Thermal imaging and stress analysis for predicting the behaviour and long-term performance of flare tips

Sobhan Abolghasemi, Jim Williamson, Trevor C. Lindley, R. Mark Ward, Peter D. Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A combination of computational and imaging tools was developed to characterise the performance and assess the lifetime of flare tips, the top portion of stacks used to burn off excess gas in the gas and petroleum industry. Integrating the use of (1) an infrared imaging study to obtain temperature profiles of flare tips in operation and (2) finite element modelling of stress distributions based on temperature profiles allowed lifetime prediction for creep and fatigue failure. The techniques were successfully applied to a complex flare tip design that included a venturi shaped windshield. It was concluded that in this instance, the flare tip lifetime would be limited by a combination of creep and fatigue of the support brackets and by plastic deformation at the top of the windshield. Design methodologies for producing flare tips with improved lifetimes are suggested, including the use of computational fluid dynamics modelling to assess the combined effects of gas flow rates and wind conditions on combustion behaviour. Thus, the prediction prior to installation, of both the performance of a new design and the long-term behaviour, can be a valuable assessment process for a proposed flare tip assembly. © 2012 IMechE.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-111
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Strain Analysis For Engineering Design
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


    • Flare tip failure
    • Lifetime predictions
    • Stress analysis
    • Thermal imaging


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