Abstract

Integrity of a piping system is a prerequisite for personnel safety and operational reliability in industries where pipelines are critical means of transferring products from one process point to the other, such as power plants, refinery plants, and chemical industries. An essential aspect of designing a reliable piping system is to design supports of suitable load carrying capacity. This also depends on accurate determination of expected support loads including loads due to vibration of the system. Piping design codes such as ASME B31.3 and B31.1 provide a general framework but do not address vibration and its impact from a detailed perspective. In many situations, the potential impact of vibration is overlooked during support load determination. In recent piping system construction, the effect of vibration has increased due to increase in fluid flow rates and use of high strength thin wall materials. Common factors that contribute to vibration include: turbulent flow (flow induced vibration, FIV), relief valve operation (acoustic induced vibration, AIV), rotating and reciprocating equipment (pulsation induced vibrations, PIV). The effect of vibration depends on the strength of excitation and the flexibility of the piping system. As vibration of the piping system increases, loads transfer to the pipe supports also increase. Catastrophic failure of a piping system can occur if its natural frequency lock-in with the frequency of the excitation source. For holistic system integrity, the loads induced due to vibrations need to be accounted for in the support design. In this paper, we investigate the contributions of the various vibration loads in a piping system, the effect of neglecting the various vibration loads on the system integrity, and an empirical method to readily determine the vibration loads to reduce cost and time require in support design processes.

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