This Day in History

This Day in History (1986): New sound power level technology predicts possibility of pipe fatigue

The technology is applicable throughout all the company's plants.

This Day in History (1986): New sound power level technology predicts possibility of pipe fatigue

From the Aug. 27, 1986, edition of The Arabian Sun

Very few gas plants in the world have the high volume and pressure that are intrinsic to Aramco gas facilities, as well as the large relief valve systems that protect against potential ruptures during upset plant conditions.


Recently Aramco process engineers analyzed these relief systems and devised sophisticated procedures to incorporate sound power level technology acquired from Exxon.


This technology helps determine whether relief systems would suffer pipe fatigue from acoustically induced vibrations called by "a relief" during an upset condition and offers approaches to prevent fatigue or failure.


"When a relief valve lifts to offset pressure caused by an upset like a blockage or fire, the resulting high gas velocities can produce sonic flow (flow at the speed of sound) and high noise levels that — depending upon the individual system and the duration the system is operating — can cause serious damage," says Frank Hollis, engineering specialist within the Process and Control Systems Department.


In the past, a major stumbling block to gauging sound power levels with the system's piping — sometimes consisting of thousands of meters between flare and relief valve — was the inability to quantify the levels at critical pipe locations as well as their potential impact.


Hollis developed several sophisticated computer programs for the IBM mainframe -- by incorporating pertinent data such as physical properties of the gas and safety valve capacities -- that calculate pressure drops and predict sonic shock waves at critical points in the relief system. These programs allow a process engineer to sit down at a terminal and in a short time produce a pressure profile of a particular relief system.


Caption for top photo: Frank Hollis, engineering specialist with Process and Control Systems, refers to one of his IBM computer programs that calculate pressure drops and predict sonic shock wave occurrences in relief valve piping.


Also on this date

2011 Hurricane Irene strikes the U.S. East Coast, killing 47 and causing an estimated $15.6 billion


2003 The first six-party talks, involving South and North Korea, the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia, convene to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns of the North Korean nuclear weapons program


2003 Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years


1991 The European Community recognizes the independence of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania


1975 The Governor of Portuguese Timor abandons its capital, Dilli, and flees to Arturo Island, leaving control to a rebel group


1962 The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA


1956 The Calder Hall nuclear power station in the U.K. is connected to the national power grid, becoming the world's first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale


1955 The first edition of the "Guinness Book of World Records" is published


1933 The first Afrikaans bible is introduced during a Bible Festival in Bloemfontein


1928 The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war is signed by 15 nations, with 61 nations eventually signing it


1908 China is transformed from a dynasty to a constitutional monarchy with the Qinding Xianfa Dagang


1883 Krakatoa suffers four enormous explosions that almost completely destroy the island and cause years of climate change


1859 Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania, leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well


410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ends after three days


You are currently using an older browser. Please note that using a more modern browser such as Microsoft Edge might improve the user experience. Download Microsoft Edge