steam hammering

What is Steam Hammering? | Why do we need to avoid Steam Hammering on board a ship?

Last updated on July 21st, 2023 at 11:14 am

On board ship, you try and open a steam valve which was close for a long time. The moment you open the valve, steam will start rushing into the pipeline and the next thing that you will hear is large hammering noise in the pipeline near the bend or the valve.

The noise is very loud and impact can be so dangerous that can even burst the pipeline or even crack the valve. This is called steam hammering.

Now lets us discuss how steam hammering occurs in the steam line.

valve damaged due to steam hammering

We know that when we condense steam it will become water and when we boil water it will become steam.

The boiler is producing and supplying the steam through the main steam stop valve. When we don’t need a steam supply, we shut off the valve but even after stopping the steam supply some of the steam remains in the pipe. After a few days the temperature of the pipe will reduce, the steam will get condensed and become water which settles inside the steam pipe.

valve

Now after a few days when you need steam supply and you open the valve, steam flows take place in the pipe and reaches the bend part of pipe where water has settled. The moment when the steam reaches the water, steam will become cold and get condensed.

Note:

1 liter of water will evaporate to produce 1700 liters of steam.

So as soon as the steam condenses a vacuum will occur. When the vacuum takes place the flow of fluid will take place from higher pressure side to lower pressure side and hit the valve and the valve will get damaged or the pipe may burst. This phenomenon is called Steam hammering.

How to prevent Steam hammering?

  1. Open the drain first before opening the steam stop valve.
  2. Allow the steam to flow slowly by opening the steam stop valve slowly.

Note:

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