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Chemical and Process Engineering Resources

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Category: Plant Basics
Question: What are some guidelines for designing for liquid and gas velocities in process plant piping?
Keywords: design,velocity
Answer: For normal process plant design liquid pump discharges, look for velocities in the range 5-7 ft/sec. Probably not a bad idea to keep design vapor velocities below 125 ft/sec. These are guidelines that might be applied by an engineering company for design. If you are looking at plant operation, its not uncommon to find velocities in the 9-12 ft/sec range. Erosion problems can also complicate the answer to this question. Erosion is highly dependent on the nature of the fluid. For example, 98% H2SO4 is not corrosive to carbon steel pipe, however it very erosive at "normal design" velocities. A design criteria for 98% H2SO4 might be: 0.70 ft/sec MAXIMUM. However, it is also well known that if the same 98% H2SO4 has a little emulsified hydrocarbon, it is substantially less erosive.