Good vibrations

Our innovative range of damping products prevent piping failures and machinery downtime.

Problems due to piping vibration are common at production facilities and solving them can be challenging. Wood Group’s vibration experts have applied technology from the aerospace and automotive industries to the industrial market with fantastic results.

Industry studies identify vibration as a leading cause of hydrocarbon release and mechanical failure. Vibration problems are costly and common near compressors and pumps, as well as in the piping system.

Engineering companies and operators are looking for effective and cost efficient solutions to mitigate vibration. They also want solutions that are easy to implement and permit wide operational flexibility.

When vibration forces occur, piping systems can become highly responsive, leading to shaking equipment and fatigue failures. To prevent this, design engineers can stabilise a shaking piece of pipe by clamping or bracing it to the ground. However, traditional clamps and supports are often not effective in preventing failures in the long run. U-bolts and conventional clamps do not provide the required stiffness, resulting in wear and flexibility. In addition, conventional restraints are not effective in all conditions, limiting operations and creating further repair costs and failure risks.

In response to this, we have applied technology used in the automotive, aerospace and electronics industries: damping. Based on an extensive research and testing programme, we developed a family of damping products, including clamps, braces and supports called DamperX™. Field tests showed that vibration on main process piping and vessels was reduced by up to 80% compared to conventional supports.

The vast majority of vibration problems are due to mechanical resonance. Rather than simply adding stiffness to a vibrating system, our DamperX™ products contain a specialized viscoelastic element that absorbs resonant vibration energy that would normally be transmitted to the supporting structure.

A traditional steel brace is resonant at specific frequencies resulting in excessive vibration. Damping has been proven to absorb energy across all frequencies and due to its reduced size; our damping design is convenient for applications with limited space or other construction restrictions.

Vibration problems frequently occur during operations when conditions have changed or vibration was not fully considered during design. The DamperX™ braces and clamps can be retrofitted with ease, even while equipment is running and at operating temperatures.

Based on advanced simulation and modelling techniques, Wood Group also provides custom solutions for specific design or troubleshooting problems, realizing significant savings for operators by avoiding structural modifications.

For more information on our DamperXTM products contact Jordan Grose, Service Leader:

Read more about our latest developments and technologies in Inspired magazine.