PDF - Steam Erosion Research and Modeling - AB-036

Preferred Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering (Post-Doc)
Project length: 1 to 2 yrs (2 to 4 units. Each unit is 6 months) 
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: Calgary, AB
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: Language: English
Company: AP Dynamcis Inc.

About Company:

AP Dynamics is a Calgary based provider of high-value engineering services, and is the industry leader in the pipe stress analysis necessary for the fast-growing pipeline integrity management sector. AP Dynamics offer’s specialized engineering services in the fields of:

  • Complex pipeline stress analysis including buried pipelines and strain-based analysis
  • Compressor and Pump dynamics analyses
  • Rotating equipment vibration and strain gauge measurements
  • High fidelity complex stress analysis and mechanical design, and
  • Computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer analysis

Project Description:

Steam erosion, or more specifically, the failure of steam pipes due to erosion caused by the impingement of bubble droplets in the pipe wall is one of the major cause of failure of steam tubes. Till date there has been a number of failure in steam piping due to steam erosion and thus, the need for a proper fitness for service analysis for the steam piping had become essential.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

The end product of this project would be a validated model for the prediction of rate of erosion for steam piping for any possible operating condition.


Development of an experimental setup to perform steam erosion experiment.

Existing literature survey suggests that the erosion rate is dependent on the velocity, droplet diameter and impingement angle of droplets on the metal surface. However, there is no physical theory relating these parameters with the erosion rate, and an experimental approach is essential to develop the hypothetical correlations relating the erosion rate with the aforementioned parameters.

The experimental setup would comprise of the following components:

  • Boiler – to generate continuous steam; accessory include continuous supply and blowdown system
  • Water injection – inject water bubble to mix with saturated steam from the boiler. They would also be used to control the bubble size
  • Nozzles – to control steam jet velocity and impingement angle
  • Airtight compartment to contain the experimental setup
  • Acoustical Emission Sensor and Load cell – to determine acoustical noise due to droplet impingement and load on the erosion specimen
  • Ultra-Precision three-dimensional surface profiler – to measure the amount or erosion on the specimen

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Strong Fluid dynamics / CFD background
  • Familiarity with steam calculations and equipment safety
  • Knowledge of metallographical analysis is a plus


For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Oba Harding at, oharding(a)mitacs.ca