Table of Contents
- What is piping vibration?
- The Most Common Causes of Piping Vibration
- Effects Of Piping Vibration And Associated Risks
What Is Piping Vibration?
Piping vibrations are considered to be the condition of to-and-fro motion when the fluid is passing through the piping system. These piping vibrations could occur as a result of many factors. The vibrations in a piping system are considered normal and are often ignored by people. These people are also often ignorant about the damages and faults these piping vibrations can cause to the piping systems.
It is important to note that the vibration found in a piping system can cause fatal damage to the operating plants and machinery. Some of the piping system design codes which are commonly used are ASME B 31.3, B31.1, B31.4, B31.8, etc. But, since the design is a wide area of study with each and every process and plant being different, most of the piping codes are inadequate to work with vibration analysis.
These codes provide a general idea and framework for piping systems, but they do not provide detailed information or solutions for piping vibration damage. Before we can even consider finding a solution to the piping vibrations and resulting damage, we must first understand the causes and effects of these piping vibrations.
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The Most Common Causes of Piping Vibration
There are a multitude of reasons and causes for piping vibrations. Some of the main and most common causes are
- Turbulence in the liquid flow can cause flow-induced piping vibration.
- Equipment like compressors and pumps produces mechanical forces, which leads to pipe vibration.
- High-frequency acoustic excitations caused by high-pressure cause piping vibration.
- Surge, water hammer, and momentum changes due to the sudden closure of the valve, which can also result in pipe vibration.
- Due to the heavy pressure drop, which is often local, a cavitation or vapor bubble collapse occurs. This leads to pipe vibration and eventually damages the system.
Effects of Piping Vibration and Associated Risks
These piping vibrations can result in equipment failure and fatal damage to the piping systems. These unwanted piping vibrations increase the stress of the piping system, causing it to fail. If the stress keeps on continuing, it can initiate a crack in the piping, resulting in failure of the whole piping system.
Along with the stress content, these vibrations can also result in fretting, where the surface of these pipes starts to wear off due to cyclic relative motion that occurs as a result of the piping vibrations.
Most piping system failures occur due to small-bore connections (SBCs). Some of the reasons for it being
- When the huge pipes are left unsupported.
- When timely inspections and maintenance for piping vibration are not done.
- When there are multiple bends and stress in the flow of liquid, and so on.
In order to have a smooth functioning piping system with no unwanted vibrations, you ought to eliminate unnecessary bends in a pipeline; they should not be mechanically resonant to the piping system’s excitation forces.
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Piping vibrations that result in damage and failure of the whole piping system must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. These vibrations are caused for minor reasons. With the help of professional designers, you can build a perfect piping system to prevent piping vibration issues. Conducting regular piping vibration analysis to determine and resolve the issues is also highly beneficial.