Vortex shedding chimney

Vortex shedding can really damage an industrial chimney. It can cause unwanted movements and damages from fatigue. The solution is adding a Tuned Mass Damper. Flow Engineering has over 20 years of experience in calculating, designing and installing Tuned Mass Damper systems. These systems can not only be applied to industrial chimneys, but also to bridges, flagpoles, distillation columns and other slender structures. They ensure the reduction of vibration and prevent fatigue damage.

Fatigue Damage due to Vortex Shedding

Vortex shedding can lead to a large number of material stress cycles. As a single stress cycle might do no serious harm, long durations can lead to a large number of stress cycles which can lead to material fatigue. This can lead to a sudden structural failure due to the rupture of the material. Adding a Tuned Mass Damper by Flow Engineering will prevent fatigue failure by greatly reducing the stress amplitude. This can increase the lifetime of the structure or even prevent fatigue damage altogether by lowering the stress to the endurance limit.

  • Preventing dynamic problems at the design phase
  • Analyzing and solving vibration problems in existing structures

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Vortex shedding: the solution for an industrial chimney

Industrial chimneys are often very lightweight and tall. Because of that, it can be very sensitive to natural influences such as earthquakes, waves and wind. The vibrations of slender structures like an industrial chimney can be caused by cross-wind loads, also known as the vortex shedding phenomenon. This can cause the industrial chimney to oscillate. This happens when the damping is small and the natural resonance frequency is close to the vortex shedding frequency. Adding Tuned Mass Dampers is the solution. When the industrial chimney starts to oscillate due to vortex shedding, the mass of the Tuned Mass Damper will oscillate in the opposite direction with a frictional or hydraulic component. 

Designing a Tuned Mass Damper

Various data is needed to design a Tuned Mass Damper. For example, the oscillation frequency, the direction of the movements, the mass of the structure and the available space. This means that all Tuned Mass Dampers are custom made. For more information about a Tuned Mass Damper as a solution for the effect of vortex shedding on an industrial chimney or stacks, please contact us by calling +31 (0)180 – 63 11 60.

Flow Engineering