Piping Simulation Comparison – Introduction

It is sometime quite complicated to make a choice when a company is looking for a 1D piping tool. A lot are present on the market…they are all different, each of them has its own advantages.

Vincent Soumoy was involved with 3 of them (some since 1994), in Europe and North America, and also wrote a few papers.

He worked with Flowmaster from 1994 to 2008 and from 2015 to 2017, with Flownex from 2017 to 2020 and with Hydrosystem since 2019.

He will present below the three products and the best one for a few usage. After a brief history of the tools, you will see a description of the capabilities of each of them in the following news that will follow..

  • User Interface
  • Ease of Use
  • Incompressible isothermal flows
  • Compressible and multiphase flows
  • Transient flows
  • Interface with CAD, CFD and FEA products
  • Main applications
  • Validation
  • Pricing

This document is done taking into account our actual knowledge of the various tools.

A lot of trade marks will be presented, they all belongs to their owner. Since 20 years most of the trade marks or company changed their names so no local registering information is present in these posts to facilitate the reading. The best was made, we presume no error, we apologize in advance if it will happen.

We are open to remarks from any representative of all products in the case where they would add any comments namely as far as recent of future capabilities would be concerned.


FloMASTER, formerly known as Flowmaster, is a leading general purpose 1D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution for the modeling and analysis of fluid mechanics in complex piping systems of any scale.

Uniquely, the development of Flowmaster began as a commercial product in the early 1980’s in collaboration with the British Hydromechanics Research Association.  Based on the world recognised technical book “Internal Flow Systems” by D.S. Miller (Technical Director of BHRA), it was developed to meet a need for a comprehensive simulation tool to address the major applications of fluid system analysis in many different industries, such as the provision of sufficient clean water, the safe transportation of petro-chemicals, and the efficient generation of power. Taking over 30 man-years of initial development, Flowmaster was born from further collaboration with the UK Central Electricity Generating Board and British Petroleum (BP).

Flowmaster grew inside the Flowmaster Group, namely for the automotive and aerospace industry, as main competitor of Amesim, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Mentor Graphics announced in January 2012 that it has acquired the Flowmaster Group. A 1D CFD solution that allows for very rapid engineering design of complex fluid flow network systems like water-cooled electronic racks, automotive vehicle thermal management, and aerospace fuel systems.

On 14 November 2016, Mentor Graphics announced that it was to be acquired by Siemens. The acquisition was completed in March 2017.

Flownex is a South-African software developed by M-Tech a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering company.

Initial development of a code called Flownet based on Hardy-Cross method to solve air and water distribution networks on mines started in 1986.

Development of the Implicit Pressure Correction Method (IPCM) algorithm, extension of code to deal with aircraft engine combustion systems and with dynamic simulations of networks with time-dependent flows, and to simulate Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) were added betweem 1990 and 1999.

The implementation of gas mixture and conduction elements were the last improvment of Flownet in 2000,

In 2001, Flownex, the object ariented version of Flownet is born.

In the following years, rotating components, homogeneous two phase modeling capability, combustion modeling, API were namely added.

In 2010 Flownex integrated ASPEN Fluid and later slurry flows, cad importers and expanded heat transfer.

2014 was the innovation year for gas turbine secondary flow modelling, steam turbine modelling, GIS importing and coordinate system drawing, supersonic flow, simplified scripting, visualization & graphing, 3D drawing & importing.

First introduced in 1977 and blessed by piping hydraulic world-known guru Idelchik, Hydrosystem has since evolved into one of most powerful piping flow analysis tools.

Originally focused on process piping analysis in refining and petrochemical industry, it was ported to different type of mainframe computers, and then to personal computer under DOS.

Founded in 1992, and currently one of leading Russian IT companies, PSRE (Piping System Research & Engineering) Co. develops now Hydrosystem as a part of a complete solution (PASS software) for engineering of Piping Systems and related equipment including engineering consulting.

New version 2.0 for Microsoft Windows was released in 2000.

In 2005 the program was completely rewritten and redesigned, and extended for one phase steady flow analysis of networks of any complexity, with loops and recycles, using Todini Global Gradient Algorithm.

Multiphase gas-liquid flow analysis features were added to program in 2005, and were under permanent improvement since that moment, including embedding TUFFP Unified model in 2014, flash and condensing flow in the networks in 2017, and liquid-liquid-gas flow in 2018. Settling slurry flow analysis was added in 2019. Waterhammer module was added in 2014.

Import from Start-Prof and different variant of full 3D model representation were implemented in 2008.

Integration with Simulis Themodynamics was added in 2011, and integration with Spaix Pumps in 2015. Optimization tools on the base of Powell method were first added in 2018. In 2019 integration with Start-Prof was significantly extended, including calculation and export of unbalanced forces into Start-Prof and Caesar II.

The program is under highly active permanent development and improvement, with priorities defined by need of existing and potential customers.

Each situation is different

The needs of your company are not necessarily the same as another society, they may also have changed with years.

Do not hesitate to contact Fluids & Co to have a personalized study of your project.


Websites from the editors




Former Vincent Soumoy’s presentations on the subject

Coupling 1D and 3D CFD Myth or Reality
Vincent Soumoy (Fluids & Co)
NAFEMS – World Congress in Quebec (2019)

Coupling 1D and 3D CFD The Challenges and Rewards of Co-Simulation
David Kelsall (Mentor) & Vincent Soumoy (EURO/CFD)
NAFEMS – Benchmark Magazine (2010) & Enginsoft Newsletter (2011)

Where systems simulation meets CFD – The introduction of 1D models in CFD computations
Vincent Soumoy (EURO/CFD)
NAFEMS – Benchmark Magazine (2009)

Validation des modélisations et flexibilité d’intégration : deux dimensions incontournables pour les logiciels scientifiques.
Vincent Soumoy (Flowmaster)
Journée Nationale : logiciels pour la modélisation et le calcul scientifique – Paris (2006)

Flexibilité d’intégration et facilité de compréhension : deux nouvelles dimensions pour les logiciels scientifiques
Vincent Soumoy (Flowmaster), Gil Jouhanneau (EDF), Karine Huyge (The Mathworks)
Micad, Paris (2003)

Semt Pielstick successfully apply Flowmaster to ship engine internal and external flows
J.R. Magré, J.L. Bertholom (Semt Pielstick), V. Soumoy (Flowmaster)
Simouest Conference– Virtual Shipbuilding, the current state of affairs, Nantes (2002)

A link between CAD system and simulation tools will help shipbuilders to reduce their delay.
R. de Gongora (Sener), V. Soumoy (Flowmaster)
Simouest Conference– Virtual Shipbuilding, the current state of affairs, Nantes (2002)