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Transparent Multiphase Corrosion Flow Loops

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Erosion Corrosion in Multiphase Flow River Crossings and Hilly Terrain Inclinable systems

Large diameter pipes experience significantly different flow patterns in comparison to small diameter pipes. Previous studies have shown that the ability to reproduce flow patterns similar to those in large diameter pipelines diminishes greatly for pipelines with an internal diameter less than 10 cm.  All multiphase flow studies at the Institute are carried out in 4-inch or 10 cm I.D. pipelines for direct correlation to larger scale systems.

Erosion Corrosion in Multiphase Flow

Material degradation in industrial pipelines occurs through two main processes: corrosion and erosion. Corrosion is a chemical or electrochemical degradation process by which electrons from the target metal are lost to corrosive species in the process fluid and the remaining metal cation is left to be dissolved into the fluid or to form a protective film. Erosion occurs due to the impact of particles on the surface of pipe walls which mechanically removes material from the target metal surface. Industrial pipelines which transport corrosive species and solid particles are subject to erosion-corrosion. If both erosion and corrosion occur at the same time there is a chance that a synergistic effect may cause the amount of metal loss to be greater than the sum of metal loss due to erosion and corrosion. For highly used industrial materials such as carbon steel it is important to know how the material will wear in erosion-corrosion environments. Despite the extensive studies performed on pure corrosion and pure erosion mechanisms there have been few studies in order to determine the mechanisms that occur during erosion-corrosion processes. Text written by Josh Addis.


Multiphase Flow in Hilly Terrain

A unique, 10-cm diameter, 18-m long pipeline has been constructed to simulate localized multiphase oil/water/gas flow and corrosion in the vicinity of road and river crossings and in hilly terrain topography with short, abrupt inclination changes. The multiphase flow line involves flow over a horizontal distance of 6 m before reaching the crossing section. Four 9D (nine-diameter radius) bends with 2-m pipelines for the riser, crossing, and downcomer sections make up the crossing section. The multiphase mixture then flows through a 4-m horizontal discharge section into a separation tank. This highly complex system exhibits flow regimes from horizontal, inclined, and vertical flows. At any given gas and liquid flow rate, this system can experience 9 different flow regimes in different regions at the same time. The corresponding corrosion mechanisms and corrosion rates will vary dramatically.


Inclined Multiphase Flows

Unlike single-phase flows, multiphase flows are strongly influenced by the geometry of flow. Of the many variations in pipe geometry, the strongest influence is from the pipe inclination. Even an inclination of 0.5 degrees can dramatically alter the flow patterns, the boundary layer structure, and the fundamental transport mechanisms. Two separate pipelines, 30 m in length, are located atop a 16,000 lb structure that is fully inclinable from horizontal to vertical. The transparent pipe sections allow for flow visualization when studying the effect of inclination on flow patterns in multiphase flows containing sand, oil, water, gas, and/or drag reducing agents (DRAs).


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Ohio University
Russ College of Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering
Institute for Corrosion

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Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology
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