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CEED Project Abstracts 2011-2012

Civil Engineering

  • Hydrodynamic Forces due to Orbital Stokes 5th Order Waves on Subsea
  •  Pipelines Resting on Porous Seabed
  • Evaluation of Asbestos Cement Pipe Condition
  • An Optimal Design of Mining Haul Road Pavement

Mechanical Engineering

  • Cost Effectiveness of Inflow/Infiltration Remedial Works
  • Remaining Useful Life Estimation of Caterpillar Vehicle Compartments
  • Oil Data Analysis
  • Energy efficiency metrics in mine design
  • Brake Car Noise Monitoring and Assessment
  • Use of composite wraps to prevent acoustic induced fatigue failure in piping systems
  • Bearing Premature Failure Study
  • 3D Non-Linear FEA to Determine Burst and Collapse Capacity of Eccentrically Worn Casing
  • 2D Investigation of Seabed Stress Around Subsea Pipelines
  • Optimising Brake Procedure for Stationary Trains

Chemical and Process Engineering

  • Replacement Strategy for Cast Iron Pipes in Western Australia
  • Investigation into Sand Deposition and Transportation in Multiphase Pipelines – Phase 2

Mechatronic Engineering

  • Electronic speed regulation system for materials handling vehicles

Mining Engineering

  • Failure Analysis on Development Drilling Rigs


Hydrodynamic Forces due to Orbital Stokes 5th Order Waves on Subsea Pipelines Resting on Porous Seabed

Annelise Karreman
Civil Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Stability design of subsea pipelines requires an accurate prediction of the hydrodynamic forces induced by waves and currents. Typically, rectilinear motion is used to simulate near seabed waves, since the orbital particle paths in wind-generated waves flatten to ellipsoids with depth. Together with linear Airy wave theory, this simplification predicts symmetric hydrodynamic forces on forward and reverse half wave cycles. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of orbital waves has shown a difference in the overall pipeline stability of up to 50% between half wave cycles. Further CFD modelling is proposed to investigate and validate these results, with consideration given to the effects of higher order wave theory, boundary layer overshoot profile and a porous seabed.

Evaluation of Asbestos Cement Pipe Condition

Dayang Wang
Civil Engineering
Water Corporation

The project investigates the deterioration of the AC pipes in their operation environment and the correlation between deterioration and likely contributing factors. An asset management framework, which assists the Water Corporation’s capital planning and helps target the available capital to areas of replacement, has been developed based on the outcomes of the investigation. The objectives are accomplished in two aspects: (1) archive data analysis to establish correlation between environmental conditions and failure rates of AC pipes, and (2) laboratory experimentation to establish an understanding of the deterioration mechanisms of the AC pipes. Finally, it is found that the pipe service life, which was originally estimated to be around 80 years, is discovered to be closer to 50 years. According to the framework outcomes, more than half of the towns in WA will need to undertake major AC pipe replacement program within the next 10 years.

An Optimal Design of Mining Haul Road Pavement

Xidong Zhu
Civil Engineering
Cliffs Natural Resources

Many mining companies use unbonded haul road to haulage their products. However, the performance of a haul road is very sensitive to different weather conditions. Therefore, an optimum design of an unbonded haul road pavement for all weather conditions is required to. This paper explains the design procedures and the design charts & formulas involved. The investigation of this topic reveals the reality that a more generalized and standardized design method need to be developed. Additionally, some more accurate and practical benchmarks of design parameters are waiting to be developed. Therefore, this design method can be accepted broadly in industry and provide better haul road performances.

Cost Effectiveness of Inflow/Infiltration Remedial Works

Anthony Maker
Mechanical Engineering
Water Corporation

The Water Corporation, like many water utilities, is attempting to address the issue of freshwater entering the wastewater system, known collectively as inflow and infiltration. To aid in this endeavour, this project has involved an assessment on the effectiveness of past remedial attempts including pipe refurbishment and smoke testing for illegal connections. It has also involved a quantification of the impact of existing flows on wastewater assets and the risk these flows pose to overflow events. Catchments over the entire metropolitan area were investigated and had their inflow/infiltration quantified in order to determine significant contributing factors such as soil conditions and pipe materials. Informed by these factors, this project then took on a theoretical perspective,by quantifying the potential spread of inflow/infiltration sources, such as illegal stormwater connections, required to cause observed patterns of excessive rain derived flow. Finally, with the support of  all the information gathered, a cost benefit analysis is being carried out to assess the cost and potential benefits associated with different management options available to the Corporation. Final recommendations will be based on their financial, operational, environmental and social merit.

Remaining Useful Life Estimation of Caterpillar Vehicle Compartments

Christopher Page
Mechanical Engineering
WesTrac Pty Ltd

WesTrac provide a whole of life management plan through their Equipment Management Centre (EMC) for all customers using Caterpillar machinery, which includes a Scheduled Oil Sampling (SOS) service. Fluid analysts, or interpreters, grade these oil samples and provide feedback accordingly, allowing customers to monitor the overall health of their equipment. This project identifies which elements of the oil are most important in the identification of failures and constructs a statistical model using oil sample data in conjunction with failure history in order to estimate compartment Remaining Useful Life (RUL). The modelling allows WesTrac to predict component failure with higher confidence in order to recommend the correct precautionary actions to their customers. Ultimately, an estimation of asset RUL assists in determining whether a particular compartment should be repaired and, if not, for how much longer it is likely to function.

Oil Data Analysis

James Phillips
Mechanical Engineering
WesTrac Pty Ltd

WesTrac Pty Ltd (WesTrac) is one of the largest Caterpillar® dealers in the world that provides condition monitoring services to clients in the form of oil analysis and maintenance suggestions. This project uses diagnostic oil data to develop logistic regression (LR) models to classify oil samples taken from different machinery compartments into categories relating to the condition of the oil. Such classification is currently undertaken manually and as a result is potentially subject to interpretation bias and human error. Models developed to help screen ‘A samples’ (those with no contamination) correctly classified 85-96% of the samples tested. Multinomial LR models extend work done Ratnam (2011) by classifying the oil data into the four categories (A, B, C, X) currently used at WesTrac. An investigation is also made into the key factors that influence the oil sample classification and of most significance, the effect of previous compartment history on future classification is outlined

Energy efficiency metrics in mine design

Michael Britton
Mechanical Engineering
Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd

The recent implementation of the carbon tax and reductions in diesel rebates, as well as rising fuel prices, have seen the Australian mining industry shift its focus towards improving the management of energy efficiency. Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd (“Leighton”) has identified an opportunity to improve the identification of energy saving initiatives in haulage operations during mine design. Conceptually, it is understood that improved opportunity identification can be achieved through the utilisation of previously developed energy efficiency metrics, titled the Le3 equations. The aim of this project is to ascertain the effectiveness of the Le3 equations in improving energy efficiency and provide a tool to assist Leighton in delivering demonstrated energy efficient mine design concepts to its clients.
The project develops an energy benchmark to assist in the analysis of the energy efficiency of haulage operations during mine design. In addition, a case study at the Telfer gold mine is conducted to review the applicability and commercial appropriateness of the utilisation of energy efficiency metrics. The results indicate that energy efficiency metrics are an effective tool for prioritising potential opportunities to reduce the energy intensity of haulage processes.

Brake Car Noise Monitoring and Assessment

Peter Edwards
Mechanical Engineering
Rio Tinto

When ore filled trains enter a dumping cycle after arriving at the ports, a compressor brake car (CB car) is attatched to the rear of the train to provide the compressed air and a dragging brake. The CB cars used by Rio Tinto at the Parker Point dumpers have been identified as the cause of high pitch squealing. As operations occur in such close proximity to Dampier residents, excessive noise is an issue that affects Rio Tinto’s social licence to operate within the local community. Since their introduction at the Parker Point dumpers, a variety of projects have aimed to reduce the noise created by the CB cars. This project will monitor and assess the noise levels produced by the CB cars, assess the effectiveness of prior modifications and to determine the most appropriate methods of noise reduction in the future. Initial results indicate that none of the current modifications have provided sufficient noise attenuation. Wheel temperature measurements suggest that noise damping technologies usually reserved for passenger rail could be applied to this heavy haul application.

Use of composite wraps to prevent acoustic induced fatigue failure in piping systems

John Verran
Mechanical Engineering

In gas piping systems, during a pressure let down through pressure safety valves, the downstream piping may be susceptible to acoustic induced fatigue failure. This is a situation that poses financial risks to the company as well as environmental and health and safety consequences. The current methods for mitigating these risks are complex, expensive and/or require long shut downs to execute. The objective of this project is to determine the usability of composite overlays as a means for improving the reliability of pipelines which experience large amounts internal sound power and vibration. This research focuses on modelling the excitation of a pipe in simple conditions and experimentally verifying the extent to which the composite wraps reduce the vibroacoustic response of the pipe as well as the pipe stress. The materials science aspects of the project which includes finite element analysis are the subject of separate research.

Emma Purton
Mechanical Engineering

High pressure drops through relief valves at Gas Plants can generate sound pressures which propagate through the pipe, exciting circumferential and dynamic stresses. These stresses can cause acoustically induced fatigue, leading to failure of the pipe in a matter of hours, resulting in the release of hydrocarbons. This project evaluates the feasibility of employing composite wraps as means of reducing the vibration by retrofitting onto at risk pipe sections. By damping these vibrations these composites reduce the sound pressures in the wall of the pipe, ensuring it never reaches the critical level. Using finite element analysis the level of reduction in the pipe wall is determined, and the wrap lay-up and properties are optimised to produce the greatest reduction in sound power level, protecting the pipe against acoustic fatigue failure.

Bearing Premature Failure Study

Kristopher Taylor
Mechanical Engineering
BHP Billiton Iron Ore

The mining industry is heavily reliant on conveyors to transport its product. The extreme environments they operate in place a significant volume of potential contaminant in the vicinity of the bearings that support them. The labyrinth seals employed are not an effective protection. The higher than predicted bearing failure rates prove this. The shut-downs resulting from the failures are extremely costly for companies needing continuous production. The goal of this project is to find the mechanism that allows the contaminant to pass through the length of the labyrinth and the internal cavity into the bearing. Once the mechanism is understood a solution to the issue can be devised. To achieve this objective a test rig has been modified to better examine the phenomenon. It has undergone significant modifications to improve the results it produces. Currently it is examining a potential mechanism identified in the literature review. While the extent of the testing has been limited at the time of submission, the results so far have been positive. If the results continue to reinforce current data then a strong link between viscosity gradients and particle migration will be established.

3D Non-Linear FEA to Determine Burst and Collapse Capacity of Eccentrically Worn Casing

Mark Haning
Mechanical Engineering

Deviated and deep wells introduce new challenges, and necessitates focus on well casing design. A characteristic problem when drilling deviated wells is the wear caused by the drill string damaging the inside wall of the well casing. When the well casing is bent, long exposure to a rotating drill string creates large contact forces that cause eccentricity of the well casing. Modelling the eccentricity for burst and collapse capacity is important for providing an improved perspective into reaching a more robust understanding of well integrity. The nature of this project is to investigate the effects on burst and collapse capacity caused by eccentricity, by evaluating numerous analytical solutions providing comparisons to a finite element analysis (FEA) created with ABAQUS. The investigation shows that the American Petroleum Institution Bulletin 5C3 (API 5C3) standards solutions are the most conservative whereas the International Organisation for Standardization Technical Report 10400 (ISO 10400) recommendations were of Klever-Tomano Collapse Theory and Klever-Steward Burst Theory which are more comparable to the true collapse and burst failures.

2D Investigation of Seabed Stress Around Subsea Pipelines

Martin Kalkhoven
Mechanical Engineering
JP Kenny

Local scour around subsea pipelines has been observed to lead to self-burial and may be exploited as a cost effective alternative to traditional pipeline stability measures. A major forcing mechanism of scour and sediment transport is seabed shear stress which is investigated in this project through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) numerical modelling of varying geometric parameters and wave & current conditions. The seabed shear stress profiles generated can be used for a better understanding of different stages of scour and self burial. Results to date indicate a combination of waves and currents significantly increase seabed shear stress as does increasing the seabed grain size. These are likely to increase sediment transport as well as scour rates. Varying water depth and wave dimensions had little effect on seabed shear stress in the range tested to date. This investigation builds on two previous CEED projects from 2010 and 2011.

Optimising Brake Procedure for Stationary Trains

Nicola Lazaroo
Mechanical Engineering
Rio Tinto

An opportunity has been identified to improve safety and production by revising the Rio Tinto Rail Division’s rules and procedures regarding the application of handrakes.  Both anecdotal information and data from past work conducted indicate that handbrakes on trains are being applied according to procedure when it is not necessary, as the other train braking systems can be relied upon to secure a stationary train on a range of gradients.  The process of applying handbrakes is time consuming, and exposes Rio Tinto personnel to associated safety hazards associated.  Engineering calculations that were performed estimate a reduction in both the number of occasions handbrakes need to be applied, and the number of handbrakes that are required for applicatio.  These estimates were verified successfully through field trial work, and as a result, changes to operating rules and procedures can be implemented. This will both reduce the Rio Tinto personnel’s exposure to potential safety hazards relating to handbrake application, as well as reducing delays in the transportation of iron ore from mine to port.

Replacement Strategy for Cast Iron Pipes in Western Australia

Ruicong Wei
Chemical & Process Engineering
Water Corporation

The Water Corporation spent approximately 1 million AUD on cast iron pipes bursts. At present the replacement for cast iron pipes is based on pipe age and burst rate. The objective of this project is to identify underlying factors that affect pipes burst rate in order to plan a large-scale cast iron pipe replacement program for WC. Statistical analysis indicate that pipe burst rate is dependent on the pipe age and manufacturing batch, other factors such as soil aggressiveness, depth to ground water and operating pressure were also investigated to identify their effects on pipe burst rate. Experimental investigation established the pipe external graphitization mechanism through hardness testing and microstructure analysis and it was also found that hardness of pipes installed during 1950s is much lower than pipes installed in other decades, and this is in consistent with the statistical data analysis.

Investigation into Sand Deposition and Transportation in Multiphase Pipelines – Phase 2

Matthew Avent
Chemical & Process Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Woodside Energy Ltd. has recognised the depostion of sand particles in near-horizontal pipelines as a potential problem in the transportation of unprocessed reservoir fluids. The build up of sand beds can result in increased corrosion, erosion and flow assurance issues. This project will investigate the effects of a number of parameters including pipe incline, sand particle size, pipe roughness and pipe diameter on the crticical fluid velocity at which sand settling occurs. An experimental rig that is designed to emulate a stratified mutliphase flow, has been used to collect data. It is the aim that the data generated and relationships found in this project will improve the prediction of sand settling velocity, and be used by Woodside to assist in designing pipelines. Experiments to date have found a positive linear relationship between the critical velocity of sand settling and both pipe roughness and incline. Experiments have also indicated that sand particle diameter has an inverted parabolic relationship with critical velocity.

Electronic speed regulation system for materials handling vehicles

John Fielding
Mechatronic Engineering
Remote Control Technologies Pty. Ltd.

Commercial and industrial locations often need speed zones established for safety. For example in warehouses vehicles such as forklifts are often used to transport materials to various locations across the warehouse transiting areas of increased traffic of other vehicles and personnel. To safely traverse these distances the vehicle is required to pass through high traffic areas at lower speeds. While limits are marked in such locations automated solutions are preferred such that vehicles are forced to observe the speed limits. Existing speed limiters use GPS signals outdoors to locate the position of vehicles within zones and thus limit the vehicles speed via a speed controller. However indoors the options available are more limited with areas where GPS signals cannot be obtained and other option such as RFID being costly and disruptive in installation and maintenance. This projects primary objective is to prototype a new commercially viable solution based on colour identification (patent pending) that provides zone positioning data (thus speed limits) to a speed controller. The systems zones are indicated by using coloured areas on the floor. These areas indicate which speed zone the vehicle will be entering and the device will adjust the speed limits appropriately. Work continues on the prototype which has successfully completed several milestones and approaches completion.

Failure Analysis on Development Drilling Rigs

Buhan Song
Mining Engineering
Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick Gold Granny Smith Underground Mine operates a fleet of development drilling rigs. Considering the site condition and the age of the fleet, the current performance is acceptable but may not be at its optimum. The project utilises historical maintenance cost reports and work orders from Granny Smith to analyse the failure behaviour and potential changes to the maintenance strategy on the selected sub-systems of the development drills. Weibull analysis is conducted on both the sub-system and component level to identify the failure modes and the corresponding maintenance strategies. Failure modes are also identified for the sub-systems using the FMEA process. Maintenance tactics addressing those failure modes will be developed using RCM decision diagram in a later stage of the project.

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