In the oil and gas industry, sand can be entrained with production of gas and liquid and can cause erosion damage and failure of pipelines, especially in elbows that are widely used to change the flow orientation. As a result, erosion failure of pipelines can occur which causes significant costs of workover and significant environmental problems can occur especially in offshore environments. Additionally, liquid dominated flows can be found in deep water, offshore oil-wells, subsea flowlines during production of gas and oil. Despite the need, there is a gap in the literature regarding erosion in elbows with liquid dominated multiphase flows, both numerically and experimentally. In this work, investigators have performed experiments to understand erosion patterns in elbow under liquid dominated flow conditions in a 50.8 mm diameter experimental facility. Additionally, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations have been performed and compared with experimental pattern results. In this study, a flow loop facility allowing flow of liquid, gas and sand was used with an acrylic elbow for erosion pattern visualization. CFD simulations are compared to experimental erosion patterns with both test results for sand-liquid and sandgas-liquid flows. The qualitative comparison between experiments and CFD simulations showed satisfactory agreement and is providing a basis for improving erosion models for these flow conditions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.