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I'm looking for 1D software packages that can simulate flows of oil (lubricant) in pipes of a small diameter (typically between 1mm to 12mm in diameter) and have found around 10+ possible candidates, but pretty much all of them seem to be designed for water flows, and much larger pipes.

Can anybody recommend a software package in which I can build a model in a GUI and input the pump and pipe characteristics in order to find the outflow at multiple outlets?

Full CFD seems like overkill, I'm keen to hear from any body that has experience with simulating lubricant flows, particularly in compact networks.

Note: I couldn't find similar questions (re: software recommendations) elsewhere on the engineering SE, please let me know in the comments if this isn't good practice, and I will remove the question.

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As far as I understand any CFD package worth its name can model fluid flow - you just have to specify the fluid characteristics for that fluid.

As for size, that should not be an issue - some packages advertise that they have modelled the flow of blood through the heart and wind through a city around the high-rise buildings...

As for a package that is purely GUI - that I am not sure.

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    $\begingroup$ As I said, CFD is probably overkill given 1D codes can theoretically do the job. My current employer is wedded to ANSYS, and that would mean a FLUENT license; too pricey. I'm worried about size since some correlations for P-loss don't appear scale-able (they're sometimes based on experiment using long stretches of large diameter pipe, then a fitting and another very long length of pipe - far from my typical application). My network is almost all 'fittings' that weave between components. I expect 'minor' losses to be the major driver of the pressure distribution in this type of network. $\endgroup$
    – Petrichor
    Feb 26 '18 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ So why don't you have a look at OpenFOAM? If you can't spend any money... openfoam.com $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 26 '18 at 18:12
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Pipe-flo is a good commercial tool for what you describe.

https://eng-software.com/products/pipe-flo/

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I've used Daxesoft's Pipeflow Software before - it's capable, but a little pricey at ~£1000 ($1380 US) per licence.

It comes with a fairly comprehensive database of pipes, pipe fittings and fluids, and allows you to customize and add your own. It should be more than adequate for your needs.

If you're on a budget and your piping system isn't massively complex, you could write something in Python or Excel. Check out Crane Fluids Techincal Paper 410 for a concise, practical approach to solving pressure drop problems. It was a seminal paper in it's time.

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As for your need, as mentioned by Solar Mike, I believe OpenFOAM is the best option as there wouldn't be any issues for licence cost as well , since it is an opensource CFD platform.

You can simulate almost anything in OpenFOAM as per your needs. You can quite very easily program your equations to create a solver of your own, and for doing that you don't have to fall much deep into the CFD aspects or programming. You can familiarize yourself with proramming the equation by having a look at the already written solver which come with the package for tutorial cases.

Programming the equations isn't hard at all in OpenFOAM, as while initially writing the solver you only have to look if you are to perform your calculation in implicit or explicit ways,(yes you do need to have a considerable grasp over concepts, syntax, available libraries) while you can specify your discretization schemes and matrix solvers during setting up your case. You can get a basic idea by having a look at pre-compiled solvers and tutorial cases, and if needed can modify tose already existing solvers to work for your case.

As per your case I believe there are already many 1D solvers in OpenFOAM dealing with fluid flow(incompressible and compressible ), all you would need is to specify your fluid properties in transport properties file of a case(you should be able modify a tutorial case to run your own case). Many tutorials, forums and youtube channel(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjdgpuxuAxH9BqheyE82Vvw) are there where you can learn basics of it. I hope this helps!!!

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