In nuclear power plants, slender tubular components are subjected to vibrations in a PHTW environment. As a result, the two contacting surfaces, tubes and their guides undergo impact at low contact pressures [1]. The components are usually made of stainless steel and it was found that the influence of the PHTW, combined with other actions (such as corrosion, erosion, squeeze film effect, third body effect and cavitation) leads to a particular wear of the material [2] [3]. Therefore, this paper aims to show that the colloidal oxides, formed on the steel surfaces in PHTW, play a principal role in the wear of the surfaces. Actually, due to the specific kinematic conditions of the contact, the flow of compacted oxides abrades the surfaces.

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