Piping systems

Vibration Control of Piping Systems

Pipework dampers are frequently used for the protection of piping systems and other components in power plants and industrial facilities. GERB pipework dampers are highly effective viscoelastic elements, well proven in numerous installations. Already in 1951 Viscodampers® were patented for pipe applications.

Practical experience in power plants shows that the reliability and life expectancy of piping systems are largely determined by their dynamic characteristics and behavior. Dynamic loads are experienced during normal, continuous operation and during abnormal, potentially disastrous situations.

Typical GERB pipework damper and Installation of a pipework, damper type VES
Typical GERB pipework damper and Installation of a pipework, damper type VES

Hydrodynamic forces and pressure pulses, i.e. due to abrupt opening or closing of valves, cause vibrations of piping and aggregates as do connected pumps, compressors, or turbines. In addition, external excitations caused, for example, by disastrous events like earthquakes may be transmitted to the piping through the support structure. In all cases the resulting pipe deflections can be excessive and permissible loads may be exceeded.

As piping systems have only small internal damping, dynamic excitations are especially critical when frequencies match the natural frequencies of the piping system. In such cases piping motions may be amplified due to resonance effects. But also operational vibrations with relatively small deflections can cause material fatigue and pipe damage.

Based on the experience in design and application of Viscodampers® for vibration control of machinery and structures, an element was created that shows several advantages compared to other standard pipe supports:

  • pipework dampers reduce vibrations in all degrees of freedom.
  • pipework dampers develop high damping forces in case of shockloads, whereas slow motions are nothindered.
  • pipework dampers reduceoperational vibrations by selectivelyincreasing system damping.
  • pipework dampers react tovibrations immediately without delayor time-lag.
  • pipework dampers are simplein design and handling and thereforecost-saving. There are no parts ofwear and tear, and they are maintenance-free.