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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Profile

Publication details for Dr Fabian Wadsworth

Song, Wenjia, Hess, Kai-Uwe, Damby, David E., Wadsworth, Fabian B., Lavallée, Yan, Cimarelli, Corrado & Dingwell, Donald B. (2014). Fusion characteristics of volcanic ash relevant to aviation hazards. Geophysical Research Letters 41(7): 2326-2333.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The fusion dynamics of volcanic ash strongly impacts deposition in hot parts of jet engines. In this study, we investigate the sintering behavior of volcanic ash using natural ash of intermediate composition, erupted in 2012 at Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala. A material science procedure was followed in which we monitored the geometrical evolution of cylindrical‐shaped volcanic ash compact upon heating from 50 to 1400°C in a heating microscope. Combined morphological, mineralogical, and rheological analyses helped define the evolution of volcanic ash during fusion and sintering and constrain their sticking potential as well as their ability to flow at characteristic temperatures. For the ash investigated, 1240°C marks the onset of adhesion and flowability. The much higher fusibility of ash compared to that of typical test sands demonstrates for the need of a more extensive fusion characterization of volcanic ash in order to mitigate the risk posed on jet engine operation.