Prediction of pressure losses in pneumatic conveying pipelines
This project arose out of a need to improve the accuracy with which the pressure drop along pneumatic conveying pipelines in process plant could be predicted. The methods previously available for making this prediction are examined and critically assessed. The need for a different method is shown, and a new approach is developed and tested. The new approach involves testing of the product to be conveyed, in a test pipeline at the smaller end of the industrial scale, with measurements being made of the pressure drop caused by bends and of the pressure gradients in straight lengths; the data is fed into a storage and retrieval system then extracted and used to predict the pressure drop in a plant pipeline conveying the same product. The method has been developed to the point where it is in current use for the design of pneumatic conveying systems for industrial applications. The development of a suitable test rig, the data storage and retrieval systems, and the method for predicting the pressure drop in a plant pipeline, are examined in detail. The method is tested against data from pipeline loops and found to give good results. A quantitative comparison is made against the work of other authors in the field; the results of this show good agreement although the scope of the current work is much wider than anything comparable. An assessment is also made of the areas requiring further work. A major advantage of the method lies in its use to predict the pressure drop along pipelines having steps up in bore size along their length, which were not amenable to treatment by previous methods. The advantages of such systems and the consequent value of the method are examined in detail.