Solid particle erosion is a complex process that is affected by numerous factors which can significantly affect the damage it causes for the oil and gas industry. Detection of erosion as it progresses is also difficult and oil and gas operators must have a good measure of the internal condition of the pipes and fittings in their systems. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to have accurate models that can be used to predict erosion. Erosion measurements has been conducted in standard 76.2 mm (3-inch) elbows for evaluation of mechanistic models for predicting erosion rates for elbows in gas, low-liquid loading and annular flow conditions that occur frequently in gas production conditions. Erosion data has been collected using a non-intrusive ultrasonic technique with a modified data acquisition algorithm. Erosion experiments were conducted in a large scale multiphase flow loop with varying gas (air) and liquid (water) velocities and with particle sizes of 150 and 300 microns with 1% concentration by weight (based on liquid rate). The experiments were performed in the upward vertical orientation. Based on the experimental results, a mechanistic model that was previously developed has been validated and improved to predict erosion in the gas dominant flow regimes considering the effects of sand particle distribution and particles velocities in gas-liquid flows.

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