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I Tried Using Aioflo Pipe Sizing and Flow Calculation


In this post, I want to share with you my experience using Aioflo Pipe Sizing and Flow Calculation. I found this software when searching for Uconeer professional unit conversion program.

Katmar Software developed many engineering software, one of them is Aioflo Pipe Flow Calculator. Aioflo can calculate pipe sizes, flowrate, and pressure drops for liquids and gases. This is a screenshot of the software.

Screenshot of Aioflow Pipe Size and Flow Calculation
Screenshot of Aioflow Pipe Size and Flow Calculation

This is the first time I used software to calculate pipe size and flow. I usually using spreadsheets to do that. What I like the most about this Aioflo is, it has a wide selection of fittings and valves, and it has a quite complete database of pipe size and roughness. The highest pipe size in Aioflo database is 24 in. I hope in the future, Katmar can expand this because sometimes I work in very high flowrate thus it requires quite a large pipe size.

Feature of Aioflo Pipe Sizing and Flow Calculation

There are six calculation types in Aioflo. I can say that all types are necessary for pipe sizing and flow calculation. I experienced almost all type of calculations when I used spreadsheets.

Those calculation types are:

  1. Pressure drop calculation from diameter and flow rate
  2. Velocity calculation from diameter and flow rate
  3. Diameter calculation from pressure drop and flow rate
  4. Diameter calculation from velocity and flow rate
  5. Flowrate calculation from diameter and pressure drop
  6. Flowrate calculation from diameter and velocity

I used calculation type 1 and type 2 a lot during my work in developing pipe sizing documents. As for type 3 and 4, I seldom used them. I usually use three different pipe size and check its pressure drop and velocity to ensure meet design criteria.

As for calculation type 5 and 6, I also used them a lot. I used them to check the maximum flowrate the pipe size can endure as long as it meets pressure drop or velocity criteria.

What will I do?

I will try all calculation type and compare them with my spreadsheet if the results are correct.

What You Need to Calculate Pipe Size and Flow

You need to provide the following data to do type 1 and type 2 calculation:

  1. Density
  2. Viscosity
  3. Pipe length (straight)
  4. Fittings
  5. Pipe roughness
  6. Inside diameter
  7. Flowrate
  8. Elevation difference

Case 1A: Pressure Drop Calculation from Diameter and Flowrate for Liquid Phase

Assume we have fluid in liquid phase flowing in pipe in with the following data:

Density                                 880 kg/m3

Viscosity                              2.2 cP

Straight line                        100 meter

Fittings                                 Continuous from other pipe (No diameter change)

Pipe roughness                    Steel/Stainless Steel, New Commercial, e = 0.05 mm

Inside diameter                    Using schedule 10S and NPS 8 in, we found 8.329 in

Flowrate                              100 m3/h

Elevation difference            0

Input the data above to Aioflo.

Pressure drop calculation from diameter and flow rate for liquid phase using Aioflo
Pressure drop calculation from diameter and flow rate for liquid phase using Aioflo

From figure above, from Aioflo we got a velocity is 0.7902 m/s and total pressure loss is 0.02723 kg/cm2. These values are similar to my spreadsheet. I got velocity 0.7900 m/s and total pressure loss is 0.02533 kg/cm2. Deviation in total pressure loss is about 7%.

Case 1B: Velocity Calculation from Diameter and Flowrate for Gas Phase

This example is for velocity calculation if diameter and flowrate are known in gas phase. Assume we have the following data.

Density                                 1.992 kg/m3

Viscosity                              0.005 cP

Straight line                        100 meter

Fittings                                 Continuous from other pipe (No diameter change)

Pipe roughness                    Steel/Stainless Steel, New Commercial, e = 0.05 mm

Inside diameter                    Using schedule 10S and NPS 8 in, we found 8.329 in

Flowrate                              10000 kg/h

Elevation difference             0

Input the data above.

Pressure drop calculation from diameter and flowrate for gas phase using Aioflo
Pressure drop calculation from diameter and flowrate for gas phase using Aioflo

From figure above, from Aioflo we got a velocity is 40.4 m/s and total pressure loss is 0.111 kg/cm2. These values are similar with my spreadsheet. I got a velocity 39.66 m/s and the total pressure loss is 0.1000 kg/cm2. Deviation in total pressure loss is about 9%.

Case 2: Velocity Calculation from Diameter and Flowrate

We used this type of calculation just to check velocity only from diameter and flowrate input. Assume we have this data.

Inlet Density                        880 kg/m3

Inside diameter                  Using schedule 10S and NPS 8 in, we found 211.56 mm

Flowrate                              88000 kg/hour

Input the data above to Aioflo.

Velocity calculation from diameter and flowrate
Velocity calculation from diameter and flowrate

We got calculated velocity is 0.7902 m/s. This type of calculation is very simple, and the result is similar with my spreadsheet.

Case 3: Diameter Calculation from Pressure Drop and Flowrate

We used type 3 calculation to check minimum diameter to meet pressure drop as per design criteria at a particular flowrate. For example, the design criteria for pressure drop is 0.69 kg/cm2/100 meter. Assume we have the following data.

Density                                 880 kg/m3

Viscosity                              2.2 cP

Straight line                        100 meter

Fittings                                 Continuous from other pipe (No diameter change)

Pipe roughness                   Steel/Stainless Steel, New Commercial, e = 0.05 mm

Total pressure loss              0.69 kg/cm2 (this is design criteria)

Flowrate                              88000 m3/h

Elevation difference            0

Input the data above to Aioflo.

Diameter calculation from pressure drop and flowrate
Diameter calculation from pressure drop and flowrate

From Aioflo, we got a minimum inside diameter is 109.7 mm. From my spreadsheet, I got 108.2 mm. The deviation is 1.4%, which is small.

Case 4: Diameter Calculation from Velocity and Flowrate

The purpose of calculation type 4 is similar with case 3. The purpose is to find the minimum diameter to meet velocity criteria. For example, the velocity criteria is 4.6 m/s. Assume we have this data:

Inlet Density                       880 kg/m3

Inlet Velocity                      4.6 m/s (design criteria)

Flowrate                              88000 kg/hour

Input the data above to Aioflo.

Diameter calculation from velocity and flowrate
Diameter calculation from velocity and flowrate

From Aioflo, we got a minimum inside diameter is 87.68 mm. The value is similar to what I got from the spreadsheet.

Case 5: Flowrate Calculation from Diameter and Pressure Drop

We use calculation type 5 to check the maximum flowrate a pipe size can handle to meet maximum pressure drop (design criteria). I usually use this type of calculation to check if additional flowrate can be handle by pipe.

Assume we have this data:

Density                                 880 kg/m3

Viscosity                              2.2 cP

Straight line                        100 meter

Fittings                                 Continuous from other pipe (No diameter change)

Pipe roughness                   Steel/Stainless Steel, New Commercial, e = 0.05 mm

Inside diameter                   Using schedule 10S and NPS 8 in, we found 211.56 mm

Total pressure loss               0.69 kg/cm2 (design criteria)

Elevation difference             0

Input the data to Aioflo.

Flowrate from diameter and pressure drop
Flowrate from diameter and pressure drop

We got flowrate is 5e+5 kg/h. This value is similar to what I got which is 517772 kg/h.

Case 6: Flowrate Calculation from Diameter and Velocity

The purpose of calculation 6 is similar to calculation type 5. We use this calculation to find the maximum flow rate a pipe diameter can handle to meet maximum velocity criteria.

Assume we have this data:

Inlet Density                       880 kg/m3

Inside Diameter                211.56 mm

Inlet Velocity                      4.6 m/s

Flowrate calculation from diameter and velocity
Flowrate calculation from diameter and velocity

We got a flow rate is 512300 kg/h. This value is similar to what I got, 512368 kg/h.

My Thought About This Software

AIoflo is relevant engineering software as I tried it. The results is close to manual calculation. What I like about Aioflo is its design, the software is light and user-friendly. I tried the trial version of this software and very satisfied.

As for price, its price is relatively cheap which is $29.95 for single-user license. Honestly, I really want to buy this product since it will be very useful for me and my team during engineering design.

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