A new portable slurry wear test apparatus developed by the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, makes it possible to gather materials wear and corrosion data at a mineral processing site. The portable wear cell is identical in design to a laboratory cell reported previously. It allows simultaneous evaluation of 16 specimens in a continuous flow of fresh slurry. Data obtained from selected metals and polymers showed high-chromium white cast irons to perform particularly well in tests with an aqueous lead-zinc sulfide ore slurry. However, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene that exhibited superior wear resistance in comparable laboratory tests with an aqueous slurry of silica sand did not perform as well in field tests. Such results show how misleading it can be to use laboratory data to predict relative rates of wear in industrial slurries, even under nominally identical flow conditions. Field testing is therefore needed. In situ electrochemical corrosion measurements on a low-alloy steel showed that the field and laboratory slurries were similarly corrosive.

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