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Static Analysis of Slug flow:

A Presentation for Beginners

The purpose of this article is to explain the static analysis of slug flow using Caesar II. This
article will cover the following points in brief:

Calculation of Slug Force

Static Analysis

Inputs Required


Case Study showing an example


Slug Flow is typical two phase flow where a wave is picked up periodically by the
rapidly moving gas to form a frothy slug, which passes along the pipe at a greater
velocity than the average liquid velocity.
In this type of flow, slugs can cause severe and, in some cases, dangerous vibrations in
piping systems because of the impact of the high-velocity slugs against fittings such as
bend, Tee etc.
Slug flows generate dynamic fluid forces, which may induce structural vibration.

Slug Flow

Excessive vibration may lead to component failures due to fatigue or resonance.

Such vibration problem may be avoided by thorough analysis, preferably at design

Two types of Analysis Methods are prevalent

o Static Analysis and
o Dynamic Analysis

Examples of Slug flow:

o Vacuum Transfer Lines
o Condenser Outlet Lines
o Re-boiler Return Lines
o Fired Heater outlets

o Boiler Blow down lines.


Slug force is equal to the change in momentum with respect to time. Refer the below
attached figure:

Diagram Showing Slug Force Application

Use the following equations to calculate Slug Force.

Multiply the calculated value with a suitable DLF. Normally a DLF of 2.0 is common
to use.

Diagram Showing Slug Force Equation


Stress isometrics of complete system.

Line parameters such as line temperatures, pressures, fluid density, pipe material,
corrosion allowance, insulation thickness, density etc.

Parameters required for Slug force calculation like slug density or liquid density, two
phase velocity etc.

Nozzle allowable if connected to equipment.


It is assumed that the slug is formed across the full cross section of the pipe for the
maximum impact. This configuration is least probable for vertically down word flow
as no hold up is possible for accumulation of liquid and eventual formation of slug.
Hence slug force at elbows for vertically downward flow lines are not considered.
It is assumed that the reader knows normal static analysis of piping system using
Caesar II.


Lets assume the shown system is subjected to slug flow. The parameters for the pipe are as
mentioned below:

Pipe: A106B, 6, Sch 40

CA=3 mm

T1=100 degree C

T2=75 degree C

P1=15 bar

Liquid Density=950 Kg/m^3

Two phase Velocity=10.53 m/s

Stress System under consideration

After modeling the piping system following conventional method we have to calculate the
slug force and apply the same into the system. Normally all organizations have their excel
spreadsheet to calculate Slug Force. A typical excel spreadsheet for slug force calculation is
shown in the below attached figure for your reference.

Excel Spreadsheet for Slug force calculation

So if we use a DLF of 2 then each of axial and orthogonal force will be 4240N. We have to
incorporate this force in Caesar II input spreadsheet. Check the below mentioned figure for
direction of forces.

Slug force in Bends with Application direction

Now we will input the axial and orthogonal forces at all changes in direction as shown in
attached figure.

To enter forces click on the Forces button in Caesar II spreadsheet.

Provide the node number and magnitude of forces with proper direction.

Similarly input forces in all bends (other than vertically downward bends).

Caesar Spreadsheet Showing input methodology of Slug Force

Next step is to prepare the required load cases. Few additional load cases need to be prepared
for static analysis of slug force. The same has been shown in the below mentioned figure.

Caesar II Load cases for Slug Flow Analysis

Prepare the load cases as mentioned in the figure.

Make stress types as occasional

Use combination methods as Scalar


Additionally We have to check code compliance for load cases L14 to L17 and ensure
that the values are well within code allowable values.
We have to check forces and displacements for load cases L1 to L9.

Refer below mentioned figures for reference:

Caesar II Code compliance check report

Caesar II Restraint Summary check report

Keep all stresses, forces and displacements within allowable limit. If exceeds then try iteration
with support location change, support type change or routing change.