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Specifics that a Pipe Stress Engineer must know

Oil & Gas, Petrochemical & Refinery, Manufacturing Unit, and other power companies depend on pipe stress engineers to perform stress analysis of their piping system. Pipe stress analysis is a well-organized method that determines the behavior of the piping system resulting from the weight, internal/external pressure, material, fluid, and temperature. It does not lead to an accurate depiction of the piping behavior, but it helps in an approximately right prediction of the piping system.

Following are the different points that a pipe stress engineer should know.


Piping Codes

Piping codes define the requirements of engineering, construction, design, materials, and inspection of pipes & piping systems. There are different standard piping codes developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) which conducts pipe stress engineering using Caesar II software program. It is the first and foremost responsibility of the piping stress engineer to acquire knowledge about the applicable Piping Codes for the different types of Projects. It is necessary to stay up-to-date with the latest piping codes, which makes the calculations more comfortable and results in proper decisions for the project.


Standards and Specifications

An essential pre-requisite for Pipe Stress Engineers, the Standards & Specifications help them to decipher the content and its application for the customer and engineering company. It is vital to be familiar with the primary standards and specifications that require in the accomplishment of projects.

Forces and Pressure

Commonly, certain conditions may arise in the early design stages of plants. The lack of knowledge and awareness can cause revisions, unnecessary delays, and difficulties in managing the project. All the Piping Stress Engineers must be accustomed to stress analysis in piping, along with loads and stresses with a good understanding of resilience engineering.


Pipe, Fittings, Flanges and Valves

Piping equipment or special fittings include various components that make up for the essential terminology of the piping world. It includes different types of joints, flanges, valve functions, widely used common piping materials, filters, and its applications. All Pipe Stress Engineers are expected to have a deeper understanding of types of fittings, along with a wide variety of common piping materials, valve designs, and flange class ratings across a broad range of different categories.


Piping Execution

Relation of pipe stress progress to P&IDs, Plot Plans, equipment vendor drawings, instrument vendor drawings, and structural support design should be known to the stress engineer in order to understand areas where the Project may be impacted.


CAD Sketches and Layouts

All the Pipe Stress Engineers must be well versed with different 2D and 3D design tools. It would help them to guide engineers and CAD designers or drafters from a technical standpoint while working on the same piping project. Further, they should be able to interact with customers in a professional yet innovative manner that helps them to make logical pipe stress decisions.


Expansion loops

Pipe Stress Engineer need to understand and be able to use simple rules, tools, and methods for checking loops in rack piping. This should include the most common sizes, schedules, and materials. They also need to be able to calculate forces of individual line anchors and the combined forces of all lines at specific support.


Expansion of pipe

Pipe Stress Engineers need to understand that they should treat a piping system as though it is alive. It has a temperature and that temperature causes it to grow and move. That growth and movement must be allowed for and incorporated in the overall design. Not just of that specific line but for all other lines close by. The process of expansion in a pipe or group of pipes will also exert frictional forces or anchor forces on the pipe support they come in contact with.


Relationship with other Groups

The success of the Engineering project is interdependent on different groups. It includes the contribution from various engineering disciplines and departments such as Process, Mechanical Equipment, Instrument Systems, Civil, Structural, Vessels & tanks, and more. Pipe Stress Engineers require not only extensive engineering knowledge but with a proper understanding of other working teams. It includes a detailed understanding of the engineering and design groups across their work processes and capabilities. Further, it is expected that the Pipe Stress Engineers must have some knowledge of chemical, mechanical, civil, instrumentation, and electrical engineering. It would contribute to making their understanding better for the project requirements and make the process discussion more productive for other engineers.

Apart from pipes, stress engineer also analyses piping associated with equipment such as pumps, pressure vessels compressors, storage tank, and more.


The content of this article is taken from web open source. The blogs are intended only to give technical knowledge to young engineers. Any engineering calculators, technical equations and write ups are only for reference and educational purpose.

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