Metal Mesh Dampers for Piping Support and Vibration Control
Metal mesh, or wire mesh, dampers have been widely used as vibration isolators in Gas Turbine engine mounts in aircrafts. Recent research efforts demonstrate the large mechanical energy dissipation characteristics of compressed metal mesh made from materials such as Copper, Steel, and shape memory alloys (NiTi). Due mainly to their inherent compliance, they also find use in annular ring shaped dampers and gas foil bearings. The current paper describes the design of metal mesh dampers as a piping support element for effectively controlling the large amplitudes of systems attached to vibrating machinery. Metal mesh dampers operate in a wide temperature range, can attenuate large vibration amplitudes, and with custom tailored stiffness and damping, effectively modify the system dynamic response. The metal mesh physical properties depend largely on the damper geometry, mesh compactness, operating frequency, and mesh material. The paper describes an empirical equations based design procedure to determine the stiffness and damping coefficients of a metal mesh damper. Further, a finite element model of a simple piping system, attached to a reciprocating compressor, is developed to demonstrate the efficacy of metal mesh dampers in controlling the system dynamic response. The findings indicate that the metal mesh dampers, with customizable force coefficients and extensive scalability, offer a rugged solution for piping systems experiencing large vibrations.