Pipework Vibration

Failures in pipework can arise as a consequence of vibration induced fatigue. Consequences of pipework failure can be fatal. In some situations a detailed investigation and assessment is required to determine why a piping failure has occurred and what can be done to reduce the likelihood of a problem re-occurring.

An investigation to avoid a piping failure can help save money and avoid down-time. Bureau Veritas can provide a tailored measurement survey campaign to understand the source of the problem. Too often in the industry a generic stiffening of the pipework via additional supports and/or clamps is seen as the way ahead. But this is not always carried out with vibration in mind and may not be the only (or best) solution available.

Our Dedicated Response

Bureau Veritas was involved in the development and update of the Energy Institute “Guidelines for the Avoidance of Fatigue Induced Failure in Process Pipework” (2008) and therefore have significant experience in carrying out surveys based on this and other risk based assessment techniques.

As part of this commitment Bureau Veritas has worked closely with the oil and gas industry and the regulatory authorities to develop a risk assessment methodology to identify areas at risk from vibration induced failures: the Process Screening Integrity (PSI) technique.

The PSI predictive technique is suitable for both new facilities (even at FEED stages) as well as those already in production. For new facilities, PSI can identify pipework at risk from vibration fatigue in the design phase, so appropriate modifications can be made before the facility is put in operation. For operational facilities, the results of a formal study, supported by field measurements, can show the way to reduce or eliminate the potential failures due to fatigue. The PSI screening method is also a good starting point to identify high risk areas and where to focus subsequent measurement campaigns and mitigation programs.

Our Services

Bureau Veritas can perform different types of assessments whose size and scope depend on our clients’ requests and needs. These include:

• Full scale or area focused Vibration Risk Assessments (VRAs) to evaluate and rank by risk the possible integrity threats within a plant/installation. All pipework is assessed via the use of a mixed technique including PSI pre-screening, vibration and dynamic stress measurements and visual assessments, etc.

• Collected vibration data are compared against accepted criteria and ranked accordingly to the likelihood of failure (i.e. Concern and Danger) as per the EI Guidelines. Where problems are encountered, further investigation is carried out. 

• Dynamic strain measurements (on both the main line and small bore connections); particularly useful to identify Small Bore Connections (SBCs) at risk of fatigue failure.

• Multi-channel ODS (Operational Deflection Shape) and modal analysis of the pipework or structure.

• When it comes to introducing supports and clamps to the pipework, Bureau Veritas can be part of the design and review stages to ensure that these measures are effective against vibration threats and not merely stiffening the piping.

• PSI pre-screening technique: a desk based assessment useful for both existing and FEED stage plants to identify vibration mechanisms not identifiable via the traditional measurement campaigns, such as Acoustic Induced Vibration (AIV), Flow Induced Vibration (FIV) and Flow Induced Pulsation (FLIP). It is useful to combine this pre-screening technique with future on site surveys to help cut down site time and identify potential vibration root causes.

• Pipework vibration awareness training to site personnel to help them understand the basics of pipework vibration and recognise good/bad configurations of supports. The experience Bureau Veritas has gained in both offshore and onshore installations in the UK and worldwide is transferred across to site personnel for a proactive approach to managing pipework vibration issues with the help of those people that look after the installation.

• FEA Simulation for structures affected by vibration. Recent projects include the FE analysis of skids supporting gas compressors and gas turbines and the introduction of additional stiffening to the skids. 

Why Choose Bureau Veritas?

The Acoustics & Vibration Group is a UK specialist team in Bureau Veritas and operates as part of a wider global team of acousticians.  Our team of experienced consultants are all members of the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) and offer specialist noise and vibration consultancy to a wide range of clients.  

We pride ourselves on our customer focus, and are able to bring experience from a wide range of sectors, to help our clients achieve compliance with legislation and best practice

Contact Us


Acoustics and Vibration Group
0845 600 1828
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