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Constrained Layer Damping in Kansas

At the new Rubart power station in Kansas electricity is generated by 12 Caterpillar engines. The air intake filers to the engines where originally designed for another slightly smaller engine type, so after start-up it turned out the larger air flow caused resonances in the steel plates of the filters.

The vibration levels where considered to high, not only causing noise but also risk of fatigue and cracks in the steel plates. A requirement of 6 dB IL was set. Vibratec proposed a solution to solve the problem without changing filters and without risking power drops from the station. This solution was to add damping and mass to the filter plates by means of introducing a constrained visco-elastic layer. To have a solution with good characteristics during both winter and summer time required a “matrix” of different types of visco-elastic mats. A lot of tests and modelling was done before the optimal solution was found. Vibratec did the installation on site in Kansas during Nov-Dec 2015 and the final hand-over and approval was done in January 2016.

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