The development of a wax layer on the interior wall of a circular pipe transporting heated oil

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  • Aston University
  • EAS
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  • Linköping University


In this article we develop a simple model to describe the evolution of a depositional wax layer on the inner surface of a circular pipe transporting heated oil, which contains dissolved wax. When the outer pipe surface is cooled sufficiently, the growth of a wax layer is initiated on the inner pipe wall, and this evolves to a saturated steady state thickness. The model proposed is based on fundamental balances of heat flow from the oil, into the wax layer, and across the pipe wall. We present an analysis of the model, examine a relevant asymptotic limit in which the full details of the solution to the model are available and develop an efficient numerical method (based on the method of fundamental solutions) for producing approximations of the model solution. The mathematical structure of the model is that of a free boundary evolution problem of generalised Stefan type.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-125
Number of pages33
JournalQuarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014