Fluid Flow Control Animations
Fluid Flow Control Animations

Shock, Surge and Water Hammer

Shock waves are created in a pipe full of liquid when either a valve is closed too quickly, forcing the liquid column to stop moving more quickly than it wants to, or when a pump is started up too quickly, forcing the liquid column to start moving more quickly than it wants to. In either situation, the shock wave travels up and down the pipe through the liquid, banging against each end of the pipe.

Shock / Water Hammer Example This banging can be heard as water hammer. Try it at home - turn on your tap, then turn it off very quickly. You should hear a bang, and maybe even several. If you turn the tap off more slowly, it should stay quiet, as the liquid in the pipes slows down more gradually.

In industry, the pipes can be very large, and water hammer may not just be heard as a bang - it can cause a great deal of damage, even rupturing pipes. LDi can supply a range of hardware to prevent these shocks, and a complete software-based water-hammer analysis to recommend system modifications which remove the shock.

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See Also: Coup de Bélier | Marteau de l'eau

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