Sand particles, produced in addition to petroleum fluid, present a major erosional hazard to transport and process control equipment within the petroleum industry. Control valves are most susceptible to erosion due to their fundamental action, experiencing failure through loss of control in a matter of days in extreme cases. This paper presents a computational fluid dynamics erosion model which allows erosion rates within chokes to be predicted. Particle trajectories are computed through the momentum exchange from the turbulent flow field, while erosion rates are predicted as a function of individual particle impact characteristics, given material types, particle shape and size. Techniques used to define differing material types and the display of results as surface plots are provided. Such a process improves our understanding of the erosion mechanisms induced, providing erosion limitation by design optimisation and material selection. © 1998 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.
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