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Pipe sizing

Pipe selection and sizing is influenced by cost because the capital cost of a pipe run increases with
diameter, whereas the pumping cost decrease when the diameter increases
1
. Other factors to
consider when selection pipes are the flow rates, the corrosive nature of the fluid, the pressure drop
and the pipe roughness. The institution of Chemical Engineers IChemE (1987) published a log-log
plot of the pipe data that includes the cost of fitting ,installation and testing which yield the
following equation for calculating optimum pipe diameter.
Optimum pipe diameter
Stainless steel d = 260 G
0.52

-0.37
This approximation can be used to make estimations for economic pipe diameter as the cost of pipes
depends on the cost power and this appears in the equation as a ratio. However, this equation
cannot be used for sizing steam pipes as the steam quality depends on its pressure and pressure
drop. The above equation was used to calculate the pipe sizes and the results tabulated in Fig 1
Calculation of diameter for pipe SS01
Density = 59.5 kg/ m
3

Mass flow rate = 21.7kg/s
Optimum diameter = 260 x 21.7
0.52
x 59.5
-0.37

= 284.58 mm

Pipe thickness
When selecting the pipe thickness the resistance to internal pressure and corrosion must be
considered. The British Standard BS 5500 states that pipes are to be considered as thin cylinders and
the following equation must be used to calculate the thickness.
t =

where

Thickness calculation for pipe SS01
Pressure = 1 bar

d
= 115 N/mm
2

d = 284.58mm
t=


= 0.124 + 4mm corrosion allowance = 4.124mm
P= Internal Pressure (bar)
d= pipe optimum diameter (mm)

d
= design stress at the working temperature( N/mm)
The pipes will be in operation in a highly corrosive environment (H
2
S, H
2
and CO
2
which may form
carbonic acids) a corrosion allowance of 4mm will be added to the thickness calculated .The above
equation was used to calculate all the pipe thickness and results tabulated in Fig 1.

Pipe Number Diameter (mm) Length (m) Thickness (mm) Pressure
drop(N/m
2
)

SS01
SS01.1
SS02-3
SS04
SS05
SS06
SS07
SS08
SS09
SS10
SS11
SS12
SS13
SS14
SS15
SS16
SS17
SS18
SS19
SS20
SS21
SS22
SS23
SS24
SS25
SS26
SS27
SS28
SS29
SS30
SS31
SS32
SS33
SS34
SS35
SS36
SS37
SS 38
SS39
SS40
Fig 1
Pressure drop
Pressure drops due to friction in a pipe is a function of the fluid flow- rate, fluid viscosity and density,
pipe diameter, length of the pipe and pipe roughness. The following equation can be used to
calculate the pressure drop:
P
f
= (





Length = 10m Cross Sectional Area =

=0.85m
2

Density = 59.5kg/m
3
Mass flow rate = 21.78kg/s
Fluid velocity =



=



Pressure drop calculations for pipe SS01
P
f
= (









f = Friction factor (Fanning friction factor)
L = length of pipe (m)
d = diameter of pipe (m)
V = velocity (m/s)


Pump Sizing and Selection:
The type of pump best suited for the application is usually selected based on the required flow rate,
differential pressure (or differential head) and other process considerations such as corrosion or the
presence of solids in the fluid
1
. Data about fluid properties such as viscosity, density and vapour
pressure need to be known before selecting a pump.
Pumps are generally classified into two types
1. Dynamic pumps ( centrifugal pumps).
2. Positive displacement pumps, (such as diaphragm and reciprocating pumps).


BS 1600
velocity =


pipe roughness = 0.046 ( Coulson Richardson pp202)
Pump selection
Pump Number N (Speed) Work (J/kg) Power (kW) NPSH

P01
P11
P14
P17
P18
P38

GAS systems with low density :
d=