Vibrations generated by centrifugal pumps are difficult to predict at the design stage, for it is hardly possible to accurately determine the natural frequencies of pipes and to avoid coincidences with the blade pass frequency of the pump and its harmonics. One is often led to modify the existing structure, by adding stiffness, mass or damping. This paper illustrates this point on a pipe connected to a pump in a nuclear power plant operated by EDF (E´lectricite´ de France). In October 2010, abnormal vibrations were measured on a thin pipe at the outlet of a pump in a powerplant in France. The French nuclear regulatory commission asked EDF to perform a diagnosis and to define solutions within a few months. EDF/R&D division has used an original method developed in 2004 based on hybrid data, and called LMME-SDM (for Local Model Mode-shapes Expansion Structural Dynamic Modification). The main objective is to define a structure modification able to remove all natural frequencies close to the harmonic excitation. For the purpose of the study, we need a numerical model, which should be fairly correct from a static point of view, but which is not necessarily updated from a dynamic point of view, and an experimental modal analysis carried out under real conditions on the pipe. During the experimental modal analysis, a test of added mass has been carried out so that the method can be validated by comparing the predicted and the observed frequency. This method has already been used in industrial cases in former studies [3], however the study presented here has reached a higher level in complexity. Even if this method is able to give reasonable results compared to measurements, it is close to its limits.

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