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.

Think Like a Fluid Engineer

Computers currently cannot think like an engineer. That is probably a good thing, but sometimes it can get us in trouble. Many of us rely on computers daily not just for fun or leisure, but for our livelihoods. They connect us in ways previous generations never thought possible and augment our mental abilities especially in terms of performing complex calculations and modeling intricate systems. Knowing this, it is important to remember that no matter how slick the user interface or how advanced the underlying code is, a computer program is only going to take what you give and process it with...

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Start your engines! Modeling an Inertial Pump Startup

There are many (six!) ways to define a pump transient event in AFT Impulse. This gives you great flexibility in creating a model that behaves the way you want it to. One thing true for all pumps is that they must be started at least once. Pump startups often cause significant transient effects on the system so you may wish to model this with AFT Impulse. Even narrowing your pump transient down to a startup, there are still four models left to choose from: Without InertiaStartup With Inertia and No Back Flow or Reverse SpeedStartup With Inertia - Four Quadrant, Known...

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When to Begin? Time and Events in Transient Studies

To define any transient event in AFT Impulse or AFT Fathom XTS the application must know when it begins. To do so, the user should know how time and event logic is approached in AFT’s transient solvers. In this article, we will discuss the three different time bases used in the applications, the selection of a single or repeating event, and the many possible triggering events that can start the user defined transient. The user defines these items in the Initiation of Transient section of the junction’s Transient tab. The requirements for each junction can vary, but the general approach applies...

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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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What Does “Head (HGL)” Mean for Submerged Pumps and Exit Pressures?

In AFT Fathom and AFT Impulse, it is possible to model a submerged pump where a short and possibly frictionless suction pipe for the pump’s inlet does not need to be modeled.  When modeling a submerged pump, there are two options available for specifying the system inlet boundary condition at the pump suction.  As shown in Figure 1 below, the Submerged Pump’s Suction Pressure can either be specified as “Head (HGL)” or “Pressure”.   Modeling a submerged pump is not the only time where the “Head (HGL)” or “Pressure” choices will arise.  If an Exit Valve (i.e., a valve that discharges...

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