Solid particle erosion of hot-pressed silicon nitride
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Many potential applications of silicon nitride involve the solid particle erosion at elevated temperatures. The typical examples of such applications are the key components in hot section of a gas turbine engine. Degradation of the components often occurs by the interaction between the erosion and hot corrosion processes by sodium sulfates. The hot corrosion attack is known to reduce the strength of silicon nitride by the formation of corrosion pits and dissolution of grain boundaries .
The temperature dependence of solid particle erosion behavior has been reported for silicon nitride [2, 3, 4]. The temperature increases the erosion rate of hot-pressed silicon nitride , whereas it decreases the erosion rate in the sintered  and reaction bonded silicon nitride . This has been explained in terms of the variation in hardness and fracture toughness with temperature. The results, however, were obtained from polished specimens in the absence of oxidation or hot corrosion...