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Michaela Brade
Fon:  0371/ 53 47 552
Fax:  0371/ 53 47 552

Temperature and Flow at a Pipe

In the industry, in many areas it is important to control temperatures in machines and pipes. When transporting heat from the production place to the place of use methods have to be found to keep the temperature loss as low as possible. In other applications temperature rise should be as low as possible and the cooling preferably efficiently.


In this application the aim is to transport a heated liquid with a minimum of heat loss from one point of the plant to another. Therefore it is necessary to identify the points with the highest loss of heat. Among other things the temperature is influenced by flow velocity in the pipe, by the diameter of the pipe and the outside temperature.


To solve the concrete problem the pipe was first transferred to a FEM model. To obtain optimal results, we combined two physical processes in the calculation. We analyze on the one hand the flow in the pipe and on the other hand the temperature.


In figure 1 the flow behavior of a fluid in the pipe is shown. As you can see in figure 1, the highest flow velocity is in the center of the pipe, towards the walls of the tube the speed decreases. So we can conclude the slow-flowing fluid at the walls of the tube cools down faster than the current in the middle of the line. The reason is that the slow stream at the walls needs more time to get to the target point and so the contact with the cold outside of the pipe is longer. Figure 2 illustrates the temperature profile of the tube.  We can see the decreasing temperature in process. The fluid cools down because of the lower outside temperature. One possibility to reduce this effect would be a insulation of the pipe. By FEM calculation we can calculate the expected temperature of the liquid at the point of use. With this information customers in the development of the plants are able to decide if isolation is necessary. The thickness of the insulation layer may also be determined with the aid of FEM calculations.

Advantages of FEM Simulation

  • Analysis of the temperatures before commissioning the system makes a adjustment in the design phase possible
  • analysis out for different temperatures and external crosssections with minimal effort can be carried

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