Erosion corrosion is a degradation of material surface due to mechanical action, often by impinging liquid, abrasion by a slurry, particles suspended in fast flowing liquid or gas, bubbles or droplets, cavitation, etc. The mechanism can be described as follows:
- mechanical erosion of the material, or protective (or passive) oxide layer on its surface,
- enhanced corrosion of the material, if the corrosion rate of the material depends on the thickness of the oxide layer.
The mechanism of erosion corrosion, the materials affected by it, and the conditions when it occurs are generally different than that of flow-accelerated corrosion, although the last one is sometimes classified as a sub-type of erosion corrosion.
Surface chemistry can play a role in erosion corrosion due to mechanochemical effects.
Erosion corrosion is the second most common cause of copper tube failure.
- Alan Levy, "Solid Particle Erosion and Erosion-Corrosion of Materials", ASM International, 1995.