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Computational fluid dynamic analysis of sand erosion in 90 degree sharp bend geometry.

Droubi, Mohamad Ghazi; Tebowei, Roland; Islam, Sheikh Zahidul; Hossain, Mamdud; Mitchell, E.


Roland Tebowei

E. Mitchell


The prediction of erosion damage due to sand presence during hydrocarbon production is a major threat to the integrity of the production facilities. Sand production from oil and gas reservoirs can cause a significant damage to different pipeline components, and as a consequence, may lead to unwanted maintenance costs and potential environmental damage. In this work, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to investigate how altering flow conditions, pipe geometry and solid particle variables might affect the sand erosion rates at pipe bends. The model was first validated against particle tracks and erosion profiles presented by a published research with reasonable agreement. Erosion rate was found to decrease as the pipe diameter was increased with significant reductions observed when the pipe diameter was increased by the smallest degree (i.e. from 4 to 6). Increasing the bend radii of 1.5D, 3D and 5D also resulted in a gradual decrease in maximum erosion rate observed in each test case respectively. However, it was observed that the surface area damaged by erosion increased as the bend radius was increased. It was found also that increasing particle size results in significantly larger erosion rates with different erosion scarring associated with each particle size. Moreover, no direct correlation was observed between increasing the carrier fluid density and the erosion rate. . However, much larger magnitudes of erosion were observed when gas (low density) was the carrier fluid when compared to oil and water individually. Besides, as expected, erosion rate was found to increase significantly with increase in flow velocity. The final tests conducted were carried out when the distance between two bends in series was increased from 2.5D to 5D and then to 7.5D. Interestingly, erosion was found to increase as the distance between the bends was increased.


DROUBI, M.G., TEBOWEI, R., ISLAM, S.Z., HOSSAIN, M. and MITCHELL, E. 2016. Computational fluid dynamic analysis of sand erosion in 90 degree sharp bend geometry. In Proceedings of the 9th International conference on computational fluid dynamics (ICCFD9), 11-15 July 2016, Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul: International conference on computational fluid dynamics (ICCFD) [online], article ID ICCFD9-2016-128. Available from:

Conference Name 9th International conference on computational fluid dynamics (ICCFD9)
Start Date Jul 11, 2016
End Date Jul 15, 2016
Acceptance Date Apr 24, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2016
Publication Date Jul 15, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2017
Publisher International Conference on Computational Fluid Dynamics
Article Number ICCFD9-2016-128
Keywords Sand erosion; Computational Fluid Dynamics; 90 degree bend
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