Unique Challenges in Measuring and Analyzing Piping Vibrations

by Michael F.P. Bifano, Ph.D., P.E. / December 2015

 

In our industry, piping vibrations are an unwanted headache, as they increase failure risk and reduce profitability by limiting flowrates. Most owner-users have highly trained certified vibration analysts on staff to monitor and diagnose vibrations in rotating equipment. However, problems can arise when sensors designed for rotating equipment are used to measure and diagnose piping vibrations. Not only do piping vibrations require use of specialized sensors, but they demand unique diagnostic techniques. This article discusses challenges associated with making accurate low frequency measurements of piping vibrations and offers solutions for better analysis of vibration measurement data. Accurate measurements are critical for accurate fatigue evaluations, root-cause analyses, and the design or redesign of piping supports to mitigate vibrations.

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