CFD Modelling of Pipe Erosion Due to Sand Transport
Erosion caused by sand particles is a serious problem facing the oil and gas industry. Predicting pipe erosion due to sand transport is a complex process in multiphase flows due to the complex nature of the flow. Existing erosion studies are however focused on single phase flow conditions which are conservative and could lead to under-/over-engineering because actual fluid flow in pipelines is multiphase. There is therefore a need for in-depth analysis of the complex interaction between the multiphase fluid and transported sand particles.
This study employs CFD modelling techniques to investigate the complex interactions between the multiphase fluid and transported sand particles in pipes, and the subsequent effect on pipe erosion rate and location under varying operating conditions. In view of this, the Eulerian Multifluid-VOF Model coupled with Interfacial Area Transport Equations have been employed to simulate air-water two phase flow and the result shows good agreement with experimental data.
This fluid flow results have been employed in investigating sand erosion in multiphase flow through pipes. The Eulerian Multifluid-VOF model has been coupled with the Lagrangian framework for particle tracking and an appropriate erosion correlation has been employed to predict the pipe erosion rate. The pipe was observed to erode more 45° into the elbow and maximum erosion rate is 4.028e–6 kg/m2s. These results are in acceptable range when compared to available data. Erosion rate was also observed to be transient.
KeywordsErosion Erosion rate Multiphase flow CFD
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