On sources of damping in water-hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Various potential causes of damping of pressure waves in water-hammer-like flows are discussed, with special attention being paid to their qualitative influences on measured pressure histories. A particular purpose is to highlight complications encountered when attempting to interpret causes of unexpected behaviour in pipe systems. For clarity, each potential cause of damping is considered in isolation even though two or more could exist simultaneously in real systems and could even interact. The main phenomena considered herein are skin friction, visco-elasticity, bubbly flows and porous pipe linings. All of these cause dispersive behaviour that can lead to continual reductions in pressure amplitudes. However, not all are dissipative and, in such cases, the possibility of pressure amplification also exists. A similar issue is discussed in the context of fluid–structure interactions. Consideration is also given to wavefront superpositions that can have a strong influence on pressure histories, especially in relatively short pipes that are commonly necessary in laboratory experiments. For completeness, attention is drawn towards numerical damping in simulations and to a physical phenomenon that has previously been wrongly cited as a cause of significant damping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number385
Number of pages21
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • attenuation
  • damping
  • fluid–structure interaction
  • pressure waves
  • unsteady friction
  • valve closure
  • water-hammer
  • wave superposition
  • wavespeed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'On sources of damping in water-hammer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this