New erosion modelling approach more representative of reality
An enhanced erosion modelling technique has been developed by staff at TUV SUD NEL. The advanced service provides a better picture of the interaction between erosion and flow over time and offers meter, pipe and valve manufacturers improved accuracy for product performance tests.
“This new technique provides a greater level of performance,” says Marc Laing, Service Leader for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). “Traditional modelling methods only provide predictions of the rate of erosion. Our new method takes into account the impact of changes in geometry caused by erosion, which then impact on flow. For example, erosion can remove a sharp corner which, in turn, changes flow patterns and erosive behaviour.”
Marc and his team have already used the new erosion modelling service to test a Venturi meter and a Cone meter, looking at the impact of sand erosion over periods of one and three years.
“I developed this approach with my colleague Sandy Black, because we identified a market requirement. We saw the benefits it would provide our customers who confirmed the significant potential which exists for its application,” Marc explains. “By using our in-house erosion test rig we have proved that the model performs as we expected.”
According to Marc, previous erosion models have tended to be conservative. The new approach is more representative of reality. It combines computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with erosion models to deliver detailed 3D erosion prediction maps, which show when and where maximum erosion will occur.
Erosion modelling is becoming ever more important as sand-producing reservoirs contain a large percentage of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves. Erosion reduces the life of a wide range of metering components, pipelines and other equipment and can result in system failure.
The components tested at the company’s erosion rig include hydrocyclones, material coatings, flow meters, engine components, valves, composite materials, piping configurations and sand monitors.