Acoustic Malfunctions in LDPE/EVA plants

During the engineering phase of a state-of-the-art LDPE/EVA plant huge efforts are made to maintain the pulsation level within the plant in an acceptable magnitude.

Taking all the engineering efforts within the Study of Vibration and the Study of Pulsation in account these deviations might be called an acoustic malfunction.

An acoustic malfunction can result in fatigue failures of components, in poor compressor performance and am elevated energy consumption.

Several things can lead to a deviation from the as-designed to the as-operated pulsation conditions. The following is an example, but by no means a complete list of possible causes.

  • Engineering and Construction
    • pulsation study based on preliminary process conditions
    • undersized pulsation dampeners
    • deviation in as-planned and as-build
  • Modification and Revamping
    • change to the acoustic length of the system (preheater implementation, …)
    • adjustment of side stream by means of orifices
    • implementation of compressor capacity controls for e. g. stepless flow control
  • Operation
    • operation outside of the specified process conditions of the pulsation study
  • Maintenance
    • change of acoustic properties of the system for e. g. due to fouling
    • compressor valve failures
    • missing orifices or wrong installation

By means of combined metrological and numerical investigation the root causes for elevated pulsations and vibrations can be revealed. Several powerful, non-invasive measurement techniques are available to obtain a comprehensive insight in the operational pulsation and vibration situation. Together with tailored numerical simulations an efficient mitigation plan can be developed.