Piping Vibration Analysis

Paper No. 57

Piping Vibration Analysis  J. C. Wachel/S. J. Morton/K. E. Atkins, 19th Turbomachinery Symposium, Texas A&M University, September 1990.

Excessive piping vibrations are a major cause of machinery downtime, leaks, fatigue failures, high noise, fires, and explosions in refineries and petrochemical plants. Excessive vibration levels usually occur when a mechanical natural frequency of the piping system is excited by some pulsation or mechanical source. The vibration mode shapes usually involve lateral vibrations and/or shell wall radial vibrations. Simplified methods are presented for analyzing lateral and shell wall piping vibrations and judging their severity. The methods are thought to be conservative and are intended to be used as screening criteria to determine if more sophisticated analyses, such as computer stress modeling or strain gage testing are necessary. Frequency factors for calculating the mechanical natural frequencies for the classical piping configurations (uniform straight beams) and various piping bend configurations are presented. Factors are presented to compensate the natural frequency calculations for concentrated and distributed weight effects.

The relationship between piping vibration displacement, velocity and stress are presented and criteria for judging the severity of piping vibration in terms of the endurance stress limit are shown. The mechanisms that can excite piping vibrations will be discussed, as well as methods for controlling their severity.

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