December 2016

Process Engineering and Optimization

Causes and mitigation of thermal bowing in process piping design

The authors encountered pipe thermal bowing problems in recently executed projects. These practical problems are discussed in three case studies, after a brief description of the thermal bowing concept and common reasons for the occurrence of this phenomenon.

Darji, P., Dholakia, M., Chaube, N., L&T-Chiyoda Ltd.

Pipe thermal bowing problems are seldom addressed in piping design or pipe stress analysis books. Many thermal bowing occurrences cause unexpected damage to the piping itself, to the supporting structure, or to both. Since the damage by thermal bowing occurs mostly at transient conditions, such as during startup, it is not readily recognized as such. The bowing phenomenon may also go unnoticed until the damages are discovered. The authors encountered pipe thermal bowing problems in recently executed projects. These practical problems are discussed in three case studies, after a brief description of the thermal bowing concept and common reasons for the occurrence of this phenomenon. The case

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