Positive displacement pump

Using a Pulsation Dampener to Minimize Shocks

We’ve spoken about using accumulators in hydraulics to minimize pulsation, but what about using a pulsation dampener? If your system features a positive displacement pump, whether an air hose, metering pump or air-operated diaphragm pump, you’ve probably experienced some pulsation in your system. So how do you use a pulsation dampener to minimize issues caused by the pipe rattle and excessive moment caused by pulsation in your pipes and system?

What is a pulsation dampener used for?

Pulsation dampeners absorb the energy caused by a pulsation (or pulse wave), much like the shock absorber on your car. These rapid and repetitive pressure fluctuations or excessive movements can lead to undesirable consequences such as vibration, noise, and premature wear and tear of components. By absorbing the pulsation or vibration emitted from pressure or movement, the pulsation dampener protects your piping welds and support.

How a pulsation dampener works

The working principle of pulsation dampeners is ingeniously simple. A pulsation dampener contains a membrane cushioned by compressible gas/air that stretches to absorb the pulse as the fluid enters the dampener, storing the excess energy from the pulsation. When the pressure drops, the stored energy is released, pushing the fluid back into the system. Imagine a rubber band being stretched and released – that’s how a pulsation dampener works in principle.

When to use a pulsation dampener

You can use a pulsation dampener when a positive displacement pump discharges flow unsteadily and where piping is subjected to undesirable pulses. Pumps that benefit from a pulsation dampener include air-operated double diaphragm, metering, and peristaltic pumps. When working with chemical feed systems, pulsation dampeners can make the task easier. A pulsation dampener improves the performance of the feed system by working to minimize any dangerous shockwaves that can occur during the process.

What are the different types of pulsation dampeners?

The type of pulsation dampener you can use is generally determined by where you place it in your system – and what you need it to do. For example, pulsation dampeners are usually found on the downstream side of a pump. In contrast, inlet stabilisers, another kind of dampener, are typically found on the inlet side of the pump, as the name suggests. An accumulator, however, can be used next to a valve or device that restricts flow in a system.

If you’re experiencing problems caused by pulsations in your system, such as rattling pipes, intermittent flow or water hammer, call us at 1-800-367-4180 (toll-free). Our experts are on hand to help you decide on the best solution for your needs. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.