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Dynamic Support in Piping Systems: A Novel Design Based on Automotive Shock Absorbers

[+] Author Affiliations
Roman W. Motriuk

Arcus Solutions, Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Edwin Mikulcik

Sagittar, Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Paper No. PVP2003-2090, pp. 193-201; 9 pages
  • ASME 2003 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Flow-Induced Vibration
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, July 20–24, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4156-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Complex vibration fields are observed in piping systems that are mechanically or acoustically interconnected with turbo-machinery. The magnitudes of vibrations in such systems depend on the coupling of the piping response characteristics with the excitations that are present. In cases of high vibration amplitudes, successful mechanical attenuation can be achieved by altering the piping system’s mass or its stiffness, thus detuning the piping response from the excitation. Another approach is to introduce damping into the piping system so that the vibration energy can be efficiently dissipated, hence mitigating unacceptable vibration amplitudes. All of the above principles are used successfully across the industry. This paper describes a novel support design that has been used successfully to solve vibration problems in cases such as those described above. This device was initially conceived as being a very economical solution for simply adding damping to reduce the vibration amplitude. Its economy is derived from being based on the use of standard automotive or truck-type shock absorbers, which were expected to be very effective in providing damping because of their success in automotive applications. The device which was designed is lightweight and therefore very versatile in the manner in which it can be deployed, such that anchoring and attachment requirements can be very simple, thus accommodating space or foundation necessities that could be problematic using more standard approaches. Because of the lack of information existing on the damping properties of such shock absorbers, the first design was implemented on a trial-and-error basis. However, its success motivated further investigations into the characteristics of shock absorbers, so that the initial installation could be evaluated through a more proper analysis and lead to a more general design procedure for other applications. Extensive laboratory tests were done using several different shock absorbers to gain an insight into their characteristics when used in the manner required here. The test procedures and the data from these tests are described in this paper, together with the analysis of the successful installation. It was found, unexpectedly, that the shock absorbers contribute significantly in both damping and stiffness, thus providing a powerful combination of detuning as well as damping when used in this way. This paper demonstrates a general approach to the techniques of testing and the design of similar such systems.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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