During granular mass movements of any kind, particles may interact with one another. The degree of interaction is a function of several variables including; grain-size distribution, particle concentration, density stratification and degree of fluidisation. The impact of particle interaction is additionally influenced by the relative speed, impact angle and clast temperature. Thus, both source conditions and transport-related processes are expected to influence the flow dynamics of pyroclastic density currents and their subsequent deposition. Here, we use tumbling experiments to shed light on the susceptibility of porous clasts to abrasion. We investigated the abrasion of unaltered volcanic rocks (5.7-80 vol.% porosity) from Unzen (Japan), Bezymianny (Russia) and Santorini (Greece) volcanoes as well as one synthetic analogue material, an insulating material with the trade name Foamglas® (95 vol.% porosity). Each experiment started with angular fragments generated in a jaw crusher from larger clasts. Two experimental series were performed; on samples with narrow and broader grain-size distributions, respectively. The dry samples were subject to rotational movement at constant speed and ambient temperature in a gum rotational tumbler for durations of 15, 30, 45, 60 and 120 min. The amount of volcanic ash (particles <2 mm) generated was evaluated as a function of experimental duration and sample porosity. We term “abrasion” as the ash fraction generated during the experiments. The observed increase of “abrasion” with increasing sample porosity and experimental duration is initially non-linear but becomes linear for experiments of 30 min duration or longer. For any given sample, abrasion appears to be more effective for coarser samples and larger initial mass. The observed range of ash generated in our experiments is between 1 and 35 wt.%. We find that this amount generally increases with increasing initial clast size or increasing breadth of the initial grain-size distribution. Despite the limits in the complexity that is experimentally attainable in this simulation of ash generation, our results clearly testify the rapid and efficient generation of ash by abrasion, strongly influenced by the material properties (e.g., crystallinity, pore textures).