Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering

Major Advisor

Todd P. Otanicar, Ph.D.


Mahmood Mamivand, Ph.D.


Krishna Pakala, Ph.D.


Concentrated solar power (CSP) is an alternative and sustainable way to produce energy. Studies have shown that running these plants at high temperatures above 700°C can increase the thermal efficiency in heat transfer. Molten salt is usually used as the heat transfer medium but cannot be used due to its low maximum temperature and high freezing point. Running these plants at high temperature brings up the concern of erosion and oxidation. Abrasion erosion occurs through the interaction of particles and material. The goal of this research is to understand material degradation due to abrasion erosion to understand the durability of using solid particles as the heat transfer medium. Previous research has been done but not at the high temperature and low velocity to simulate these conditions. An apparatus was built to test the interaction of particles and materials at 800°C, periodically measuring the mass of each specimen and running a total of around 700 hours. Analysis for the specimen included calculating abrasion wear, surface profilometry, and cross-sectional scanning electron microscope imaging. Analysis for the particles included reflectance and particle size analysis. It was found temperature had the greatest effect on abrasion wear. For a test with silica quartz Wedload 430 particles and stainless steel 326H specimen, abrasion wear at 800°C and 25°C was -2.9281 mg/cm2 and -0.1956 mg/cm2, respectively. There was no erosion of particles based on their circularity before and after testing.


Tessa Mei-lin Fong, ORCID: