April 2006

Engineering Case Histories

Case 32: Piping flexibility concerns

Thermal upsets can cause pump problems due to piping loads

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

Piping flexibility calculations are performed on new plant piping systems to ensure high loads are not imposed on machinery, pressure vessels or other equipment by the piping. Such an analysis may include miles of piping and considers the operating conditions such as temperature and pressure, and occasional deviations from design conditions. In addition, weight, support conditions, settlement, seismic (earthquake) activities, wind loads, vibration and a host of other concerns are considered. Simply put, there must be enough bends in the piping to keep the loads and stresses to within the allowable values, but not so flexible as to add excessive cost due to unneeded piping. An experienced p

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