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Fusion characteristics of volcanic ash relevant to aviation hazards.

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


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.

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Publisher statement: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, 10.1002/2013GL059182 (DOI). To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.
Date accepted:07 March 2014
Date deposited:12 June 2018
Date of first online publication:07 April 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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