Pipelines are widely used in many fields including power industry, petroleum system etc. Pipelines such as the surge line and main pipe are easily subjected to thermal stratification as a result of the non-uniform temperature distribution in the nuclear power plants. Furthermore, pipelines can suffer from thermal fatigue in virtue of long-term uneven stress distribution. When the surge line or main pipe subjected to thermal stratification and thermal fatigue keeps operating for long time, the pipe leakage may happen because of the existence of pipeline crack. The thermal pipeline crack leakage mainly appears in the region with stress concentration. As the pipe system is always covered with thermal insulation layer in the actual nuclear power plants, it is hard for workers to observe pipeline leak, which can have a bad effect on the normal operation. Since the temperature and humidity close to the pipe crack due to leakage can change compared to the normal operation, we can infer from the temperature and humidity changes that the pipe leakage occurs. Based on this idea, the temperature and humidity near the crack of the pipe need to be measured to detect the leakage fields. As the fluids with high pressure and high temperature flow in the pipe system in an actual nuclear power plant, the pipe leakage experiment was performed in the high pressure and high temperature condition. When the fluids with high temperature and pressure leak in the crack, the water will evaporate quickly, which means this process belongs to spray flash evaporation process. The temperature and humidity variations were monitored in the experiment with temperature and humidity probes which have the advantage of responding to the change of temperature and humidity sensitively. The data collection program was mainly written based on the LABVIEW platform. The collecting time step was set 1s. As the measuring position and leakage flux are two key factors for the pipe leakage, the experiment was carried out with different measuring positions and leakage fluxes conditions. The experimental results showed that the leak flux had an important influence on the temperature and humidity near the pipe crack. The temperature and humidity started to change in a very short time with large leak flux. At the same time, the velocity of the temperature and humidity change was high with large leak flux. When the pipe leakage occurred in the location near the temperature and humidity probe, the temperature and humidity responded quickly and the velocity of temperature and humidity change was large. The experiment data can be used for the prediction of the pipe leakage in the nuclear power plants.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Experimental Investigation on the Pipe Leakage
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Cai, B, Zhang, Q, Weng, Y, Gu, H, & Wang, H. "Experimental Investigation on the Pipe Leakage." Proceedings of the 2017 25th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 4: Nuclear Safety, Security, Non-Proliferation and Cyber Security; Risk Management. Shanghai, China. July 2–6, 2017. V004T06A026. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE25-67251
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