Numerical and Experimental Study of Transient Flow Properties in Viscoelastic Pipe Network Using Inverse Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student of Hydraulic Structures, Faculty of Water Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Professor Retired from Department Faculty of Water Structurs,Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

3 Management of Khuzestan Water and Sewage Co., Ahvaz, Iran.


The analysis of transient flow plays a critical role in designing pipe systems and pipe networks. Controlling and collecting the pressure wave signals at proper spots in the pipeline can provide much information about the system. Many researchers have studied transient flow and the loss caused by unsteady flow (Brunone et al, 1991; Pezzinga, 1999; Vitkovsky et al., 2000).
Compared with steel pipes, the use of polymer pipes such as polyethylene (PE) and PVC in pipelines and pipe networks has attracted much attention due to their superior properties. Researches have been conducted on the dynamic behaviour of these pipes on transient flow. Brunone et al. (1995) explained that pressure wave damping in a polyethylene pipeline is caused by unsteady friction loss; however, the research showed that there is a large difference between the numerical and the experimental results, and this is due to the viscoelastic effects of polymer pipe walls, which were neglected in this study. Soares et al. (2008) examined the viscoelastic behaviour of PVC pipes on transient flow. The creep function of these pipes was calculated by inverse solution of the transient flow. The results showed that the damping, scattering, and shape of the transient pressure waves are fully described by taking into account the viscoelastic behaviour in the developed numerical model. Carriço et al. (2016) studied the uncertainties of the transient flow numerical model in polyethylene pipes, indicating that unsteady friction loss and viscoelasticity of polyethylene pipe walls have parallel effects on transient signals and the effects cannot be simultaneously distinguished.
Most studies have been so far conducted on the transient flow in a simple pipeline made up of steel and concrete. Since few research has been done on transient flow in more complex systems and plastic pipes, the present paper investigates the numerical and experimental model of transient flow and its properties in polyethylene pipe networks in time domain. In this study, by collecting transient signals of the pipe network, unknown parameters are calibrated and extracted by inverse analysis of the transient flow for different discharges. The pressure signal properties in polymer pipes are also compared with discharge variations.


Main Subjects

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Volume 46, Issue 2
September 2023
Pages 31-44
  • Receive Date: 05 January 2020
  • Revise Date: 30 July 2020
  • Accept Date: 02 August 2020
  • Publish Date: 23 August 2023