Evolution of surface roughness of some metallic materials in cavitation erosion

K. Y. Chiu, F. T. Cheng, Hau Chung Man

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of surface roughness of three common metallic materials (316L stainless steel, CP titanium, and brass) in ultrasonic vibratory cavitation tests was monitored using profilometric measurements. Three stages of roughness change, based on the rate of change of the mean surface roughness d(Ra)/dt, may be identified. In stage I (initial stage), Raincreases almost linearly with the test time; in stage II (transition stage), the rate decreases until stage III (steady-state stage) is reached, in which Raremains unchanged. Concurrent measurements of mass loss in the ultrasonic cavitation test indicated that stage I approximately coincides with the incubation stage, stage II approximately coincides with the acceleration stage, and stage III approximately coincides with the maximum erosion rate stage as defined by ASTM Standard G 32. Compared with conventional mass loss measurements in assessing material degradation in cavitation erosion, surface roughness measurements provide an alternative and convenient method which possesses several advantages. In the first place, change in surface roughness provides information of material response before mass loss is detected. Secondly, there is no restriction of the size of the component, while weighing is suitable for small samples only. Thirdly, mass loss reflects erosion of the whole surface under cavitation attack, and the mean depth of penetration or erosion only gives an average loss, while in roughness measurement, damage in specific locations may be studied. The present study indicates that roughness measurement may constitute a practical method for monitoring damage in industrial ultrasonic cleaners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-716
Number of pages4
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


  • Cavitation erosion
  • Erosion rate
  • Incubation period
  • Profilometry
  • Surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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