cod. 1010196

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Second semester
Andrea VOLPI
Academic discipline
Impianti industriali meccanici (ING-IND/17)
Ingegneria meccanica
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding: by means of frontal lessons, the student acquires the method and knowledge required to describe the fluid flow in the pipes, to understand the design and installation criteria for the distribution networks of the main utilities.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Through practical classroom exercises connected to some important topics, students learn how to apply the acquired knowledge in a real context of design, as well as in multidisciplinary or non-familiar areas. The possibility to voluntary participate to an interdisciplinary project in a group enables the student to extend and apply on a small scale the theoretical knowledge of the design and implementation of a utility plants.
Making judgements: The student must be able to understand and critically evaluate the main utility plants; by means of acquired knowledge, he has to be able to analyze existing plants, to evaluate their performance and adequacy, to elaborate numerical data and to support decisions about the plant itself. In particular, he must have acquired the ability to independently assess and design a utility plant (source or generator, distribution network) that meets the requirements imposed by the connected machines.
Communication skills: Through the front lessons, the assistance of the teacher and the voluntary group project, the student acquires the specific vocabulary inherent to the utility plants. At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to communicate the main contents of the course, both written and orally, such as ideas, engineering issues and related solutions. The student must communicate his knowledge through appropriate tools, so numerical problems are solved using common methods in the industry such as tables, diagrams, flow charts, and numerical spreadsheets.
Learning skills: The student who has attended the course will be able to deepen his knowledge of utility plants through the autonomous consultation of specialized books, scientific or divulgative journals, even outside the topics explained during lectures.


There are no mandatory propedeuticities.

Course unit content

The course aims to provide the students with the general criteria for designing and realizing the main utility plants for the production facilities. Therefore, the contents proposed during the course include in the first part of the course the analysis of fluid flow in pipes, an overview of the elements that compose the piping network, as well as the criteria to adopt for piping protection and installation. In the second part of the course, the main utility plants, such as water, steam and compressed air, are described and analyzed in detail.

Full programme

utility plants: introduction and definitions, mass conservation law
energy conservation law, distributed pressure drops
concentrated pressure drops, head, power, efficiency of a pump, centrifugal pumps
cavitation, positive displacement pumps
series and parallel configuration, characteristic curve of the fluid-dynamic circuit
transient conditions, start-up, pump-circuit stability
economic diameter, terminal pipe design
open network design
looped network design
contemporaneity factor: deterministic and stochastic behaviour

piping: definitions and symbology, nominal diameter, nominal pressure, pipes, joints
flanges, fittings, isolation valves, check valves
solenoid valves, control valves, mixing and diverting valves
control valve sizing, pressure regulators, direct acting and pilot operated and pneumatic pressure reducing valves, pressure relief valves, pressure reducer installation, temperature control valves
self acting, pilot operated and pneumatic temperature control valve, pneumatic relais, current-pressure converter, strainers, user's regulation

introduction, piping overview and positioning, pipe racks, supports, anchor & guides, hangers, anticorrosive coatings, conduction and convective heat transfer
convective heat transfer, thermal dissipated power of an insulated pipeline, critical radius
economical design of insulation, anti-freezing insulation: fluid in motion, standing fluid
anti-freezing insulation: tank, air-water mixture, anti-dripping insulation
pipe insulation and material types, expansion joints

surface and underground water, wells, well characteristic curve: unconfined aquifer and confined aquifer, aqueduct
tank design, elevated tank, underground tank, above ground tank, water booster pressure systems
small-scale pressure vessel, water booster pressure systems, industrial systems, design approach, Flow-controlled WBPS
tank and WBPS, Case study

Introduction to steam plants, steam as a thermal transfer, T-s and T-h diagram, steam plant, boiler features
boiler selection, regulation (two-step and continuous level control, two-step pressure control), self-evaporation
boiler features, fire-tube and water-tube boilers, monotone generator, boiler monitoring, boiler video clips
pressure reducer, distribution network, temperature control, heat exchanger, steam traps installation, thermodynamic steam traps
mechanical, thermostatic steam traps, condensate tank, condensate drainage, deareator, heat exchanger video clips

Introduction, cycle efficiency, post-compression cooling, plant diagram, intake filter, intake manifold
compression work, reciprocating compressor, sliding vane compressor, helical screw compressor. centrifugal compressor, aftercooler, condensate separator, storage tank, dryer
distribution network, filter and regulator, network testing


The notes of the lectures and exercises, and all the supporting material (drawings, plant schemes, Excel spreadsheets, .MPG and .MP3 media) are available to students and shared on Elly LMS. In addition to the shared material, the student can personally study some of the topics discussed during the course in the following books:
A. Monte, "Elementi di impianti industrali"
M. Gentilini, "Impianti meccanici"
Andreini, Pierini, "Generatori di vapore di media e piccola potenza"
A. Pareschi, "Impianti meccanici per l'industria"

Teaching methods

The course counts 9 CFUs (one CFU, University Credits equals one ECTS credit and represents the workload of a student during educational activities aimed at passing the exams), which corresponds to 72 hours of lectures. The didactic activities are composed of frontal lessons alternating with exercises. During the frontal lessons, the course topics are proposed from the theoretical and design point of view. During classroom exercises students are allowed to bring their own computers and tablets, and they will apply theoretical knowledge to an exercise, a real case study, or a project. The possibility to voluntary work on a common project (groups of 3 or 4 people maximum) allows the student to extend and apply on a small-scale case study the theoretical knowledge of design and implementation of a utility plant. If conditions are favorable, an optional visit to the thermal power station of the "Campus" facility is organized in order to observe the application of the knowledge to a real plant. The slides and notes used to support the lessons will be uploaded to the Elly Platform. Notes, slides, spreadsheets, tables, and all shared material are part of the didactic material. For non-attending students, it is important to stay up-to-date on the course through the Elly LMS platform, the only communication tool used for direct teacher / student contact. On this platform, day by day, the topics discussed in the lesson are pointed out and registered, providing the students with an index of the contents for the final exam.

Assessment methods and criteria

Verification of the knowledge takes place through a written test based on open questions, lasting 2 hours. The test usually consists of 6/7 questions that may relate to theoretical content, demonstrations, and exercises that have been done during the course; theoretical demonstrations and treatments have a weight of 1.0; Plant design and technical drawings weight 1.5; Exercises weight 1.8. The final vote is calculated by assigning a mark in the range 0-30 for each question and then performing the weighted average of the individual evaluations, with final ceiling to the next unit; the test is exceeded if it reaches a score of at least 18 points. “30 cum laude” is given to students who achieve the highest score on each item and use precise vocabulary.

Other information

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