In the present work, stepwise erosion technique was carried out to investigate in detail the influence of impact angle on the erosion process of AISI 5117 steel. The number of impact sites and their morphologies at different impact angles were investigated using scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination and image analysis. The tests were carried out with particle concentration of 1 wt. %, and the impact velocity of slurry stream was 15 m/s. Silica sand—which has a nominal size range of 250–355 μm—was used as an erodent, using whirling-arm test rig. The results have shown that the number of craters, as expected, increases with the increase in the mass of erodent for all impact angles and this number decreases with the increase of the impact angle. In addition, the counted number of craters is larger than the calculated number of particles at any stage for all impact angles. This may be explained by the effect of the rebound effect of particles, the irregular shape for these particles, and particle fragmentation. The effect of impact angle based on the impact crater shape can be divided into two regions; the first region for θ ≤ 60 deg and the second region for θ ≥ 75 deg. The shape of the craters is related to the dominant erosion mechanisms of plowing and microcutting in the first region and indentation and lip extrusion in the second region. In the first region, the length of the tracks decreases with the increase of impact angle. The calculated size ranges are from few micrometers to 100 μm for the first region and to 50 μm in the second region. Chipping of the former impact sites by subsequent impact particles plays an important role in developing erosion.

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