Embedment and fracture of abrasives are two often neglected important phenomena that can affect material removal occurring in industrial processes that involve high speed impact of particles on relatively ductile targets. This thesis proposes new methodologies to predict the likelihood of particle embedment and fracture for a typical solid particle erosion application.
Double-pulsed laser shadowgraphy was used to measure the instantaneous orientation of angular 89-363 μm SiC particles within a micro-abrasive jet, in order to assess whether their orientation affected the propensity for particle embedment. A tendency for particles to orient with the jet axis was measured and successfully modelled (<9% error), with larger abrasives more likely to orient. The measured instantaneous orientation of particles was used to generate a three-dimensional coupled finite element and smoothed particle hydrodynamics model capable of simulating the particle embedment. Use of various combinations of process parameters yielded embedment predictions that agreed with measured ones with, at most, a 16% error. Increases in particle size, orientation angle, and velocity were found to enhance the propensity for embedment.
Double-pulsed laser shadowgraphy was used to record the impact and fracture of abrasives upon impact. A numerical model that utilized an Element Free Galerkin (EFG) technique with a novel scheme for generating realistic three-dimensional particle geometries was used to simulate the particle fracture. For a wide variety of process parameters, the numerical predictions of particle average size, roundness and rebound velocity agreed with the corresponding measurements to within 10%, at most. The propensity for particle fracture was found to depend on the magnitude of particle kinetic energy perpendicular to the target. It was confirmed that at the same incident
velocity, larger particles were more likely to fracture. However, for the same kinetic energy, smaller particles were more likely to fracture.
To the best knowledge of the author, this thesis is the first to report measurements of particle orientation and particle fracture in abrasive jets, and the first to develop numerical modeling of particle fracture and embedment. The results have important implications for erosion testing and abrasive jet machining operations.