Predicting Wall Pressure Fluctuation In Process Piping Systems Due To High Velocity Fluid Streams

Predicting wall pressure fluctuation in process piping systems due to high velocity fluid streams


Prof. Kamran Behdinan, University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Prof. Richard Bachoo, University of West Indies

University of West Indies


Hyun's Photo

Hyun Shim, MEng

University of Toronto

Joshua Raghoo, University of West Indies

Joshua Raghoo

University of West Indies

Research Problem Addressed Expand

Gas producing Caribbean territories such as Trinidad and Tobago have numerous processing plants in the upstream and downstream sectors. Process plants may seek to increase the overall production at certain points in time either to meet contractual or domestic demand. This often directly translates to increasing the flow rates in the process piping system. An increase in flowrate results in an increase in flow induced turbulence which may render piping systems susceptible to vibration induced fatigue failure. In many cases the output of a process plant is limited by the vibration experienced by the piping system. Vibration levels are often measured whilst a plant is being ramped up; at the point where it is determined that the levels are approaching excessive the flowrate is not increased further. This approach is plagued with uncertainty and analysts often take to the side of caution by making conservative estimates.

Main Project Objectives Expand

The main project objectives were to determine the causes of the wall pressure fluctuations in piping systems with a complex geometrical description and to quantify its magnitude. The study was able generate spectral and spatially correlated descriptions of the pressure fluctuations in a test-piping system. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was also generated to predict the general trends of the system. The work can be used to determine with greater certainty the threshold flowrate a process plant can withstand and also identify the modifications which can be incorporated to achieve the desired production rates.

Testimonial Expand

The International Virtual Engineering Student (INVEST) initiative was a well-designed and strategized program to facilitate the collaborative work between students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and students at the University of Toronto (UofT). The program allowed the students to work together to develop their communication skills and enhance their critical thinking and leadership qualities. The INVEST program demonstrated, through the use of technology, a unique approach to facilitating collaborative work and solving globally relevant problems!

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