Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering


The oil and gas industry, particularly in transportation and production, heavily relies on pipeline systems. It is an inevitable fact that petroleum products, such as oil and gas, extracted from wells always contain solid pollutants originating from various sources like dust, sand, and hydraulic fracturing operations. During operation, solid particles carried by the fluid flow continuously impact the pipeline walls, potentially leading to significant cumulative damage over time on the surfaces of the pipeline, fittings (elbows), or production equipment, gradually removing material from these surfaces. This phenomenon is known as solid particle erosion, which can have severe consequences. In the event of a severe failure, the production process is halted, necessitating a shutdown for maintenance operations.

In recent years, numerical simulations have gained recognition as an efficient approach for studying physical mechanisms and providing support for experimental methods. They can be considered as virtual experiments conducted on a computer. The objective of this thesis is to develop an effective numerical approach for predicting erosive wear caused by the impact of a slurry flow, comprising water or oil, and debris on a solid surface. This approach should also be extended to incorporate the microstructure of solid objects, being suitable for both ductile and brittle materials, and account for surface evolution during the erosion process.

FoR codes (2020)

401204 Computational methods in fluid flow, heat and mass transfer (incl. computational fluid dynamics), 401211 Multiphysics flows (incl. multiphase and reacting flows), 401708 Tribology, 401907 Petroleum and reservoir engineering



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.