Ensuring System Accuracy by Utilizing Customized Pipe Tables in PIPE-FLO®

The pharmaceutical industry in the United States is rapidly expanding in order to accommodate the need for new pharmaceutical products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA approval often requires the production facilities making these new products to be designed, built, and commissioned to meet stringent criteria necessary to validate the process. As such, the quality of the parts and construction of pharmaceutical piping systems has become increasingly important. The ASME Bioprocessing Equipment Standard (ASME BPE) for design, materials, construction, inspection, and testing of equipment for use in the biopharmaceutical industry provides engineers and quality control professionals with measurable guidelines for specifying and purchasing equipment.

To ensure these complex systems are built correctly it is equally important to be able to accurately simulate conditions in a pharmaceutical piping system using hydraulic network analysis software such as PIPE-FLO® Professional. This month in “Take a Deeper Look,” we will explore how to build a customized ASME BPE Tubing pipe table.

Knowing the precise surface finish and piping dimensions is a critical component when it comes to building an accurate model. For example, if a piping system design is specified using ASME BPE Sanitary Stainless Steel Tubing with an SF4 electropolished finish, then it is important that a pipe table is available with precision measurements.

To begin, open the table manager from the PIPE-FLO® program window by selecting the tools menu and choosing table manager. The table manager should open up like Figure 1.

Figure 1: Table Manager Dialog Box

Next, click on the pipe tables button to open a blank pipe data dialog box as in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Blank Pipe Data Dialog Box

To create the custom pipe table, click the new table button and save the table with a file name of ASME BPE SS Tube SF4. For the standard field, enter ASME BPE, ASTM A269 / A270, and enter 1 for the version

The pipe specification notes that for an SF4 surface finish, the maximum roughness is 20 µ-in ID, so in the roughness field, enter 0.00002 (since this measurement is inches). For the Hazen-Williams Coefficient, enter 150.

The information needed for the size data can be gathered from the dimensional tolerances listed in the ASME BPE tube specification (Figure 3 below).

Figure 3: ASME BPE Tubing Dimensional Tolerances and Surface Finishes

To create a pipe table, the following data is required: schedulenominal sizes (both US and Metric), inside diameter, and wall thickness. This information is entered at the bottom of the pipe table. Tubing is different than most pipe materials in that it is usually specified by its outside diameter. So the nominal sizes in this case actually equal the outside diameters. Also in this case, the schedule is specified as the wall thickness. 

Beginning with the smallest size, create a schedule named 0.035”. Once you create a schedule, it will be available in the drop-down list for subsequent entries. Next, specify nominal sizes of 0.25 inches and 6.4 mm. Specify the inside diameter of 0.18 inches (outside diameter minus twice the wall thickness). Finally, specify the actual wall thickness of 0.035 inches. Click the save button, and the size is stored up into the table data. Proceed through the table in Figure 3 with the rest of the available sizes to complete the pipe table (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Completed PIPE-FLO® Pipe Table for ASME BPE Stainless Steel Electropolished Tubing

Now, a pipe table has been created which contains the precise specifications for ASME BPE Stainless Steel Tubing with an SF4 Electropolished finish. Click the Save Table button before closing the dialog box. PIPE-FLO® will have to be restarted to properly read the newly created pipe table.

As you can see, with the intuitive interface and ease-of-use creating customized pipe tables in PIPE-FLO® Professional is a simple process to ensure accuracy when modeling complex pharmaceutical piping systems. To download the completed ASME BPE SS Tube SF4 pipe table, click on the link below.