comings in a design and pinpoint areas for optimization. In some cases, improvements can take the form of product substitutions; using alternative components that deliver the same or better perfor - mance. In other cases, the results of the analysis are the foundation for major redesigns. Stress analysis uses standard software tools like Ceasar II or Autopipe to look at loads inside of the piping to understand the loading that takes place during the construction of large systems. Using this software, analysts can identify things such as supports that are designed for more robust performance than what is required and instead reinforce an el - bow or tee to handle the anticipated loads. The more complex a system, the greater the value derived from stress analysis. When a system needs to accommodate dynamic movement, understanding the unique stress challenges of the proj - ect provides the framework for designing a system that meets those demands most efficiently. The other critical component is partnering with analysts that have the breadth of experience and depth of expertise to know what substitu - tions and redesigns are valid for a particular project. Victaulic provides this input through a team of analysts with backgrounds in different industries who deliver a broad view and a deep understanding of solu - tions and their potential application. Exposure to regional rules, regula - tory guidelines, and requirements in different parts of the world is an advantage when problem-solving and allows the team to capitalize on the experience of the individual members. Sometimes, a solution that works well in one region or industry can be transferred easily to an area where it has never been applied. Delivering value through simpler designs In a recent project, the Victaulic team performed stress analysis on a proposed piping system design that was being considered for an airport in the Middle East. The complex design developed for the airport had to accommodate seismic and thermal movement as well as the curva - ture of the building. The original design was massive. Nearly every spool of pipe included either mitered elbows or pre-curved 36-in. pipe spools to accommodate the architect’s design. Performing stress analysis allowed the team to replace the cumbersome design that was laden with many components and custom fittings to accommodate the curvature of the building with a simplified layout that incorporated easily sourced flexible mechanical pipe couplings. With these pipe couplings, the entire chilled water pro- cess piping system could be constructed using standard spool lengths, which allowed for simpler laydown and material handling. Stress analysis also revealed that fewer anchors and guides were needed to meet the seismic requirements for the system as compared to those dictated by the original engineering specification.
Another recent stress analysis program enabled refinements to a fire suppression system design that was to be installed on multiple bridges in a major metropolitan area. In this case, stress analysis was man - dated because of safety concerns surrounding the load ratings on the existing bridge structures where dry fire suppression systems were to be retrofitted. In addition to the structural constraints, the design considerations included wind, slug flow, pressure thrust, and seasonal temperature changes. Taking these parameters into account, the team of engineers who per - formed the stress analysis determined that appropriately placing loops in the system would lower slug forces, which would allow simpler, cheaper anchors to be considered. Using this approach simplified the design by eliminating nearly 30 anchors across five installations, leading to a savings of $250,000 USD on the anchors alone. Flexible pipe couplings for the curved bridge sections enabled the contractor to simplify the support and installation scheme for the bridge, which expedited construction and lowered costs by reducing the number of fittings and eliminating custom spools without compromising safety. As this was an active roadway, work was carried out at night to mini - mize traffic impacts, meaning every hour saved in construction had a significant impact on the total installed cost of the fire safety system. Making the move Stress analysis is commonplace in other industries where designers rely on technology to gain crucial insights into the effect of design parameters, improve design accuracy, shorten the design cycle, reduce construction cost, and minimize the footprint of installations. Adopting analytical methods to determine the best design enables effi - ciencies across the board by delivering project certainty and mitigating risk. Some companies may balk at making this front-end investment, but a growing body of work proves that stress analysis pays dividends in risk reduction and improved system performance, also saving time and money.
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