CFD Simulations Predict Erosion of Oil & Gas Pipelines

  Benefits of Erosion Simulation to Oil & Gas Industry

When the average person thinks of erosion they tend to imagine the vastness of the Grand Canyon or perhaps the Mississippi river.

For oil & gas or power systems engineers, however, erosion brings up images of pipes, pumps, and steam turbines. In this case, particles in the oil, or droplets in the gas, eat way at the equipment used at oil & gas extraction facilities.

Using CFD simulation software, like ANSYS Fluent, engineers can better predict corrosion hotspots, plan preventative maintenance schedules, and save money from reduced downtime. Additionally, simulations have also led to some tips and tricks to limit pipe erosion.


Erosion changes the shape of the pipe inner walls


“Erosion and equipment failure as well as unscheduled downtime are costly. Despite recent sharp drop in energy prices, investments in simulation and R&D should not stop,” said Dr. Gilles Eggenspieler, Lead Fluid Product Line Manager at ANSYS.

He adds, “When extracting gas, or fracking oil sands, operators often get no more information than a pressure reading. There are no cameras or sensors to tell them how fast things erode. This analysis needs to be done up front to prevent breakdowns.”

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