The results of several investigations to determine how the mechanical and physical properties of iron, nickel and cobalt base alloys could be modified by composition changes and mechanical or thermal treatments to improve their small solid particle erosion resistance are presented in this review paper. It has been found that the near room temperature erosion behavior of essentially all these structural alloys is very similar in rate and mechanism regardless of their strength or other property levels. No definitive alloy selection criteria for erosion could be established. The addition of hard, carbide particles to metal matrices does not improve erosion resistance until approximately 80 vol.% of the composite is a continuous skeleton of carbide particles. However, in combined erosion-corrosion, of the type that occurs in coal burning energy generation equipment, it is the nature of the oxide scales that form on the metals and not the erosion behavior of the metals that governs metal wastage. Relatively low alloy content steels with scale morphologies that are segmented in nature can have much lower metal wastage rates than higher alloy content steels whose scales are more continuous in nature. © 1988.
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