Piping Layout

Piping is a major expenditure in the design and construction of industrial, refinery, petrochemical, or power-generating plants when one considers engineering costs, material costs, and fabrication and field labor costs. Proper planning and execution of the design and routing of pipe can have a major impact on controlling the total installed cost (TIC).

Piping design and equipment arrangement are interrelated subjects that cannot be well taught in the classroom. Most good designers throughout history have learned their profession by a combination of academic and practical work. Field and design office plus a little shop experience is good preparation for designing or teaching. This topic is very broad-based and relies on a sound mechanical engineering background and a lot of common sense. The use of previous designs and drawings is a good way to learn and improve on current designs.

The experienced piping designer needs to have a working knowledge of plant layout, equipment arrangement, and system functionality associated with one or more fields of endeavor, such as commercial, industrial, refinery, petrochemical, or power. In addition, the designer must have an understanding of the practical application of piping materials, valves, pumps, tanks, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, power boilers, vendor-supplied skid assemblies, steam turbine drivers,and other machinery and equipment.

The design of a piping system is a straightforward process. The technology is extensive and diverse. Piping design requires the application of theory from a number of engineering disciplines, including fluid mechanics, statics, dynamics, strength of materials, and physical metallurgy. It also requires the knowledge and application of a number of codes and standards.

This chapter identifies and explores the various facets of piping design and highlights parameters that must be considered in completing the design process. The design bases discussed here are generic and should be considered during the course of design of any piping system, regardless of its function. In some cases, a number of the parameters discussed may not be applicable; however, they all should be considered when the initial design concept for the system is formulated and developed.


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