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F308-Z4456 - Reaction Forces On Pipe Flanges

Customer: Independent Dutch Research Organisation
Loadcell: F308-Z4456 40kN
Generic Type: Multiple Loadcell Array consisting of 8 axial loadcells
Special Features: Batch ground for precision assembly. Large overload capacity.

The client wished to quantify reaction forces acting on pipe flanges and supporting brackets. These were resulting from turbulent fluid flow found downstream around a nearby 90° bend.

It was imperative that the loadcells were not sensitive to the effects of the fluid flow and pressure but only picked up resultant forces in the pipework itself. Our brief was also to ensure that any solution offered did not excessively alter the geometry of the mating joint.

A normal flanged joint would often be distorted due to the welding process and any misalignment or poor surface contact compensated for by using compressed gaskets. The use of such gaskets would unfortunately impede the transmission of reaction forces to a loadcell. Instead, by contracting a specialist company to grind the mating flange faces, in situ, to precision flat and parallel tolerances, we were able to offer a loadcell array which mimicked the flanged joint without the need for gaskets, whilst allowing fluid flow through the middle without leaks or false measurements. The array consisted of 8 batch ground loadcells with independent signal processing, sandwiched between precision machined flanges. These flanges were connected by a thin walled pipe section, specially engineered in-house and designed to be fully pressure rated but with less axial stiffness than the loadcells. This allowed accurate measurement of the reaction forces.