# Determining volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe

• nathan
In summary, the speaker is trying to determine the amount of fluid released from a leaking pipe using the pipe size, flow rate, and duration. They suggest using standard pipe flow equations and knowing two pressures and the geometry between them to calculate the flow rate. They also mention the potential for a root cause analysis and discuss different ways to model the leakage path through the pipe threads. However, they believe that the analysis may not be accurate and should only be used as a small part of the overall evidence for an RCA.
nathan
I have the pipe size, flow rate, and a duration.

How can I figure out the amount of fluid that was released from the pipe?

You have the pressure at the outlet of the pipe (ie: ambient pressure). If you have the geometry of the pipe back to some point where you also have the pressure, you can calculate the flow rate from standard pipe flow equations. All you need is two pressures and the geometry between them (and of course the type of fluid, temperature, etc... ).

If you have the flow rate and duration, then the quantity discharged is the product of these two figures.

Fluid = Water
Pressure = 50 psi
Diameter= 2''

The pipe didnt completely rupture, but was leaking from the threading of a 2'' valve. Any thought for determining the head loss. Assuming the valve threading thickness of around 1/254 (thickness of a piece of paper)

so I guess the area of the outlet would be around

circumfrence = 2''*3.14 = 6.28 ''
Thickness = 1/254 = 0.004''

Area = L*W = 6.28*0.004 = 0.025 in^2 (this would represent the area of the outlet)

any thoughts?

Yes.

I was trying to come up with an area for the leaking threads. I know this is not exact, but I felt it was a good conservative estimation for what is going on. The leak is from the threads.

Perhaps I am on the wrong path.

Last edited:
Tough one... I suppose you're trying to work on an RCA? (Root cause analysis or equivalent) Perhaps a bit more background would help.

Leaking threads are not generally modeled as being a 'gap' that exists, 360 degrees around the pipe fitting. I think that's what you were trying to suggest, that there was a 0.004" gap all the way around the circumference of this pipe and there was a flow, parallel to the axis of the pipe down this annular gap. I don't think that model would be realistic.

In my experience, leakage through pipe threads is thought of as following a spiral path that follows the thread. However, that flow path isn't going to be uniform. Perhaps you could model the leakage path as a pipe with an ID of .004" and a length equivalent to the length of this spiral around the threads. I think that might give you a more accurate model. Still, the 0.004" dimension is completely arbitrary and that value alone could be off by up to a factor of 5 to 10. You might also consider that the spiral leak path is more like a very thin rectangle with dimensions of a few thousandths of an inch times whatever the thread depth is. You could look at it a lot of different ways I suppose.

I don't personally think you can do a reasonably accurate analysis of this in any event. I've been an engineer for over 25 years and never heard of anyone trying to do what you're suggesting. If it helps you might be able to put an upper limit on the leakage rate by doing some kind of analysis like this but it would only be a very small part of the overall evidence for an RCA.

## 1. How can the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe be determined?

The volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe can be determined by measuring the diameter of the pipe, the rate of flow, and the duration of the leak. This information can then be used to calculate the volume using the formula for the volume of a cylinder.

## 2. What factors can affect the accuracy of determining the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe?

The accuracy of determining the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe can be affected by factors such as the shape and size of the pipe, the type of fluid being leaked, and any obstructions or changes in flow rate during the leak.

## 3. Are there any alternative methods for determining the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe?

Yes, there are alternative methods for determining the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe. These include using flow meters or ultrasonic sensors to measure the flow rate, or using remote sensing techniques such as satellite imagery or aerial surveys.

## 4. Can the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe be estimated without physically measuring the leak?

Yes, the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe can be estimated by using mathematical models and simulations. These models take into account factors such as the size and pressure of the leak, as well as the properties of the fluid being leaked.

## 5. How important is it to accurately determine the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe?

Accurately determining the volume of fluid dispersed from a broken pipe is crucial for assessing the potential environmental and economic impacts of the leak. It can also aid in determining the best course of action for containing and cleaning up the spilled fluid.

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