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AFT Blog

Welcome to the Applied Flow Technology Blog where you will find the latest news and training on how to use AFT Fathom, AFT Arrow, AFT Impulse, AFT xStream and other AFT software products.

That was EASY! Quickly Change Pipe and Junction Input Data into AFT models using Excel Change Data

Users and potential users of AFT software frequently ask how they can expedite the model input process so that they can get the results they need as rapidly as they need. I’m pleased to report that AFT software has an abundance of features that make the model input process tremendously efficient: global pipe and junction editing, copying input data from other pipes and junctions, and finally, importing data using the Excel Change Data parameters spreadsheet (which is what we are discussing in this blog). The Excel Change Data feature works by importing data from an Excel spreadsheet populated according to a...

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Getting your Pressures Right: How to Account for Changing Ambient Pressure with Elevation

Scuba divers and casual swimmers alike are all too familiar with the discomfort (and sometimes outright pain) experienced in their ears as they descend deeper into the water. This discomfort is experienced for good reason: for each 33 feet you descend into the water, you experience considerably more pressure (about 1 whole atmosphere) due to the hydrostatic pressure of the water. As the pressure of the surrounding water increases, the air trapped in the middle ear remains at atmospheric pressure, but the pressure in the outer ear is significantly higher, which puts significant force on the eardrum. Anyone who has ever...

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A Clever Way to Mitigate Waterhammer During a Valve Closure

One of the most common causes of waterhammer in pipelines is a valve closure. As the valve closes, the flowing liquid is forced to stop, resulting in a transfer of kinetic energy to potential energy, which ultimately causes a pressure increase. If this increase in pressure is large enough, extremely severe damage can result in the pipeline. Engineers frequently mitigate this waterhammer by selecting a valve that closes slowly enough to prevent the pressures from getting too high. However, a valve that closes too slowly can cause problems elsewhere in the pipeline or result in other undesirable outcomes in the process....

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Calibrating Your Hydraulic Model with Multiple Data Sets

When evaluating the hydraulic behavior of aged pipelines and/or pipelines that are exposed to particularly corrosive or dirty fluids, building and running a hydraulic model is a great first step, but more engineering may be required. This is because, over time, residue in the pipeline fluid can buildup in the pipeline and essentially decrease the pipe inner diameter while increasing the roughness of the pipe’s inner surface. Corrosion can also change the roughness of the pipe’s inner surface. Engineers know that these changes due to buildup and corrosion in the pipes can significantly affect the hydraulics of the system, so while building a hydraulic model of the system is essential to evaluate its behavior, calibrating the model to account for these changes can be just as important in getting an accurate representation of your system. AFT Fathom and AFT Arrow offer a goal seeking module to assist with this calibration process with one data set of flow data. To understand how this can be done, visit Dylan’s blog. My blog here will take Dylan’s discussion one step further and discuss how AFT Fathom and AFT Arrow can be used to calibrate a hydraulic model with not just one but with multiple data sets using the GSC (Goal Seek and Control) module.

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Getting that Stubborn AFT Fathom Model to Converge

The majority of steady-state, incompressible hydraulic models made in AFT Fathom that we see as Applications engineers typically converge very rapidly. However, every once in a while, that occasional AFT Fathom model arrives in our Support inbox that just won’t converge. At first glance, passing a graduate level course in compressible flow without ever missing an exam question may seem more likely than getting to the source of the convergence issue in one of these typically-monstrous models (like in Figure 1), but the tips below show that determining and correcting the problem preventing convergence is frequently straightforward and much easier than...

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Making the AFT Workspace Your Own: Workspace Customization Options and Modeling Tips that Visually Enhance Your Hydraulic Model

Engineers using AFT hydraulic software (Fathom, Arrow, and Impulse) know that they are utilizing powerful flow modeling tools capable of modeling real fluid behavior in simple and complex piping networks, but many are often unaware that our software also provides a vast array of customization options that can visually aid the user’s understanding of the physical layout of the modeled system and help highlight important model components. Even though these visual options do not affect the hydraulic calculations, they can greatly improve modeling efficiency and overall model comprehension, especially if the model is shared between engineers or contains several pipes and...

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Calculating Flow Through an Orifice Using ASME MFC-3M-1989 and Irrecoverable Pressure Drop Equations

Recently, a customer calculated the mass flow rate of a fluid through an orifice using both the ASME standard MFC-3M-1989 and AFT Arrow. He was puzzled when this mass flow rate calculation differed by approximately 100 lbm/hr between the two methods, so he reached out to AFT for help in determining the reason for the discrepancy. The answer for the difference in flow rates on a basic level is that these two calculations are, fundamentally, not the same thing; ASME correlates differential pressure at pressure taps for purposes of flow measurement, while AFT Fathom and Arrow calculate the irrecoverable pressure drop...

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