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Pressure surge calculation

Operators and investors

Mechanical damage, which on closer inspection can be attributed to pressure surges, occurs time and time again in process engineering systems. Even if the system design selected covers the stationary operating pressures, pressure surges can still lead to component failure. These phenomena primarily affect longer fluid lines, pipelines and supply networks.

Dynamic loads due to unsteady flow processes

Pressure surges can occur whenever there is an intentional or interference-related influence on flow processes. Typical examples of this include:

  • Pump failure
  • Valves being closed
  • (Delayed) closing of check valves
  • Pipe ruptures in heat exchangers
  • Safety valves being opened

The level of the pressure peaks that occur depends, for example, on the speed at which a valve is closed and on the compressibility of the system. The faster the change takes place, the greater the inertial forces that occur and hence the pressure peaks. This means that the quick-action valve that may be required from a safety point of view is counterproductive when it comes to pressure surges and needs careful design.

Numerical simulation to counter damage caused by pressure surges

A precise prediction of the pressure surge level that occur can only be determined in individual cases with the help of numerical simulations. There are currently a number of tools for this on the market.

Using such a tool and performing a detailed analysis offer the main possibilities:

  • Determination of possible pressure surges and a comparison with the design parameters
  • Recalculation to analyse faults and damage
  • Variation calculations with regard to a cost/benefit calculation as well
  • Systematic shut down of pumps and the closing of fittings
  • Closing time optimisation for fittings and valves
  • Design of wind boilers as damping elements

The basis for the requirements of the pressure surge calculation is provided by Directive 2014/68/EU on the “Provision of Pressure Equipment” from May 15, 2014, also known as the “Pressure Equipment Directive”. Annex I, Item 2.2. 2.2. “Design for adequate strength” deals with the topic here. The weyer group also uses the following standards and regulations when calculating pressure surges:

The weyer group has a wide range of expert knowledge available in-house in the design of piping systems and the safety-related assessment of damage which has occurred. This places the weyer group in the position to also be able to deliver all the services required in the course of plant planning, such as pipe static calculations (stress calculations) and detailed piping planning, in addition to the pure pressure surge calculation.


  • Checking the pressure levels and hydraulic forces that occur
  • Pressure surge calculations for preventive process reliability
  • Recalculation to analyse faults and accidents
  • Systematic shut down of pumps and the closing of fittings
  • Closing time optimisation for fittings and valves
  • Planning to implement all the derived measures up to commissioning

Our Team

Foto von Manfred Wientjes der Horst Weyer und Partner gmbh

Dr. Florian Merkel

horst weyer und partner
Platzhalte Mitarbeiterfotos

Dr. Florian Merkel

horst weyer und partner