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Temperature Change and Introduced Stress in Fixed Pipes

Temperature change will cause stress in fixed pipes

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With temperature change stress is introduced in fixed pipes. The stress can be calculated as:

σ = α E dt                                   (1)

where

σ = stress (MPa, lb/in2)

α = linear expansion coefficient (m/moK, inch/inchoF)

E = modulus of elasticity of the piping material (MPa, lb/in2)

dt = temperature change from installation temperature (oC, oF)

The stress must not exceed maximum allowable stress for the chosen piping material. Be aware that with frequently temperature changes - the stress cycle (with stress well below the maximum allowable limit) may fatigue the pipe.

Example - Introduced Stress in a Fixed Pipe when Temperature Changes

A carbon steel pipe with linear expansion coefficient 11.7 10-6 m/moC and modulus of elasticity 29.5 106 psi (203 109 Pa (N/m2), 203 GPa) is heated from 0oC to 50oC. The stress introduced in the pipe can be calculated as

σ = (11.7 10-6 m/moC) (203 109 N/m2) ((50oC) - (0oC))

  = 119 106 N/m2

  = 119  MPa

Depending on the material and the codes used - this may be within maximum allowable stress.

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