The paper advocates the use of bladder surge tanks to control pressure surges in pipelines created by transient operations. Transient pressures are created as a result of pumps starting and stopping as well as the opening and closing of valves. This paper describes why the utilization of bladder surge tanks is the best solution to transient operations. A bladder surge tank allows piping systems to meet pressure piping codes such as ASME B31.3 and B31.4. Controlling pressure transients reduces pressure stresses, thereby extending the pipeline’s operating life. This paper compares the use of a bladder surge tank to other methods to attenuate pressure transient in pipelines.
Generally, water and hydrocarbon pipelines operate safely throughout the world, but failure can occur as a result of pressure transients created by certain operating conditions. In addition, pipe materials are weakened as a result of years of operation and exposure to corrosion, pressure cycling fatigue and over-pressurization.
The usable life of piping materials can be significantly reduced by cyclic loading and surge pressure overstressing the material. Therefore, controlling pressure surges will increase pipeline life and reliability. This can be achieved by installing surge control equipment at the location of the transient event.