Pipeline Pump Vibration and Failure

Paper No. 61

Pipeline Pump Vibration and Failure  J. C. Wachel, Pipeline & Gas Journal, June 1986, pp. 32-34  

Engineering Dynamics Inc. was asked to investigate and make recommendations to alleviate problems experienced on a crude oil line in South America. The investigation included modeling of the acoustical characteristics of the suction and discharge piping systems using a digital simulation technique and as well as a detailed field study to measure and evaluate the pulsation and vibration characteristics of the pumps. Four triplex reciprocating crude oil pumps operating in parallel with a rated speed of 275 rpm and a capacity of 388 gal. per min. experienced repeated failures of the piping and pump components. The pumps were installed at the Dina Station on a major crude oil pipeline in Colombia. Several changes were made in the piping system and accumulators in an attempt to improve the vibrations and reduce the failures. However, the failures continued.

Solutions developed to eliminate the problems were installed in January 1985. A follow-up field study was made to determine if the modifications were adequate for long-term reliability. Since the recommended modifications were installed, the pumps have delivered 40,000 bbl per day with no piping failure and only normal maintenance.

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