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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.

Using Branch Junctions to Model Desuperheaters

Superheated steam is often used in mechanical power applications, such as driving turbines. For heating or industrial processes, however, saturated steam is more efficient. Desuperheaters are used to lower the temperature of superheated steam, so that it can be more effectively used in industrial processes. A desuperheater lowers the temperature of the steam by injecting water. Now, the question is, how can you model a desuperheater within AFT Arrow? AFT Arrow is a single-phase program for compressible flow, so it cannot model liquid water. Conveniently though, there is a feature built into the branch junction that can model a desuperheater. You may...

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Closing the Loop on Modeling Closed Loop Systems in AFT software

For several users of AFT software, it goes pretty predictably: first you place a pressure junction, then maybe a pump, then some sources of pressure drop including valves and heat exchangers, and then the model is finished off with another pressure junction. Of course, this is greatly oversimplifying the process and the vast array of systems that are modeled with AFT software, but here’s my point: most users are more familiar with modeling open systems that include individual pressure junctions located both upstream and downstream of the system. But what about modeling closed systems? The truth is that modeling closed systems...

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Inherent vs. Installed Control Valve Curves and How They Relate to AFT Software

As tech support engineers, we sometimes receive questions from users confused about what control valve characteristic curve (inherent or installed) they are inputting into AFT Fathom, AFT Arrow, or AFT Impulse. The inherent control valve characteristic curve plots the valve open percent versus the percent of maximum Cv. This curve is true regardless of the system effects on the valve. The installed control valve characteristic curve plots the valve open percent versus the flow through the valve, and this plot is dependent on the conditions specific to the system. For example, if the control valve flow setpoint is fixed at 250...

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Tolerable Convergence

Trying to design and analyze piping systems can be a complicated, and difficult task for engineers. This was especially true before the advent of easily accessible computer technology. Hand calculations required hundreds of hours of painstaking work, by entire teams of people. Great care had to be taken to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results. Human beings do make mistakes, after all.

In today’s engineering world, there are a multitude of computer tools designed to make the design process simpler, faster, and more reliable, such as AFT’s family of analysis products. AFT products revolve around graphically based, drag and drop interfaces that makes creating a computer model of piping systems quick, and easy. Being able to create simulation models with little effort, however, can be a bit of a double-edged sword.

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Give me some details about Detailed Tees!

Frequently in tech support, when a difficult-to-converge model comes in, one of the first things we check is whether or not any tees in the model are being modeled as detailed tees. The reason for this is that the hydraulic calculations involving detailed tees can be complex due to the interdependence between velocity and pressure loss for each pipe connected to the tee. Iteration must, therefore, be performed to find a pressure loss and flow through each connecting pipe that agrees with the rest of the flow and pressure solutions in the model. This begs the question, then, what calculations are...

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AFT Impulse Over the Years

November 21, 2016, marks AFT Impulse's 20th anniversary! Below is a timeline that captures a few of the most significant ways it has evolved from Version 1.0 to Version 6.0.   

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Combining Pipes in AFT Impulse to Decrease Model Run Times: How Resistance Curves Are Merged into Pipes to Increase Pipe Section Length

They say that time is of the essence, and as engineers, that couldn’t ring truer! AFT pipe flow software is there to help engineers save time by more safely, efficiently, and rapidly designing and analyzing their piping systems. AFT Impulse, Applied Flow Technology’s waterhammer tool, helps engineers analyze transient incompressible flow behavior that can cause potentially detrimental pressure surges. It uses the Method of Characteristics, which requires the pipes to be sectioned using a Characteristic Grid. In this Characteristic Grid, all of the pipes are broken into an integer number of section lengths, and pressure waves are assumed to propagate through...

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