The paper reports the development and application of a SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamics) based simulation of rapid filling of pipelines, for which the rigid-column model is commonly used. In this paper the water-hammer equations with a moving boundary are used to model the pipe filling process, and a mesh-less Lagrangian particle approach is employed to solve the governing equations. To assign boundary conditions with time-dependent (upstream) and constant (downstream) pressure, the SPH pressure boundary concept proposed recently in literature is used and extended. Except for imposing boundary conditions, this concept also ensures completeness of the kernels associated with particles close to the boundaries. As a consequence, the boundary deficiency problem encountered in conventional SPH is remedied. The employed particle method with the SPH pressure boundary concept aims to predict the transients occurring during rapid pipe filling. It is validated against laboratory tests, rigid-column solutions and numerical results from literature. Results obtained with the present approach show better agreement with the test data than those from rigid-column theory and the elastic model solved by the box scheme. It is concluded that SPH is a promising tool for the simulation of rapid filling of pipelines with undulating elevation profiles.
Keywords: Rapid filling of pipelines; Undulating elevation profile; SPH