This paper discusses the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to understand and characterize erosion of the floor and internal structures in the slurry mixing vessels in the Defense Waste Processing Facility. An initial literature survey helped identify the principal drivers of erosion for a solids laden fluid: the solids content of the working fluid, the regions of recirculation and particle impact with the walls, and the regions of high wall shear. A series of CFD analyses was performed to characterize slurry-flow profiles, wall shear, and particle impingement distributions in key components such as coil restraints and the vessel floor. The calculations showed that the primary locations of high erosion resulting from abrasion were at the leading edge of the coil guide, the tank floor below the insert plate of the coil guide support, and the upstream lead-in plate. These modeling results based on the calculated high shear regions were in excellent agreement with the observed erosion sites in both location and the degree of erosion. Loss of the leading edge of the coil guide due to the erosion damage during the slurry mixing operation did not affect the erosion patterns on the tank floor. Calculations for a lower impeller speed showed similar erosion patterns but significantly reduced wall shear stresses.

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