The study of the erosion of metallic surfaces by solid particles has been an area of dispute recently (1980) especially concerning the importance of target melting as a mechanism for the removal of material. In addition, erosion by particles at a normal angle of impingement has remained unexplained and there has been no satisfactory theory of erosion which has taken into account the statistical nature of erosion, that is, the continual bombardment of a surface by a large number of eroding particles.
This work concentrates on the foregoing aspects of erosion. Apparatus is described which is capable of producing erosion by single impact and continual bombardment. Conditions conducive to target melting are discussed and under equivalent experimental conditions target melting is deduced to have occurred. The statistical nature of erosion has been approached from two directions:
1. The importance of the shapes of eroding particles.
2. Considering the influence of the erosive flux on the temperature of the target and resulting erosion rate.
Material removal by single impacts at normal impingement has been observed using high-speed photography.