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EUROPARTNER Calculation software

New EUROPARTNER® software developed at SPETECH was created as a tool supporting the design and calculation process for flange and screw connections, together with proper and unambiguous selection of a flat gasket. Many years of experience of SPETECH employees and customers have allowed to enter in the program a huge database of knowledge connected with correct selection of a seal and with gasket operation in a flange and screw connection. EUROPARTNER® program should be treated as an expert and design system, and not only as a program conducting strength calculations. EUROPARTNER® construction supports the design and calculation process for all available standards. Use of the EUROPARTNER® program as an engineering and expert tool constitutes a part of generally applied and recommended ”best available techniques” and “good engineering practices”.

 

CONCEPT OF PROGRAM OPERATION

Four primary rules of EUROPARTNER® program construction have been adopted:

  1. Universal user interface, which changes only if there are differences in particular calculation standards.
  2. Universal ”engine”, which allows to add any new algorithms without breaching the program’s operational logic.
  3. Maximum hints, minimum limitations. The designer can obtain geometry and material data from the database, but still he can change their values in accordance with his knowledge or design needs.
  4. Calculations are conducted in real time. Each change of input data involves making calculations. It can be immediately checked, how the performed change has influenced the results.
  5. Possibly maximum clarity of output data at simultaneous control of the most important geometrical and strength quantities and conditions.

The program main panel shows, depending on individual location of windows, all the most important program components. The main one is the design panel, in which the user defines particular components of a flange connection, e.g., part type, its geometry and material from which it is made.

Full direct control through critical data panel system allows to check on a current basis the whole design correctness. The program is equipped with the following panels:

 a)  Debugger – picks up geometry errors and informs about place of their occurrence,

 b)  Conditions – presents conditions which the design has to fulfil to be deemed correct in terms of strength and standard-dependent conditions,

 c)   Main quantities – allows to track changes of the most important calculated quantities on a current basis,

 d)  Graphs – shows dependencies between forces and stresses occurring in the joint in a visual way,

 e)  Assembly sheet – presents forces and maximum and minimum torques so that the seal can be correctly installed in the joint. This sheet is printed out on the first page of the print and it can be used when installing the gasket during field work.

Additional inspection of the joint construction correctness on a 3D moving picture of the whole connection.  

 

DESIGN DESCRIPTION – STEP 1

Work with EUROPARTNER® program can begin with describing the design on which you work. This is done with the design description section. Issues described in this section will appear on the print title page.

europartner

User information modification is possible after selecting the item Users from the Log-in menu. Information provided by the user are recorded in the database and they are available in the program main panel. It is possible to add and change both, the company information (logo included) and designer information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GASKET SELECTION – STEP 2

Number of seals in the database – 408.

 

A module used to formulate operation conditions of the whole flange and screw connection as well as of the gasket is a significant part of EUROPARTNER® software. Operation parameters presented in this module directly influence the seal selection by the program, in which its expert function is manifested. The above mentioned operation parameters include: medium type and concentration, working temperature, calculation pressure, tightness class which the seal is to ensure. Selection of a gasket according to pre-set operation parameters is realized in this way that the gasket itself is treated as a construction comprising, depending on the type, several different materials. A metal-jacketed gasket can serve as an example. Its construction can comprise various materials, e.g., fibre and elastomer part, PTFE layers and acid-proof steel inner fitting. Each of these components has its specified thermal strength, pressure strength and chemical resistance range. The program, selecting a gasket for provided operation parameters, checks individual components of the gasket construction in terms of the above mentioned elements and their features. Such an approach ensures very precise choice of a specific gasket construction corresponding with the selected operation parameters.

 

            Section Requirements is an additional function that enables the refinement of requirements set to the gasket. In the requirements list the user can find descriptions of many additional criteria. The requirement concerning white colour of the gasket can be a trivial example here. It makes sense when the user wants to select a gasket for media occurring in food or pharmaceutical industries. The requirement that a seal should possess the Office of Technical Inspection Certificate of gasket acceptance for use in equipment under Technical Inspection may be another example. On the list there are also entries following from experience in gaskets and flange connections operation gathered by SPETECH. Thus, it is a list of approvals, knowledge and experience from the sealing technology sector.

            Many of the documents from the list can be viewed in PDF format and there is a possibility to print them out with an additional Copy sign. The condition is to install software allowing to view files of this type. On EUROPARTNER® installation CD there is also a free Adobe® Reader®.

            It should be mentioned that the program can calculate any gasket defined by the user. In the database there are seals offered by SPETECH as well as those which appear in a given standard (e.g., EN 1591-2). However, if the user gives the name of his own gasket and all required calculation coefficients necessary to conduct calculations in a given standard, the program will include in the design a gasket from outside the database. In such a case, however, the software will neither check components chemical resistance nor take additional conditions into account.

 

FLANGE SELECTION – GEOMETRY – STEP 3

Number of flange types in the database – 104.

Depending on the running calculation standard, the program makes standard-relevant flange types available for selection and calculation. The user first determines a general flange type, e.g., fixed, loose, and then within this choice, determines the specific flange type. All dimensional fields which, from the point of view of conducted calculations, belong to the selected type, are fully editable. If the user wants to select for calculations a flange of normative dimensions, he can use flange dimensions recorded in the database. For such selection a special tab is used, where it may be chosen according to which standard the flange is to be designed, e.g., PN, EN, DIN, what is going to be its DN and PN. After clicking the Convert dimensions for calculation button the program transfers normative geometry dimensions to the calculation section of the selected standard. These dimensions can still be changed, however.

 

FAYING SURFACE SELECTION – GEOMETRY – STEP 4

Number of faying surface types in the database – 11.

It is assumed that each type of face can be fitted to the faying surface (turned on it). Thus the necessity to specify the face type in the program. This is done in the Face sections. There is, of course, the possibility, just as in case of flange selection, to select faces of normative dimensions from various standards. The program does not limit the designer when a necessity of such dimensions change occurs and it monitors the conformity of flange and face PN and DN.

 

SCREW SELECTION – STEP 5

Number of screw types in the database – 6.

Correct selection of screws, their size, number and material significantly affects the possibility of gasket forming and its operation. For example: too small number of too weak screws may not guarantee correct gasket forming. The program allows such a modification of all screw-related quantities so as to obtain as a result appropriate assembly and operational tensions, at minimal number and size of screws, and a reasonable, from the strength conditions point of view, material selection. The results can be viewed on the program result template in the form of dynamically changing results for particular gasket types. The Dimensions tab gives the possibility to determine the normative geometry of screws. Transfer of these dimensions from the normative model to the calculation model is done according to the above mentioned rules. Depending on selected calculation standard, additional editable fields connected, for example, with the method of screws tightening or with assumed friction coefficient on the screw thread and head, appear in the screw section.

 

GASKET TYPE AND GEOMETRY SELECTION – STEP 6

Number of gasket dimensional standards in the database – 30.

The gasket type is automatically selected by the program on the basis of the following information: medium (type, concentration, maximum pressure and temperature), special requirements and face types. A list of gaskets which can work in the defined conditions is generated, but the final decision concerning the gasket selection belongs to the designer. Specific choice results in current calculation of all quantities, and so the user can instantly see how his choice influences final quantities. Selection of particular seal type is not limited only to gaskets cut from a plate, but also to complete sealing constructions. In the selection section the user has the choice from among soft-material, metal, spiral or metal-jacketed gaskets. After taking into account the user’s choice the program shows information about seal construction and materials.

The program possesses a very large database of gasket normative dimensions according to various standards. The designer selects a specific gasket according to PN and DN values (or NPS and Class). When the specific geometrical dimensions of a gasket have been chosen, automatic control of matching the geometry and faying surface dimensions takes place. Possible errors are signalled with detailed information displayed in the error detection window.

 

SELECTION OF JOINT COMPONENT MATERIALS – STEP 7

Number of materials entered in the database – 598.

The program possesses a very large database of material information and their strength quantities, such as Rm, Re, R0.2, E, A5. These quantities are given for various temperatures and depending on available information sources. Displayed information are, however, only of informational and auxiliary character. In the part concerning determination of operation parameters for particular operation states, the designer can enter his own values of these parameters. Steel materials are grouped in sections describing their type, e.g., steel resistant to corrosion. Other sections: material name, thickness range and steel component type. The designer has to decide which strength parameter is to be used for calculations. Searching for appropriate material takes place through definition of group assignment or its specific name or Werkstoff number. Depending on flange type, independent selection of materials for all its components is available, so for example: flange, orifice and shell materials. Screw material is selected in a similar way.

Operation model of the flange connection in EN 1591 assumes, in accordance with the New Approach Directives, the necessity to conduct calculations in all these operating conditions in which the risk of emergency running of pressure equipment can occur. The designer determines the number of operating conditions which have to be calculated. EUROPARTNER® allows to define additional operating conditions and specify in details their parameters, such as temperature, pressure or safety factors. When a new operating condition has been defined, the program automatically calculates all conditions and adds a relevant tab in the result section.

 

DEFINITION OF OPERATING CONDITIONS – STEP 8

Number of operating conditions possible to be defined – 10.

Operation model of the flange connection in EN 1591 assumes, in accordance with the New Approach Directives, the necessity to conduct calculations in all these operating conditions in which the risk of emergency running of pressure equipment can occur. The designer determines the number of operating conditions which have to be calculated. EUROPARTNER® allows to define additional operating conditions and specify in details their parameters, such as temperature, pressure or safety factors. When a new operating condition has been defined, the program automatically calculates all conditions and adds a relevant tab in the result section.

The rule of defining operating conditions has also been transferred to other standards in which, up till now, only the operating condition was defined.

RESULTS OF SELECTION AND CALCULATIONS – STEP 9

Regardless of the algorithm used in calculations, the following information is obtained on the result panel as a result of the program operation:

-        name and thickness of the gasket, its geometrical dimensions, active dimensions included,

-        values of assembly and operational tensions for the selected seal,

-        values of forces in screws and in an individual screw for all conditions,

-        values of the nut tightening torque,

-        values of tensions in gasket, screw and flange in comparison with relevant permissible values,

-        additional information connected with conducted calculations (e.g., percent value of screw material use).

All mentioned information change dynamically during any change of input data values. Thus, the designer may control calculation results all the time and can easily change input data (e.g., screw material).

 

PRINT – STEP 10

Each of the algorithms, which the program is equipped with, generates complete printouts. It means that page headlines, design descriptions, full input data, intermediate results and final results together with formulas are created. Additionally, at the user’s request it is possible to attach to the print the comments which have been added to any section of the program. EUROPARTNER® has a special tool to support prints, and so, results in the form of prints which were earlier saved on the disk can be re-uploaded to the program and printed out using a printer. There is also a possibility to save prints in PDF, html, txt or Excel formats.

 

ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS

EUROPARTNER® is equipped with many functions and methods which allow to conduct additional calculations and adjust program appearance to individual needs. These functions include, inter alia:

-        dynamic change of language versions when the program is running,

-        possibility to change units for each input and end quantity,

-        calculation of minimum and maximum tightening torques (this concerns the algorithms in which these calculations do not appear),

-        strength control of all joint components,

-        functions to store personal information of users and companies using the software,

-        procedures of the program database management,

-        automatic Internet updater.

 

SUMMARY

EUROPARTNER® is a program, which globally covers issues connected with selection of flat gaskets and calculation of flange and screw connections. Calculation algorithms used in the program: EN 1591-1, WUDT, and in the nearest future ASME Code s. VIII and AD 2000 Merkblatt, DIN 2505, EN 13445 and EN 13480 (in parts concerning calculation of flange connections), in an exhaustive manner and in compliance with the regulations in force in the European Union generate relevant calculation results and acceptable, detailed prints. Advantages and benefits for users, which distinguish this program from other calculation tools of this type, include:

-        network quality of the software – one database, which can be used by many work stations,

-        data entered and calculations performed in a quick and easy way,

-        several calculation algorithms in one program,

-        user interface identical for each algorithm,

-        detailed selection of gaskets, adjusted to the pre-set operating conditions,

-        a very big database of media and their concentrations combined with chemical resistances of materials used for high-parameter gasket manufacturing,

-        a very big database of flange, face, gasket and screw geometrical quantities,

-        expert functions to optimize gasket selection and calculated quantities,

-        knowledge and approvals database, which significantly narrows down the area for correct solution search,

-        various language versions,

-        constant software development, adding new algorithms, functions and databases,

-        version updating through the Internet,

-        technical support granted by the software authors.

EUROPARTNER® software is a tool which facilitates and speeds up the process of flange joint designing and which, above all, properly selects a flat gasket.

 

            MINIMAL SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

CPU: Pentium® 300MHz class

RAM: 64MB

about 260MB HDD free space

Internetowe link (necessary to download updates)

System operacyjny: Windows® 95/98/Me/2000/XP, OpenGL®-compatible