Relief Valve Analysis with 6 DoF Motion
The SimScale Public Project Library contains 200 projects which you can use as templates for your own simulations.
There you can find several valve analyses created to help you improve your products faster and more efficiently. The most recent project is this analysis, which simulates the opening of a pressure relief valve using 6 DoF body motion.
The Valve Analysis
This project simulates the opening of a relief valve by fluid pressure via transient analysis with 6 DoF (degree of freedom) motion for the valve. The valve motion was restrained by adding a spring model that is initially in a slightly compressed state. Turbulence modeling was done with the K-Omega SST model.
The source geometry includes a complete relief valve and was simplified for this internal flow analysis, as shown in the figure below with the valve highlighted in red.
The complete internal flow domain was meshed using the ‘Snappy-Hex-Mesh’ on the SimScale platform. The resulting mesh (flow domain only) consists of approximately 0.4 million cells and is shown in the figure below.
The fluid was taken as water at standard conditions. A fixed inlet velocity of 8m/s was taken with a reference pressure of value 0 at the outlet. The restraining spring had a rest length of 0.41 m and a stiffness coefficient of 20000 N/m. Based on the construction and symmetry condition, constraints were applied for the rotations and lateral motions. The job was run on 4 compute cores and took around 16 hours to complete.
The simulation analyses the instantaneous flow field through the valve and the motion due to fluid pressure and spring restraint.
The results below (processed on ParaView) show the transient changes in pressure and flow velocities and the motion of the valve based on the fluid forces. This study shows potential to improve and optimize the valve design and study the real time valve motion.
The figures also show how the pressure distribution changes and a 3D visualization of the streamlines.
Shown below is the velocity field at 2 different time instances.
Next result of this valve analysis is the pressure field at 2 different time instances with arrows indicating the flow direction.
Third, the 3D velocity streamlines in the volume at 2 time instances are shown below:
In the plot below, the displacement of the valve over time can be investigated:
If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage engineering simulation for valve designs, you can download this success story and see how you can reduce pressure drop in a valve by 17%.
SimScale offers a cloud-based, powerful, simulation platform that is not only easy to access from anywhere via your browser, but also provides you with all the functionalities you need for 3D simulation, at a fraction of the price on the market (up to 15x lower than other simulation software providers).
 The geometry for this project is courtesy of GrabCAD user Johann Oberhumer.