Case Study

Accurately predicting component life – erosion

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Challenge

Erosion within oil and gas production and chemical process lines is a serious problem, and operators need an accurate understanding of when ultimate failure is likely to occur.  It’s a complex phenomenon involving many different factors, and so empirical formulae that take into account the pipe material and the particle properties are used.  However, these relationships don’t take into account changes to the local flow field caused by the erosion process itself, under-estimating component life.

Working with Siemens Digital Industries Software and the Sarov Research Institute, we developed a morphing-mesh Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) method that allowed the flow domain to change as it was eroded, changing local shear stresses and erosion rates. These models were then validated against experimental work.
Our Work
Outcome

The results were excellent, accurately predicting the location of the burn-through and the time taken to failure.  These improved simulations can now be used by operators to extend component life and reduce replacement costs.

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