ONE OF THE key issues in the design and construction of any gas pipeline is the prevention of material fracture. Since the gas is generally transported under high operating pressures, it must be ensured that the gas pipeline is sufficiently tough to arrest the propagation of any potential fracture. For several decades, control of gas pipeline fracture propagation has been under scrutiny due to economic considerations and ecological and safety hazards related to pressurised pipe failure. The Battelle Two Curve approach has been widely used to determine the minimum material arrest toughness by comparing the gas decompression wave velocity with the fracture velocity, both as functions of the local gas pressure. Sufficient knowledge of the gas decompression behavior following the rupture is therefore crucial in determining running fracture arrest toughness levels. The decompression behaviour is influenced by the operating conditions, fluid composition and the material properties of the pipeline itself. This paper describes a two-dimensional decompression model developed using the commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software ANSYS Fluent. The GERG-2008 Equation of State has been implemented into this model to simulate the rapid decompression of common natural gas mixtures. The evolution of the decompression wave speed and phase changes under arbitrary initial conditions is reported. Comparison with experimental results obtained from shock tube tests showed good agreement between simulation and experiment.
Elshahomi, A., Lu, C., Michal, G., Liu, X., Godbole, A., Botros, K. K., Venton, P. & Colvin, P. (2013). Two-dimensional CFD modelling of gas-decompression behaviour. The 6th International Pipeline Technology Conference (pp. S18-02-1 - S18-02-23). United States: Clarion Technical Conferences.