By Gary Philippi PE, Technical Support Engineer 14 August 2006 Modified: 25 October 2006
**Attention ** See online help for details on the individual grid tabs.
AutoPIPE 2004 introduced some major changes from previous AutoPIPE versions. One of the most important was the introduction of the Input and Result Grids. Both items are significant, but this discussion is limited to the Input Grids.
The Input Grids are activated when the model is opened. If they are closed, they can be reopened by selecting Edit/Grids from the drop-down menu or clicking the grid icon in the toolbar. The Grids and the AutoPIPE model are synchronized so that any changes made in the Grids are reflected graphically in the model. Note that when a point is selected in the Grid, the crosshair immediately moves to that point in the model. This becomes particularly useful when working with a complicated model and trying to select a specific point.
The Temp/Press/Pipe ID Grid can be used to change temperatures and pressures at any given location or to make the change over a range of pipe. Highlight a range with the left mouse button, hold the CTRL key down while selecting the first cell in the range selected, enter the change, and press CRTL + ENTER.
The same method can be used to change pressures, and pipe identifiers here as well as data in the other grids as will be seen. Other relevant data contained in this Grid includes expansion coefficient, hot modulus, and hot allowable. This data is automatically entered for known materials contained in the material library. For non-standard materials this data can be input manually.
The Pipe Properties Grid contains all other relevant pipe data, including pipes' physical properties, material type, yield stress, cold allowable, insulation type and thickness, density, and so on. When a specific pipe identifier is selected, all areas in the model with that pipe identifier are highlighted. This is particularly useful when checking the model, because it actually gives a visual representation of the piping sizes, thicknesses, and materials.
The Point Grid and Anchor Grid are not shown but are relatively straightforward. The Point Grid lists the node points sequentially as they appear in the model, the type of component at any given point (valve, flange, etc.), the length between points, and the offsets in the global coordinate system. The Anchor Grid lists all of the anchor points and their associated stiffnesses if not rigid. It also shows if the anchors have been released for hanger selection or selected for local analysis input to WinNOZL. These fields are editable, and selecting any point will navigate to that point in the model.
The Support Grid Shows support locations, support types, spring rates or support stiffnesses, gaps and gap settings, as well as friction factors. This grid is very helpful for checking and editing gaps and friction values. When performing an analysis requiring multiple iterations, supports, friction factors, and gaps can be quickly changed in block operations using the technique set out above.
The Bend Grid lists all bend points; bend types, radii, any added midpoints; and number of cuts if a mitered bend is selected. For multiple non-sequential bends, the bends can be selected using the CTRL key then modified in one operation using the drop-down menus or associated AutoPIPE icons. This is useful when certain bends have to have their thickness increased or have a specific stress intensification factor (SIF) associated with them, as would be the case with socked welded or threaded fittings.
Valve and Flange Grids list type and class of valve / flange, length (valves only), weight, and type of connection to the pipe. All fields are editable and, in cases where nonstandard valves or flanges are encountered, "User" data can be entered.
Can be used to modify expansion joint length, stiffnesses/spring rates, weights, and pressure area for determining pressure thrust. If restrained (tied), then tie rods, input as tie-link supports, would be added as described in AutoPIPE Help.
Lists length, beginning pipe identifier, ending pipe identifier, knuckles, use SIF of 2, cone angle, and weld mismatch. The first three fields are always active, with the others either active or passive. This is governed by the piping code that is selected for use.
The Xtra Data Grids such as Imposed Displacement, Concentrated Force, Cut Short, User SIF, and Weight are some of the less frequently used grids, but can be used in the same manner as the other grids for quickly editing or checking input data.
The Thermal Anchor Movement Grid can be used to edit or check all translational and rotational thermal anchor movements in one location.
There are a few very useful features that are common to all the grids. In the drop-down menu, Tools> Settings Grids provides the option to automatically open the grid when the program opens, and the option to show or hide grids that hold no data and are therefore not in use.
AutoPIPE 8.6 has expanded the number of grid tools available. The use of these tools is self-explanatory with one exception. When the "Show additional columns" option is selected, the input grid displays an additional header column with alphabetic labels. The first data column of the grid will be marked as A, the second as B and so on. The columns after 26, if present, will be labeled AA, AB, AC,... AZ, BA,BB, ..... ZZ. This option is useful to identify which columns are hidden. This makes manipulating and tabbing through the grids faster and easier.
All of the grids can be sorted to suit your purposes. The Support Grid sorts by support type when Type is double-clicked on the top of the column. The Pipe Properties Grid can sort by pipe ID, pipe size, material type, etc., when those column titles are double-clicked. When review is complete, double clicking on the top left cell in a grid will restore the default sort order for that grid.
Any of the grids can be printed, as well as copied and pasted into Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Simply select the grid contents by left-clicking on the in the upper left corner. Right click, and follow the Menu options for copying or printing. To paste into Excel, select cell A1, right click and select Paste, or simply press . You can also select Edit > Paste from the Excel drop-down menu.
AutoPIPE 8.6 has improved one grid and added three new grids. The Flange Grid has been expanded to allow ANSI flange checks to be initiated from within the grid. The additional fields include flange material, group ID, gasket material, and all other input data required to perform the flange check. A new Beam Grid has been added to allow editing and checking of beam input data, and Soil and Soil ID have been added to allow editing of max soil spacing, number of soil points, and soil stiffnesses from within the grids.
Using the Input Grids in AutoPIPE 2004 is an effective tool for the pipe stress analyst thanks to increased accuracy, efficiency, and productivity when editing or checking AutoPIPE models.
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This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2006 for reference purposes.