Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Ju Zhang

Second Advisor

Kunal Mitra

Third Advisor

Ersoy Subasi

Fourth Advisor

Hamid Hefazi


Micro particles, primarily from iron, can wreak havoc on a Sales Gas System. For example, the transport of particles with the gas flow can cause erosion damage to the piping system, lead to the release of toxic gasses, and interrupt the operation. The objective of the current work is to examine the erosion rate (ER) in an existing Sales Gas Piping System by simulating different black powder particles sizes and considering variable operation conditions. An elbow-shaped pipe spool is used to determine the area of maximum destruction. It will help the designer, engineer and operation personnel to predict the ER and will also define the erosion limit. A previously damaged piping system was the focus of this study in which black powder (BP), a product of internal corrosion, was evident in the Sales Gas pipeline. This study focuses on real environmental conditions for one of the Sales Gas plants in Saudi Aramco. Numerical study was performed to model the virtual environment of the system. Verification and validation were conducted. Numerical simulations were then performed with boundary conditions closely corresponding to those for the daily operation of the system. In particular, the driving mechanism, pressure drops, representative to operation condition were specified. The results of the simulations are then compared to the actual measured erosion reading. Various pressure drops are explored along with different BP particle sizes. It is found that, the ER of the Sales Gas system increases with pressure drop, BP particle size, and Sales Gas velocity. The ER increases by an average factor of about 2 as the pressure drops is increased by a factor of two. An empirical relation between the ER and the particle size and pressure drop was extracted from the simulation results. In addition, the region of maximum erosion is normally at the outer radius of the elbow for particle sizes larger than 75 µm with Stokes number > 1. Where for smaller particles < 20 µm with Stokes number < 1, the region of maximum erosion is at the inlet and outlet of the pipe spools.


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