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Selection of Vibro-Characteristics for Monitoring Flange Integrity in the Field Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Vladimir Palmov

St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Len Malinin

Gen3 Partners, Boston, MA

Paper No. IMECE2016-65024, pp. V009T17A011; 6 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids; NDE, Diagnosis, and Prognosis
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5063-3
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Monitoring of flange integrity in the field traditionally has been based on evaluating bolt tension and deriving pressure on the gasket from these data. Multiple techniques of evaluating bolt tension based on measuring speed of propagation of a longitudinal wave (time of flight), or ratio of speeds of longitudinal and shear waves (“L+S method”), demonstrate 5–10% accuracy in the controlled laboratory conditions [1]. However, accuracy in the field, on the flanges exposed to harsh environment, is often worse than 20%, which makes it difficult to evaluate flange integrity and predict a leak. The need for knowing acousto-elastic parameters of steel (in case of L+S method) may also present a hurdle.

Tools based on measuring a shift of the resonance frequencies (RF) are commercially available, though RF are relatively robust to tension, and require a reliable data processing procedure to discern the proper peaks. Evaluation of tension based on natural modes is more sensitive, but relatively complex and costly. Use of transfer functions (TF) offers several advantages over both RF and natural modes, as TFs depend on both RF frequencies and natural modes, and a properly selected parameter of TF can offer greater sensitivity.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Flanges



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