Application of Power Ultrasound in Cavitation Erosion Testing of Nano-Ceramic Particle/Polymer Composites
Cavitation erosion is predominant in pipelines for liquid transportation, causing damage to pipe wall, impeller and their accessories. The present study is focused on development of cavitation -wear resistant nano-ceramic particle-reinforced polymer matrix material; and on study of its feasibility to be used as lining material in hydraulic transportation. The polymer/nano composite is fabricated using power ultrasound in all three process steps: synthesis of nano-dimensional particles of white fused alumina (WFA) from micron size particles, optimized blending and finally reinforcement into poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) matrix. The effect of ultrasonic parameters on nanocomposite/ virgin polymers (like polyethylene and polypropylene) is studied by measuring mass loss of the materials and suspension turbidity during exposure time. At low frequency (20-60 kHz), cavitation intensity is predominant; this effect is utilized for fabricating sub-micron particles, and for performing accelerated cavitation erosion tests. At high frequency, acoustic streaming is predominant; this effect is utilized for blending and reinforcing of the nano ceramic particles into polymer matrix. The size and quantity of the particles generated by cavitation erosion was analyzed by Laser Particle Size Analyzer (20 nm-1400 micron range). The nano-composite coupons were analyzed before and after the ultrasonic erosion test using SEM. It is concluded that lowfrequency sonication is a viable option for cavitaton erosion testing of ceramic/polymer composites.
William Lau, Shang Huai Min, Lee Nam Sua, Ma Jan and Alfred Tok
K.R. Gopi and R. Nagarajan, "Application of Power Ultrasound in Cavitation Erosion Testing of Nano-Ceramic Particle/Polymer Composites", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 136, pp. 191-204, 2008