurry (10-20. wt%) or in the total kinetic energy of the erodent particles (30-770. kJ) increased the wear rate of the material markedly (up to 6 times higher weight loss). However, the total effect of different interrelated parameters was found to be complex. Consequently, it is recommended that predictions of the erosion rate of VE-FRP components are based on tests carried out in conditions that simulate the actual service environment.