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Effects of a freely moving maintenance device on the hydrodynamic characteristics of pipe bends.

Asim, Taimoor; Mishra, Rakesh; Ubbi, Kuldip


Rakesh Mishra

Kuldip Ubbi


Regular inspection and maintenance of oil and gas pipelines is crucial for safe and cost effective operation of oil and gas industry. Various techniques are practised globally for this purpose. One such technique is to insert a maintenance device within the pipeline that can monitor and record various parameters of interest, such as corrosion etc., for in-situ inspection and repair of the pipeline. The shape of maintenance device is conventionally rectangular and it houses different sensors to monitor pipeline condition. The maintenance device are thus hollow and can propagate freely within the pipeline. Extensive research has been carried out on the use and effects of such maintenance devices in straight pipes, however, published literature regarding their use in pipe bends is severely limited. In the present study, an advanced numerical approach has been used to investigate the effects of the presence of a maintenance device on the flow structure and hydrodynamic characteristics of hydraulic pipe bends used within oil and gas sector. A novel methodology has been used, and verified, to predict the velocity of the maintenance device within pipe bends. It has been observed that after the maintenance device is inserted in a pipe bend, the flow structure within the bend changes significantly. The flow within the bend has been noticed to become highly non-uniform, with the generation of considerable amount of secondary flows. This leads to substantial increase in the pressure drop across the bends. This information can be integrated in the pipeline design for better accuracy.


ASIM, T., MISHRA, R. and UBBI, K. 2019. Effects of a freely moving maintenance device on the hydrodynamic characteristics of pipe bends. Presented at the 5th eMaintenance conference 2019, 14-15 May 2019, Stockholm, Sweden.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 5th eMaintenance conference 2019
Conference Location Stockholm, Sweden
Start Date May 14, 2019
End Date Apr 15, 2019
Deposit Date May 14, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 14, 2019
Keywords Computational fluid dynamics (CFD); Pipe bends; Maintenance device; Q-criteria; Pressure drop
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