Good vibrations – a 40-year quest for solutions in fluid dynamics

The analysis and control of pulsations and vibrations is largely driven by the need to ensure the safety, integrity and availability of installations, as well as their efficiency. Over the last forty years, TNO senior scientist Jan Smeulers and a talented team of researchers at TNO have sought to understand the problems of and find solutions to pulsations and vibrations.

Jan has now produced a book, ‘Unsteady flow in pipe systems and fluid machinery’, which brings together a range of technologies and applications concerning ‘Pulsations and Vibrations’.

The book looks at the theoretical background of fluid dynamics as well as a number of applications and can be considered a summary of the work that Jan and his team have developed, used and/or experienced in the past forty years.

Book contents

The book describes the field of applications and fluid machinery in general, as well as the physical mathematical theory of one-dimensional fluid dynamics. A number of applications illustrate these modelling techniques. This includes the modelling of reciprocating compressors, reciprocating pumps and screw compressors. Further the dynamics of flow in turbo-machinery is discussed, which includes phenomena like surge, rotating stall and the generation of high frequency pulsations. A completely different class of pulsations, flow induced pulsations (FIPs), is also illustrated, which can cause vibration forces leading to acoustic fatigue.

In a pipe system that carries a liquid flow, a phenomenon known as ‘water hammer’ can occur due to fast-closing valves. The same kind of phenomenon can also occur in gas systems, for instance during the blow-down of a high-pressure system. The transient pressure will cause large shock forces and eventually sudden breakdown of a pipe system. Large flow-induced vibration forces can also be generated in multi-phase flows, especially in gas-liquid flows where large forces can be caused by fluctuations of the liquid hold-up. Though it appears to be difficult to accurately model multi-phase flows, and consequently the dynamic forces, systems carrying multi-phase flow can be analysed with sufficient accuracy based on experimental test results.

The final chapter of the book describes the vibration analysis of systems that are subjected to pulsation forces, called Mechanical Response Analysis.

Jan’s book is unique for the fact that all topics of pipe system integrity are treated in one book. The book focusses both the physics and mathematics, as well as on the application of the physics, in order for the reader to get a full insight in pulsation and vibration control in pipe systems.

About Jan Smeulers

In the early 1970s, Jan Smeulers, a senior scientist at the Heat Transfer and Fluid Dynamics department of TNO, started experimentally validating the first PULSIM analogue simulator. After validation PULSIM was applied continuously in pulsation analysis projects. However, soon the capacity and size of the models required extension of the simulator. This started the next generation of pulsation simulators that was based on digital simulation techniques. In the early 1980s the digital version of PULSIM became operational that is based on high speed digital processor. Nowadays the simulator runs on standard computer hardware. The present generation, called PulsimSuite, has been enhanced with a sophisticated graphical user interface providing intuitive and robust pulsation and vibration modelling tools that enables the efficiently delivery of safe, reliable and efficient system designs.

A hard copy of this book can be ordered by sending an e-mail to Jan Smeulers.

Unsteady flow in pipe systems and fluid machinery
ISBN: 978-90-828312-0-7
The price of the book is € 75 excluding VAT.

More information or order the book

Please contact Jan Smeulers if you want more information or ordering the book

Contact Jan Smeulers

Heat Transfer & Fluid Dynamics

Jan Smeulers MSc

  • pulsations
  • vibrations
  • fluid dynamics
  • compressors
  • pumps

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