Piping Fundamentals – For Fresher Engineers

Piping System - What is that?
Concept Layout Development Piping Components & their access requirement. Straight length requirements. Orientation of various tapings, components, etc. Piping Drains & Vents Insulation. Material & Sizing Critical piping system consideration. Pipe Stress Analysis. Pipe Supports

Piping Fundamentals – For Fresher Engineers Let us first Discuss about WHAT IS PIPE!
It is a Tubular item made of metal, plastic, glass etc. meant for conveying Liquid, Gas or any thing that flows. It is a very important component for any industrial plant. And it’s engineering plays a major part in overall engineering of a Plant. In next few pages we shall try to familiarize about pipe and it’s components.

1 to the other two tanks. .In any plant various fluids flow through pipes from one end to other. We will need to connect pipes to transfer the fluids from Tank-1 to Tank-2 and Tank-3 LET US BRING THE PIPES. Now let us start with a plant where we see three tanks. Tank-1. Tank-2 and Tank-3 We have to transfer the content of Tank no.

now we need to solve some more problems. which are called PIPE FITTINGS We have just brought the pipes. Pipes are all straight pieces. We need some branch connections We need some bend connections .To solve these problems we need the pipe components.

Reducers/Expanders. Tees/Branches. etc. These. There are various types of fittings for various purposes. Olets. We now have to complete the end connections. Anyway. the pipes and fittings are in place. . Couplings. we call TERMINAL CONNECTIONS. some common types are Elbows/Bends. in piping term. but the ends are yet to be joined with the Tank nozzles.These are the pipe fittings.

But there is no control over the flow from Tank-1 to other tanks. We need some arrangement to stop the flow if needed These are flanged joints This is a welded joint To control the flow in a pipe line we need to fit a special component.So far this is a nice arrangement. That is called .VALVE .

Globe. categorized based on their construction and functionality. Those are . This is called a STRAINER .There are many types of valves. Check. Butterfly. etc. which cleans out derbies from the flowing fluid. Other than valves another important line component of pipe line is a filter.Gate.

Here we see a more or less functional piping system. Let us now investigate some aspects of pipe flexibility. when the tank is hot. In such case we need to fit a flexible pipe component at that location. which is called an EXPANSION JOINT . If this tank nozzle expands. with valves and strainer installed.

To know these information we need to install INSTRUMENTS in the pipeline. pressure. .When some fluid is flowing in a pipe we may also like know the parameters like. temperature. flow rate etc. of the fluid.

There are various types instruments to measure various parameters. Also there are specific criteria for installation of various pipe line instruments.Next we shall look into how to SUPPORT the pipe/and it’s components. .

All depend on piping designer’s preference and judgement. Let us see some OTHER types of supports . There can be numerous variants.Here are some of the pipe supporting arrangements.



in short P&ID. Pipe size. Let us see a P&ID prepared in SPP&ID . For P&ID generation we use SPP&ID software.  First the flow scheme is planned. Flowing Fluid. etc. By this time you have already come to know that while we prepare P&IDs in SPP&ID. 2) From what point.  Types of Valves are planned  Also the types of instruments required are planned We represent the whole thing in a drawing which is called Piping and Instrumentation Drawing.We have just completed a pipe line design. 1) What. 3) To which point  Pipe sizes are selected. we enter all the pipe lines system information in the drawing. We shall rewind and check how it is really done in practice. So the SPP&ID drawing is an Intelligent drawing which under it’s surface carries all the information about a pipe like. pipe material and pipe wall thickness are selected.


This is screen picture of P&ID made by SPP&ID If we click on any line it will show the Data embedded. .

We call this as piping modeling or physical design.  Should not hinder any normal passage way.After the P&ID is ready we start the layout work. Here we carryout pipe routing / layout in Virtual 3D environment. While development of piping layout we have to consider the following  Piping from source to destination should be as short as possible with minimum change in direction. Also should not encroach any equipment maintenance space. We use PDS 3D software to route piping in the Plant virtual 3D space. Not Preferable Preferable .

While carrying out pipe routing we also need to consider the following  Valves.  Specific requirements of STRAIGHT LENGTH of pipe for some components to be maintained.  Specific requirements for instrument installation to be checked. strainers.  Desired location and orientation of valves / instruments and other pipe components are to be checked and maintained. like temperature gauge can not be installed in pipe which is less than 4 inch in size. Example of Straight length requirement for Flow Orifice . instruments on the pipe should be easily accessible.  If needed separate ACCESS PLATFORMS to be provided to facilitate these. like for flow orifice we need to provide 15 times diameter straight pipe length at upstream of orifice and 5 times diameter straight at down stream of orifice. like some valves or strainers can only be installed in horizontal position.

we have to make sure that all air is allowed to vent out of the line when the line is filled with liquid.  To achieve this a VENT connection with Valve is provided at the top most point of the pipeline.  Also arrangement is kept in the pipeline so that liquid can be drained out if required. Let us look into typical Vent and Drain arrangement in a pipeline . For Pipeline which shall carry liquid.  To achieve this a DRAIN connection with Valve is provided at the lowest point of the pipeline  Pipes are also slopped towards low points.

This is a 3D model of Feed water line along with pumps and other accessories Let us have a look into a piping model done by PDS 3D .

When hot fluid flows through pipe then generally pipe is insulated. It is called Acoustic Insulation. it creates noise. In that case pipe along with heat tracing element are insulated to conserve the heat of the tracer.  Containing the heat inside the pipe. by heat tracing element. There are two primary reasons for insulating the pipe carrying hot fluid. so that people do not get burn injury by touching hot surface of pipe. Insulation preserves the heat of the fluid. It is called Anti-Sweat Insulation. It is called Heat Tracing Insulation. It is called Personnel Protection Insulation Cold pipes are also insulated  Cold or chilled fluid carrying pipes are insulated to prevent heating of cold fluid from outside.INSULATION .  Some times pipe and it’s content are heated from outside. It is called Cold Insulation. . Other types of Insulation  When gas flows through pipes at high velocity. It is called Hot Insulation  Personnel safety.  Some times cold pipes are insulated to prevent condensation of atmospheric water vapor on pipe surface. In such cases pipes are insulated to reduce noise.

The insulating material should be bad conductor of heat.INSULATION MATERIAL . Note stagnant air is a bad conductor. INSULATION CLADDING . Glass Wool. Have a look at how pipes are insulated. which has closed void cells full or air . Polystyrene (Thermocol). and general components of insulation . 2) Cellular Material. etc. Some times Cast material like Cement Plaster or Plaster of Paris are also used. Cellular Glass (Foam Glass). So the outer surface of insulation are protected with Aluminum sheet or GI sheet cladding. Polyurethane Foam (PUF). Organic Fibers.Calcium Silicate.Insulation materials are generally soft or fragile. Mineral Wool.Cork. There are two basic categories 1) Fibrous Material. which has large voids full of air between fibers .

Drop for that Pipe size Check Press. Find out type of Fluid flowing Find out Fluid Temp. Budget NO Increase Pipe Size Pipe Thickness Selection . Pipe Sizing Calculation . Pipe Thickness per Code YES Pipe Size OK . flow area required and Pipe size Calc. Select Mat. & Diameter as above Find out Fluid Temp. Find out Flow volume per second Check Velocity Allowable per second Calc. Drop meets Press.to select appropriate pipe thickness based on flowing fluid property. If material is not listed in code we may select next suitable material listed. & Pressure Decide on Corrosion allowance Calc.to select required pipe diameter based on velocity and pressure drop. Listed in Design Code NO See Note1 YES Pipe Material OK Note-1 : Material is selected per past experience with cost in mind and per material listed in design code. Press.Pipe Material Selection . & Pressure Check Pipe life Expectancy Select suitable Material per practice (Note-1) Check Mat.to select appropriate pipe material based on flowing fluid property.

These pipes carries the main cycle steam and water of the steam power plant. they are given the right of way.  The most important codes used by power plant piping engineers are  ASME ANSI B31. In Power plant there are some piping which carries steam at high pressure and temperature.the Indian Boiler Regulation .  Very special care are taken for design of these piping.  Also there should be enough flexibility in these pipe routing so that high loads are not transferred to the nozzles of Turbine or Pumps  There are many recognized international codes which lay down guide lines and mandatory requirements for design of such piping.Power Piping Code & IBR . and routed at beginning of the overall plant layout.  Steam pipes run at very high temperature and the hot pipes expand. We have to built in flexibility in the high temperature pipe routing so that the expansion force is absorbed within the piping.  These pipelines are call the CRITICAL PIPING. And also there are piping which carries water at High pressure.1.  First the pipe material selection for such piping is very important as it has to withstand the high pressure and may be also high temperature.  As these pipes carry the main system fluid of the power plant.

 We also find out the pipe growth due to change in temperature and need to keep the movement of pipe within acceptable limits.  We need to check and confirm the pipe is not going to fail with these loading.  Then we check with governing codes if those stresses generated are acceptable or not.  In the process of Analysis we apply various postulated loading on the pipe and find out the stress resulted from these loading.  We check support load & movement for various loading condition. Each step is checked  If a check fails we have to go back. Also pipes carry the load of the flowing fluid.  Pipe Stress Analysis is an Interactive and Iterative process. .  This process of checking the stress developed in the piping due to various loading is called Pipe Stress Analysis/Flexibility analysis. modify the layout and restart the analysis.Pipe Stress Analysis  We have already seen that some of the pipes are subjected to high pressure and high temperature. This loading are to be within acceptable limits of the equipment suggested by the vendors.  We also check out the terminal point loading generated from pipe to the equipment connected to the pipe.

 Thrust on pipe due to earthquake  Load of Snow on pipe  Any transient loading like Steam Hammer load  Any other load on the piping Outputs  Stress of the pipe at various loading conditions  Load at various supports and restrains.PIPE STRESS ANALYSIS Inputs  Geometric layout of Pipe  Pipe supporting configuration Tools we use  PIPSYS .Commercial Piping analysis software  There are many other commercial software available  Pipe Diameter and Thickness  Pressure inside Pipe  Cold and Hot temperatures of Pipe  Weight of Pipe and insulation  Weight of carrying Fluid  Pipe material Property (Young’s Modulus.1  In India Power cycle Piping to comply IBR code requirements. Codes and Standards  In general Power Plant Piping have to comply stipulations of ASME ANSI B31. Thermal Expansion Coefficient)  Thrust on pipe due to blowing wind. .is an integrated pipe stress analysis module of PLADES 2000  CEASER .  Movement of pipe at support locations  Pipe terminal point loading.

Variable Spring Constant Load Spring Dynamic Support. here support load changes as the pipe moves. the load remains constant within some range of movement. Snubber Rigid Support Rigid Support Rigid Hanger .  Constant load support.Types of Pipe Supports In the beginning of this discussion we talked about various types of pipe supports. Here is some elaboration  There are three general types  Rigid type (no flexibility in the direction of restrain)  Spring type (Allows pipe movement in direction of loading)  Dynamic Support (Degree of restrain depends on acceleration of load)  There are two types of spring support  Variable load type.

 For similar case pipes are wrapped with heat tracing elements to maintain the content temperature above freezing (around 4 deg.  U/G. which turns on as the ambient temperature goes down. it will be difficult to detect. Freeze Protection of outdoor Piping:  In the areas where the ambient temperature goes below freezing there is a possibility that the liquid content of pipe may freeze while the plant is under shut down.  Or U/G piping be protected by using Cathodic protection. is below freezing. .  Pipe may be properly wrapped and coated to prevent corrosion.  Electric Heat tracing is done by wrapping electric coil around pipe.Some Special Considerations for Piping When pipes are routed UNDER GROUND (Buried) following points to be kept in mind:  Minimum pipe size to be routed under ground shall be not less than1 inch.  Keep in mind if pipe leaks U/G.  Avoid flange joint in U/G piping. so avoid U/G routing of pipe carrying hazardous fluid.  Pipe to be laid below Frost Zone at areas where ambient temperature goes below freezing.  Heat tracing can also be done by winding Steam tubes around main pipes. Buried piping should be properly protected from corrosion. Pipes are insulated over the heat tracing coils. C) even when the ambient temp.

Hope you have gathered the fundamentals on the subject of Piping .We have come to the End of Session.

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