Pipes are vital components to machines, systems, and infrastructure across the globe. From domestic plumbing, to agricultural irrigation, to the oil and gas industry, pipes are the connectors between vital resources and customers. With some subsea natural gas pipelines running close to 900 km along the ocean floor, transportation of substances via pipelines needs to be safe and consistent. To ensure reliability and performance, computer-aided engineering is often employed to simulate and test stresses on pipes and associated fixtures and fittings.
Typical Pipe Applications
The most common use for pipes is for fluid conveyance, however pipes are also used for moving gaseous, solid, and semi-solid substances. Pipes vary in size, shape, and material depending on what they are transporting, the temperatures they need to withstand and the conditions they will operate in.
Pipes and pipework are used in industries such as:
Potable water supply
Plumbing, wastewater, and drainage
Food and beverage
Oil and gas
Heating and cooling systems
How Can Online Simulation with SimScale Benefit Pipe Applications?
Pipes need to allow flow while withstanding temperature and pressure changes to avoid damage or leakage. This is where computer-aided engineering can offer support. Material selection, placement, joints, bonding, and fixtures can all be analyzed to see how they will react to external forces. The various stresses and strains can be simulated using simulation with SimScale to ensure the pipe will adequately serve its purpose.
Joints in pipes come under a lot of stress and strain. This project shows a stress analysis of a pipe elbow to identify whether it can withstand pressure on its flanges as well as pressure from fluid inside. Explore it here.
In the case where pressure control systems have failed, the risk of blowouts rises, where pressure peaks cause major damage. This nonlinear FEA shows how blowouts can lead to displacement and deformation in elastoplastic material.
A cracked pipe can lead to leaks and losses. Pipes must be durable and be able tolerate great stresses in order to avoid cracks from occurring. This public project analyzes the effect of a crack in a pipe, looking at the thermostructural properties.
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