Pipe Strain

Pipe strain refers to the strain caused by the pipes on a device such as a pump.  If the piping system is not supported properly or if the piping system is under stress, the stress can cause loading on the connected equipment such as a pump or a heater.  This can causing loading of components such as the flange.  Pipe Strain is a factor which affects the alignment of pumps and consequently pump operation and the life of its components.  Pipe strain causes radial loading of the bearings and produces stress on the flanges.  This may lead to failure over a period of time.

Pipe Strain is caused by

Improper supports for the pipe
Thermal expansion which results in stress
Improper installation or fitment of machinery

Pipe strain can result in misalignment of couplings.  It can also result in excessive radial loading of bearings, gears, seals.

Pipe Strain can be categorized into two major types

Static Pipe Strain which occurs when the machine is at room temperature and it at rest.  Static Pipe Strain can be measured by disconnecting the pipe flanges and measuring the misalignment

Dynamic Strain occurs when the the machine is running. Dynamic Strain is caused by thermal expansion (thermal growth),  inadequate supports for the pipeline or the mass of the liquid flowing during operation.

Common symptoms of pipe strain are excessive vibration, frequent failures of bearings and wear around supports.