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Effect of Sand Particle Transportation in Oil and Gas Pipeline Erosion

Authors: Christopher Deekia Nwimae, Nigel Simms, Liyun Lao


Erosion in a pipe bends caused by particles is a major concern in the oil and gas fields and might cause breakdown to production equipment. This work investigates the effect of sand particle transport in an elbow using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach. Two-way coupled Euler-Lagrange and discrete phase model is employed to calculate the air/solid particle flow in the elbow. Generic erosion model in Ansys fluent and three particle rebound models are used to predict the erosion rate on the 90° elbows. The model result is compared with experimental data from the open literature validating the CFD-based predictions which reveals that due to the sand particles impinging on the wall of the elbow at high velocity, a point on the pipe elbow were observed to have started turning red due to velocity increase and the maximum erosion locations occur at 48°.

Keywords: Erosion, prediction, elbow, computational fluid dynamics, CFD.

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