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14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction

H. D. BAUMANN (1970) J. B. ARANT (1985) B. G. LIPTK (1995) F. M. CAIN (2005)

Valve Noise Types: Mechanical vibration (usually below 100 dBA); hydrodynamic caused by liquid
turbulence, cavitation, or ashing (usually below 110 dBA); aerodynamic (can
reach 150 dBA)

Sizes: 1 to 24 in. (25 to 600 mm) in standard bodies; sizes above 24 in. in special castings
or weldment fabrications

Design Pressure: Up to ANSI Class 2500 (PN 420) standard; above Class 2500 in special designs

Materials of Construction: Any machinable wrought or cast metal for body and trim approved for use in
valves or pressure vessels

Special Features: Balanced plugs, special seal designs, hard facings, piloted inner valve, character-
ized ow, dual (high/low) operating conditions, multistage trims

Cost: Highly variable depending upon type of design, size, metallurgy, special features.
Range may be from 2 to 10 times equivalent standard valve

Partial List of Low-Noise ABB Control Valves (

Valve and Diffuser/Silencer Control Components Inc. (
Suppliers: Dresser Flow Solutions (
Emerson Process Management (
Flo-Dyne Limited (
Flowserve Corporation (
GE-Nuovo Pignone (
Industrial & Marine Silencers Ltd. (
Koso Hammel Dahl (
McGuffy Systems, Inc. (
Metso Automation (
Samson AG (
SPX Valves and Controls (
Tyco Flow Control (
Weir Valves & Controls (www.weirvalve. com)
Welland & Tuxhorn (

INTRODUCTION removal of the receiver (by placing a barrier or distance

between the noise source and personnel). The section ends
This section begins with an overview of general noise prin- with a discussion about recent improvements in predicting
ciples, followed by a description of the types of noise pro- and calculating probable noise levels.
duced by uid ow through control valves. The discussion Because most valve noise calculation standards avoid
of control valve noise mitigation includes both the treatment excessive detail, only the SI system of units will be used
of the noise source (modifying the valve) and the treatment of in this section. Users of U.S. Customary units should refer
the noise path (providing downstream insulation or silencers). to Appendix A.1 and A.2 for the proper conversion factors,
Other options include protection of the receiver (by personal including gravitational units conversions (i.e., gc) when
protective equipment such as earplugs or earmuffs) or the necessary.


2006 by Bla Liptk

1214 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

SOUND AND NOISE Speed of Sound

A weed has been dened as an unwanted plant or ower. As an The speed of sound, c, in any medium is a function of its
environmental analogy, noise may be considered as an unpleasant mass density and elastic properties.
or unwanted sound. Sound, in the context of this discussion, is For a solid:
dened as pressure uctuations generated in the air or other
medium, which are capable of stimulating the physiological hear- c = E/ 6.14(3)
ing response of the human ear and brain. For ease of understand-
where E is the elastic modulus and is the mass density.
ing, we will hereafter refer to sound and noise as equivalent terms.
For carbon steel pipe at 100C, E = 198 GPa, = 7.86
Most common sounds are a complex mixture of many
g/cm3, and c = 5020 m/s. For CrMo steel alloy pipe at 100C,
frequencies at varying magnitudes. Pure tones have discrete
E = 207 GPa, = 7.84 g/cm3, and c = 5140 m/s. Austenitic
frequencies. It is customary to model sound as pressure waves
stainless steel pipe (UNS S30400) at 100C with E = 190 GPa
with sinusoidal characteristics such as frequency (f ), magni-
and = 8.03 g/cm3 has c = 4860 m/s. So, for purposes of
tude (p), wavelength (), and speed (c). Of course, sound
estimating the speed of sound in steel pipe, using 5000 m/s
waves possess other more complex characteristics that are 1
usually produces satisfactory results.
beyond the scope of this topic.
For a liquid:
Frequency is expressed in cycles per second (cps) or Hertz
(Hz), where cps and Hz are equivalent units. The magnitude
of sound pressure is measured in units of pressure (Pascal in c = Es / 6.14(4)
the SI system). The range of sound pressures that humans can
discern from the threshold of hearing to the threshold of pain where Es is the isentropic bulk modulus. It can be shown that
spans over 12 orders of magnitude! Therefore, it is more con- at 20C, speed of sound in fresh water is 1481 m/s, in sea-
venient to use a logarithmic comparison of an actual sound water 1521 m/s, and in machine oil (sp. gr. = 0.90) 1297 m/s.
pressure to a standard pressure reference at the threshold of For a gas or vapor:
hearing and to dene this comparison as a sound pressure level,
Lp , expressed by Equation 6.14(1) in decibels (dB).
p RT
c= = 6.14(5)
2 M
p p
L p = 10 log10 = 20 log10 6.14(1)
p po where is the ratio of specic heats, R is the universal gas
constant (8 314 J/kmol K), T is absolute temperature
where p is the actual sound pressure, and the reference sound (Kelvin), and M is molecular mass of the uid. Using this
5 4
pressure, po, is dened as 2 10 Pascal (2 10 microbar or relationship, we nd that the speed of sound in air at 0C
29 10 psi.). Because the decibel is a logarithmic function, for (273K) is 331 m/s.
every 10 dB increase, there is a tenfold increase in sound intensity. Wavelength, frequency, and speed of sound are related
Thus, a 100 dB sound is 10 times as intense as 90 dB and 100 as shown in Equation 6.14(6).
times as intense as 80 dB. However, the human ear perceives
each 10 dB increase as an approximate doubling of loudness.
The sound pressure uctuations must be generated by c=f 6.14(6)
some energy source that transfers power into the air or other
wave-conducting medium. (Sound waves cannot travel in a
vacuum.) The total acoustic power created by the noise source THE HUMAN EAR
is dened as sound power, Wa, usually expressed in watts (W).
The calculation of sound power will be used in this sec- The human ear is an intricate acoustic instrument that is
tion to predict sound pressure levels in valve applications. It described here in only general terms. The anatomy of the
is worth remembering that, while sound is produced by a ear is divided into three major regions, each with unique
power source, it is sound pressure that the ear perceives. functions: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The outer
Sound power can also be presented as a sound power level, ear consists of the pinna, ear canal, and outer layer of the
Lw, in decibels by logarithmic comparison with the standard eardrum. It channels sound waves to the eardrum, where
reference level, Wo, of 10 W. sound pressure waves are converted into mechanical energy
by vibrating the eardrum.
Lw = 10 log10 a 6.14(2)
Wo 1
The most recent valve noise calculation standard and the eld of acoustics
in general use SI units. Users of U.S. Customary Units are cautioned to use
Wavelength, , is the distance required for one complete the proper gravitational units conversions (i.e., gc) when necessary. To avoid
pressure cycle. excessive detail, only the SI system of units will be used in this section.

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1215

The middle ear is an air-lled cavity containing the oss- Sound level
icles (bones) that connect to the oval window to the inner (decibels)
Feeling Loudness
ear. The middle ear cavity is also connected to the Eustachian
tube, which equalizes static pressure across the eardrum. The
middle ear mechanism acts as an impedance-matching trans- 120 120
former. It is matching the impedance of the air in the ear 110
canal to the impedance of the liquid of the inner ear. 100 100
The inner ear vestibule leads to the semicircular canals 90
80 80
(providing sense of balance) and the snail-shaped cochlea, 70
where the nal energy transformation occurs. In the cochlea, 60 60
mechanical energy is conducted through a traveling wave 50
pattern on the basilar membrane, causing a shearing of the 40 40
cilia of the outer and inner hair cells of the Organ of Corti. 20 20 Sound
The design and stiffness gradient of the basilar membrane 10 frequency
allow more efcient response to higher frequencies at the 0 0 (CPS)
basal end, and progressively lower frequencies are detected 20 100 500 1000 5000 10,000
along the membrane toward its apex.
The Organ of Corti is the sense organ that changes vibra- FIG. 6.14a
tion energy into neural energy. This conversion takes place Apparent loudness contours for human hearing.
as shearing stress on hair cells induces a depolarization that
generates neural impulses. The neural impulses are con- Limiting Valve Noise
ducted by the auditory nerve to the brain, where they are
processed and interpreted as sound. Damage to the hair cells There are several important reasons to limit the noise levels
connecting the basilar membrane and Organ of Corti usually emitted by valves and piping. One of them is to prevent the
produces permanent loss of hearing. Damage or deterioration harmful effects of environmental noise pollution, which
can occur from sudden, loud noise (explosions), excessive includes hearing loss in people. As was noted earlier, we can
exposure to moderately loud noise (industrial environments, tolerate much louder sounds at low and at very high frequen-
loud music), physical injury (head trauma), advancing age, cies than we can in the middle of the spectrum. This is
infections, or disease. represented in the A-weighting curve of Figure 6.14b.
Note that in the 5007000 Hz range, the human ear is most
Loudness Perception responsive, and this is the area where high noise level exposure
can do the most damage. For this reason, the U.S. government
A healthy, young adult human is able to perceive sound over a enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
wide range of frequencies from approximately 20 to 18,000 Hz, (amended in 1998), establishing the Occupational Safety and
which is generally accepted as the audible range. The human Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA regulations limit a
ear, however, does not give equal weight (loudness perception)
to the same sound pressure level across the frequency spectrum.
Studies of apparent loudness by many human subjects Internationally standardized
over the frequency spectrum when compared to a pure tone 5
A-weighting lter characteristic
of 1000 Hz frequency has resulted in mapping the ear
response. The loudness level in phons represents the pressure
level in dB of a 1 kHz tone that a typical hearer feels is as
loud as the sound in question. Figure 6.14a shows the loud-
Amplication dB

ness level map as function of frequency. 5

We can see from Figure 6.14a that a sound at 1000 Hz
and 50 dB sounds equally loud as 67 dB at 100 Hz or 62 dB
at 10 kHz. The resulting correction numbers, which are
approximating the response of the human ear, are called A
weighting. The corresponding decibel level is indicated as 15
dBA, as shown in Figure 6.14b.
There are other weighting schemes for various purposes, 20
but A weighting is used in governmental regulations on noise 200 500 1,000 2,000 5,000 10,000 20,000
pollution. Hence, for the discussion of valve noise levels and Frequency Hz
environmental noise reduction, we will use the dBA scale. FIG. 6.14b
Noise levels of some common environmental sounds are The A-weighting filter characteristic approximates the human ears
compared in Table 6.14c. response to different sound frequencies.

2006 by Bla Liptk

1216 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

TABLE 6.14c momentary level
Approximate Sound Pressures Levels of Typical Sounds
Source of Sound Lp (dBA)
Near jet engine; artillery re 140
50 hp victory siren at 30 m; threshold of pain 130 120

Sound pressure level decibels - RE 0.0002 microbar

Rock-and-roll band; threshold of feeling 120 110
Jet ying overhead at 300 m 110
Air chisel; high pressure gas leak 100
Motorcycle at 15 m; subway train at 6 m; symphony 90 90
Inside sports car (100 km/h) 80 80
Loud conversation; noisy business ofce 70 B HR level
Normal conversation; light trafc at 30 m 60
Private business ofce; normal conversation 50 60
Quiet conversation 40
Quiet home at night; still forest; soft whisper 30
Empty theater; rustling leaves 20 40
Pipe noise Valve noise
Inside a soundproof room; quiet breathing 10 30

weighted 90 dBA maximum level exposure to 8 hours per day.
Table 6.14d below shows general exposure time limits estab- 10
lished by OSHA.
Figure 6.14e shows a typical frequency octave band noise Over 65 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 8000
level contour that will meet this limit. Note that if the predom- all Octave band center frequency
inant noise frequency exposure is in the critical middle fre-
quency range of 10005000 Hz, the allowable weighted noise Fig. 6.14e
level over 8 hours would be considerably less than 90 dBA. Frequency octave band noise level contours, which will result in the
weighted average exposure to meet OSHA limits.

VALVE NOISE noise. High intensity noise can produce vibrations in struc-
tures, which become magnied when the natural (resonant)
While there are many noise sources in industrial and process frequencies within the structure are close to the dominant
plants, some of the main contributors can be control valves frequency of the noise.
operating under conditions of high pressure drop. These are Even without resonance, studies by Fagerlund have
one of the few and sometimes the only sources of over 100 shown that the sound power that is produced downstream of
dBA sound levels found in process plants. To gain some per- valves can cause fatigue failures in valves and piping systems.
spective of how loud 100 dBA actually is, refer to Table 6.14c This can occur when noise levels outside the pipe (1 m
for a comparison of common environmental sounds. downstream of a valve and 1 m away from the pipe wall)
However, even if people are removed from areas with exceed 110115 dBA depending on pipe size.
high noise levels, other hazards are still created by excessive Table 6.14f provides a summary of the likely causes of
noise in valves and of their frequencies.
The ve major sources of noise generated by control
TABLE 6.14d valves are as follows:
OSHA Exposure Time Limits for Various Noise Levels
Hours per Day dBA Mechanical vibration
Control element instability
8 90
Resonant vibration
4 95
Hydrodynamic noise
2 100 Aerodynamic noise
1 105
/2 110 Mechanical Vibration Mechanical vibration of valve inter-
1 nal parts is caused by unsteady ow and turbulence within
/4 115 (max.)
the valve. It is usually unpredictable and is really a design

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1217

Resonant Vibration
TABLE 6.14f
Sound Frequencies and Sources in Valves Resonant noise is characterized by a discrete tone and pos-
Frequency Octave Band Sound Typical Noise
sibly a few harmonic multiples. Resonance can involve
(Hz) Number Description Source in Valves merely an acoustic interaction within the valve and piping
geometry, with certain frequencies of the ow turbulence.
2075 1 Rumble Vertical plug
Resonant frequencies from 200 Hz to 10 kHz can be excited
acoustically by the ow in the same way that tones are
75150 2 Cavitation*
produced in musical instruments.
150300 3 Rattle
Localized metal fretting or wear is likely on internal valve
300600 4 Howl Horizontal plug parts. In some cases, turbulence and acoustic resonance excites
vibration mechanical or structural natural frequencies, producing severe
6001200 5 vibration capable of causing damage to piping, equipment, and
12002400 6 Hiss Flowing gas supporting structures. Resonant noise levels exceed calculated
24004800 7 Whistle predictions based on current prediction standards and may be
48007000 8 Squeal Natural frequency
in the 90125 dBA range.
vibration Work by Glenn refers to this discrete resonance as
20,000 and up Ultrasonic
screech, and his research shows that screech is possible at
pressure drops lower than required to produce sonic ow in
* Cavitation frequencies vary widely from about 100 Hz to 15 kHz gases or cavitation in liquids. It is possible for conditions to
depending on valve and trim design. exist that produce screech-type resonance in virtually any
valve type and brand. Glenn identies several possible causes
of screech in valves:
problem for the manufacturer. Noise levels are typically low,
usually well under 90 dBA, and in the 50 and 1500 Hz Higher than expected velocities in the valve, due to uncer-
frequency range. tainties in the pressure recovery characteristics as a
The problem is often not the noise, but the progressively function of valve opening. (Refer to the discussion
worsening vibration as guides and parts wear. The solution of the pressure recovery factor FL in Section 6.15.)
can be in improving the valve design by adding heavy-duty Excitation of harmonic pipe modes of vibration
stems and guides. Improvements in design may also include Flow instabilities, due to
small changes in the ow path geometry of the trim, which Vortex shedding
can also eliminate some vibration problems. Tollmien-Schlichting waves in the laminar-to-
turbulent ow transition
Control Element Instability Bi-stable ow separation
Unstable shock waves
Control element instability is usually due to mass ow turbu-
Unstable vapor-liquid interface
lence impingement on the valve plug. The relationship between
velocity and static pressure forces acting across the plug or
disc face and the actuator force balance varies over time. With- Two approaches to solving these problems include 1)
out sufcient stiffness in the actuator, valve, and mechanical modifying the design of the ow path to change the charac-
connections, uid buffeting forces may produce vertical stem teristics of the turbulence, or 2) changing the stiffness and
oscillations in linear valves and torsional shaft oscillations in resonant frequencies of the valve trim.
rotary valves, resulting in low-level rattle noise usually under Valve trims can often be modied by a change in stem
100 Hz. This instability is detrimental to control. diameter, change in the plug mass, or method of guiding.
Correction requires changing the damping characteristics Flow paths can be modied sometimes by reversal of ow
of the valve and actuator combination. This is done by pro- direction through the valve or by minor design changes to
viding a stiffer valve actuator or eliminating mechanical seats, plugs, or cages. These changes shift the natural fre-
backlash. If the actuator is a spring-and-diaphragm type, then quency of the plug and stem out of the excitation range of
one can increase the nominal spring rate from 20100 kPa the ow turbulence, or vice versa.
(315 PSIG) to 40200 kPa (630 PSIG). Valve manufacturers and users should collaborate to
For single-acting piston actuators, the cushion air loading implement effective solutions in valves and piping when these
can be increased. If these changes do not solve the problem, problems arise. For example, one investigation identied the
then either actuator can be replaced with double-acting air piston source of serious screech noise as a gap between valve and
actuators, which are generally stiffer and allow use of higher air pipe anges created by an oversized inside diameter of the
pressures. In extreme cases, a hydraulic snubber, an all-hydraulic gasket. Filling the gap with a properly sized gasket eliminated
actuator, or electromechanical actuator may be required. the problem.

2006 by Bla Liptk

1218 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

Hydrodynamic Noise valves or atmospheric exhaust vents is an inexact science.

However, universities, manufacturers, and interested techni-
Hydrodynamic noise is generally less troublesome and less cal societies have made much progress, which has resulted
severe than aerodynamic noise and usually only becomes in better noise prediction methods based on scientic funda-
excessive when accompanied by cavitation or ashing (dis- mentals, which will be discussed in the section on Noise
cussed in Sections 6.1 and 6.15). Severe cavitation can pro- Calculations.
duce noise in the range of 90100 dBA or higher. Aerodynamic noise generation, in general, is a function
Problems with cavitation or ashing are usually avoided of mass ow rate and the pressure ratio (p1/p2) across the
by use of a suitable trim or valve type with low-pressure valve. The point at which sonic speed is reached in the valve
recovery characteristics (high FL). Noise caused by cavitation vena contracta is a function of the valve design and its pres-
is the result of imploding vapor bubbles in the liquid stream. sure recovery coefcient, FL, combined with the ratio of
This noise can vary from a low-frequency rumble or rattling upstream to downstream absolute pressure (p1/p2). For exam-
to a high-frequency squeal. This latter condition is due to ple, valves with FL values of 0.5 and 0.95 require pressure
acoustic or pipe resonance with cavitating uid. ratios of 1.15 and 1.80, respectively, to generate sonic ow
In most cases, the problem is not so much with noise as in the valve.
it is the destruction of the valve trim and piping from erosion When sonic velocity is reached at the vena contracta, the
and pitting by the imploding vapor bubbles. Reducing or elim- valves are said to be choked, because their capacity does not
inating the cavitation and its damage also eliminates the noise. increase if the pressure ratio is increased while the upstream
Single-stage multiorice valves (see Figure 6.1z) and multi- pressure is kept constant. Generally, choked valves are the
stage valves (see Figures 6.1y and 6.1aa) are typical solutions sources of the highest noise levels, but subsonic ows can
to cavitation erosion and noise. also generate high noise levels. Valves that are not choked
The sizing of any liquid service control valve should operate in a subsonic ow regime. For a given mass ow,
include an evaluation of the cavitation potential, with emphasis they are less noisy than choked valves, but the noise level
on eliminating or mitigating the cavitation. Section 6.15 out- will increase as the pressure ratio approaches the sonic level.
lines methods for predicting the onset of cavitation. The stan- Velocity of the ow in downstream pipe can also gen-
dards VDMA 24422 and IEC 60534-8-4 include methods for erate signicant noise starting at pipe velocities of about
calculating hydrodynamic noise, but these methods have been Mach 0.4 to Mach 1.0 (sonic). Noisy gas or vapor control
shown by Kiesbauer and Baumann to predict lower than actual valves can have acoustically induced and turbulence-induced
noise in many cases. At the time of this writing, work is under vibration damage, trim wear, and control instabilities. High-
way in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) intensity noise can produce vibration-related stresses at very
to improve the accuracy of hydrodynamic noise prediction. high cycle rates (1,00010,000 cps). Hence, noise-induced
Flashing is rarely a signicant source of valve noise, damage can drastically reduce valve service life, and in some
although it can cause valve trim erosion damage in some cases, it can cause valve or piping failures in a matter of
cases. Flashing produces increasing valve exit velocity and minutes or hours.
downstream piping velocity as a result of the higher specic
volume of the two-phase ow. In cases where sonic ow
and shock cells develop in downstream piping, excessive CONTROLLING NOISE
noise can result. Expanded outlet valves and larger down-
stream piping will be required under conditions where a The transmission of a noise requires a source of sound, a
large percentage of the liquid undergoes ashing. At this medium through which the sound is transmitted, and a
time there is not a standard method for predicting noise receiver. Each of these can be changed to reduce the noise
from ashing. level. In cases when the noise is from vibrating control valve
components, the vibrations must be eliminated or they might
Aerodynamic Noise result in valve failure. In cases when the source of noise is
the hiss of a gas-reducing station, the acoustical treatment of
In control valve design, aerodynamic noise can be a major prob- the noise is sufcient.
lem. It is a category of valve noise capable of generating noise Depending upon the magnitude of the aerodynamic noise
levels of 120 dBA or greater. Noise produced by uid turbulence and assuming that massive valve damage is not a factor, valve
in liquids is almost negligible as compared to the noise generated noise treatment can be accomplished either by path treatment
by the turbulence and shock cells due to the high velocity of or source treatment. Valve damage can only be reduced or
gases and vapors passing through the valve orice. eliminated by source treatment, which minimizes or elimi-
The mechanisms of noise generation in valves and trans- nates the damage mechanism.
mission through pipe walls are highly complex and are still There is no absolute rule that will enable one to choose
not completely predictable. As a result of the many variables between path or source treatment. However, in general, if the
inuencing noise generation and the need for simplifying noise is under 100 dBA, then either a path or source treatment
assumptions in calculations, predicting the noise levels from is a possible solution. Noise above 100 dBA almost always

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1219

requires source treatment to successfully solve the noise Space necessary

problem. for ange bolting
The proper choice of noise treatment method is not Approximately 1''
always easy to select, but with the help of improved noise
predictions through frequency spectrum evaluation and with
expertise based on experience it can be obtained. Conserva-
tive solutions are preferred, because reworking or retrotting
in case of poor design is often very expensive.
Gustin bacon snap on insulation
Path Treatment seal wrapped with glass cloth
impregnated with resin
Path treatment, as its name implies, does not focus on chang-
FIG. 6.14g
ing the noise source. The intent of path treatment is to atten-
Acoustical treatment of pipe walls.
uate the noise transmission from the source to the receiver
(ear). There are several common path treatments: the use of
heavy wall pipe; installation of diffusers, mufers, or silenc- and radiation of the sound waves from process equipment. If
ers; and application of acoustical insulation. a valve is installed close to a single reective surface (e.g., a
Path treatment is not always a more economical solution hard oor or wall), the apparent noise increases by 3 dBA;
than source treatment, and economics must be evaluated for with two reective surfaces, noise increases by 6 dBA; and
individual applications. For existing installations, path treat- for three nearby reective surfaces, noise increases by 9 dBA.
ment may be used, not because it is the best solution, but A valve installed in a small room with all reective surfaces
because it may be the only feasible one. can elevate noise levels by 3040 dBA. When using walls as
sound barriers, it is important to seal all openings.
Pipe Wall Thickness Heavy wall pipe reduces noise by
increasing the transmission loss through the pipe wall. The Isolation Locating a potentially noisy valve installation at
amount of attenuation depends on the stiffness and mass of a substantial distance from normal working areas may be
the pipe. The mechanisms are complex and beyond the scope effective and economical. If the valve can be located on top
of this text. However, as a simple rule for rough estimation, of a structure or pipe bridge, the distance attenuation can
each doubling of pipe wall thickness results in approximately minimize the noise treatment required at the valve source and
6 dBA more attenuation depending upon pipe size (attenuation downstream pipe.
increases with pipe size). For example, instead of a control valve with a noise
Refer to the works of Fagerlund and Chow (1981) and specication of 85 dBA, it may be possible to relax this to
Reethof and Ward (1986) for important foundation in cal- 90 or 95 dBA, which can considerably reduce the cost of the
culating transmission losses through pipe walls. Sample valve or noise treatment system. It is important to note that
calculations will be introduced in the Noise Prediction very little noise actually radiates from the valve itself, due
section. to generally heavy wall thickness and rigidity of most valve
bodies; downstream piping radiates the great majority of
Insulation and Absorption Another method of increasing noise produced in the valve to the surroundings.
transmission loss at the pipe wall is the use of acoustic insu- As a general rule, each doubling of a persons distance
lation. Even thermal insulation can add 35 dBA attenuation. from the piping downstream of a valve will reduce the sound
Proper selection and application of 12 in. (2550 mm) of a level by 3 dBA in a nonreective environment. For example,
good acoustic insulation can reduce the noise level by roughly the sound level that a person hears at 8 m from a valve will
10 dBA. be 9 dBA quieter than the sound level at 1 m, and at 16 m
Certain types of insulation are more effective at specic it will be 12 dBA quieter than at 1 m.
frequency bands, so this information is important for proper
selection. Because sound travels down the pipeline with very Diffusers, Mufflers Diffusers located downstream of the
little attenuation over long distances, increasing the pipe wall valves (Figure 6.14h) can be helpful in both original instal-
thickness or applying acoustical insulation can be a very lations and retrot situations. These devices can aid in reduc-
expensive solution. This approach is most useful when down- ing exit ow turbulence or shock. Another important function
stream piping runs are short. of the multiple-hole design of diffusers depends on the fact
The higher the frequency of vibration, the more effective that sound frequency increases as the size of the ow passage
are the commercially available sound absorption materials. decreases. Using many small holes forces the dominant fre-
Figure 6.14g gives an example of acoustical treatment for the quency of the turbulence into a higher range to which human
outside of a pipe. hearing is less sensitive.
It is often benecial to cover the inside walls of the build- Diffusers can be designed to serve as pressure drop
ing with sound-absorbing materials to prevent the reection devices to reduce the pressure drop across the control valve

2006 by Bla Liptk

1220 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

Flange to customer guidelines for application. Inlet velocity must be subsonic, and
specications the silencer cannot be sized to serve as a pressure reducer. An
inlet diffuser (as shown in Figure 6.14j) can be helpful, because
it breaks up turbulence or shock cell oscillations that often
occur in downstream sound elds and reduce the effectiveness
of the unit. The outer shell should have a thick enough wall to
prevent resonance. Materials of construction are selected to
meet process conditions and to retain absorptive materials.

Source Treatment

Source treatments reduce noise by limiting sound power gen-

erated at the source. In most cases, treatment consists of a
Optional ange special control valve and trim design, sometimes combined
with a special diffuser or back-pressure element. While they
FIG. 6.14h may differ in concept, design, and manufacturing technolo-
Acoustical diffusers are used to reduce the exit turbulence down- gies, these special systems are designed for one or more of
stream of the valve. (Courtesy of Emerson Process Management.) the following objectives:

Reduce pressure drop in stages

and thus reduce its noise generation. The valve and diffuser Limit uid velocity to subsonic levels
system works best in a situation when the ow rate is sub- Reduce or eliminate the formation of high turbulence
stantially constant or at least does not vary over a wide range. and shock cells
As a restrictor, the diffusers effectiveness in generating back- Shift as much sound power as possible into higher fre-
pressure on the valve decreases substantially as the ow rate quency bands that have greater transmission losses in the
drops. However, this shift of pressure drop back to the control pipe wall and have reduced response by human hearing
valve does not necessarily increase noise, because when this
occurs, the lower mass ow produces less noise. Depending upon the particular design, noise can be reduced
Figure 6.14i illustrates a silencer design that can be with relatively inexpensive, simple elements by 710 dBA,
installed downstream of a gas-regulating valve. Due to the whereas the more sophisticated valve designs or multielement
resulting acoustical attenuation, it can reduce the sound pres- systems can accomplish as much as 3040 dBA attenuation
sure by a factor of ve (e.g., from 96 to 82 dBA). from an untreated conguration.
Mufers or silencers (Figure 6.14j) can be used for in- Specication of source treatment valves or systems is not
line path treatment or for atmospheric vents. These are usu- a simple matter. There are a number of design considerations,
ally expensive devices, with the cost escalating dramatically including the following:
with size.
Dissipative or dissipative/reactive silencers are most com- Application: in-line or vent
monly used, but a comprehensive discussion of these devices Noise reduction required or maximum SPL allowed
is beyond the scope of this text. However, there are some rough (dBA)

8'' buttery Gustin bacon Perforated 10'' plug

regulator berglass metal screen valve


10'' pipe
10'' weld neck ange
10'' special Retainer Retainer
ange plate plate

FIG. 6.14i
Silencer for gas regulating stations. (From King, C. F., Control Valve Noise, Emerson Process Management.)

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1221

Acoustical absorption material Shell

Shell closure Silencer core assembly Nozzle

FIG. 6.14j
Silencers are installed in the flow path to dissipate the sound energy by absorbing it in an acoustical pack. They are designed to cause less
than 1 PSI pressure drop. In-line silencers are often the most economical means of noise control in applications where the mass flow rate
is high and the pressure drop is low. These units are normally installed immediately downstream of control valves, but in some cases they
may also be required upstream of the valves. (Courtesy of Emerson Process Management.)

Valve absolute pressure ratio: p1/p2 or p/p1 operating conditions. As might be expected, cost also in-
Pressure drop, p creases. The cost of these special designs tends to range from
Fluid properties 220 times the cost of a standard valve with the same ow
Temperature operating level and range capacity.
Mass ow rate and turndown
Metallurgy and mechanical design considerations Multipath Valves The multipath valve (Figure 6.14k) pro-
Other potential velocity-induced problems vides multiple orices in parallel. A cylindrical plug to vary the
Valve shut-off requirements ow rate through the valve uncovers these orices. Although
Valve service life the path shape may vary by manufacturer, the principle consists
Valve location and orientation, piping arrangement, of splitting the single-path ow into a large number of small
valve support, and maintenance access paths. (See also the designs in Figures 6.1y and 6.1z.)
Actuation and control requirements The noise radiated outside the pipe from the combined
Economics, including purchase, installation, and ow through multiple small paths is much less than that from
maintenance costs the same ow rate through a single path restriction. Typical
attenuation levels are 710 dBA but may reach 1215 dBA
The importance of each factor is a matter of judgment in some applications. Variations of the multipath design are
and experience, understanding all aspects of the application used for both hydrodynamic and aerodynamic valve noise
and plant operation. Thus it is up to the user to carefully with damage potential of low to moderate severity. Typically,
weigh and evaluate all vendor proposals. If a vendor is using compressible uid pressure ratios (p1/p2) of 1.55 with valve
one of the standardized noise prediction methods, the user exit velocities below Mach 0.33 are good candidates for this
should verify that accurate input values were specied and design.
used for the calculations. Vendors that offer proprietary noise
prediction calculations should also offer empirical justica-
tion to support their noise prediction.
While initial cost is one factor, this is not the only con-
Section AA
sideration; it may be that the more expensive equipment is
the most economical solution in the long run. Plant downtime
and retrot costs for decient valve noise solutions are usu- A A
ally very expensive. With these caveats, there is much good
equipment available, and vendor expertise and experience
can be very valuable to the user with limited experience in Flow
controlling valve noise.
Basically, source treatment control valve designs fall into
three categories: multipath, multistage, and combination of FIG. 6.14k
multipath/multistage. These designs are listed in order of A multipath valve design, which can provide moderate noise reduc-
sophistication and capability for noise reduction under severe tion. (Courtesy of Emerson Process Management.)

2006 by Bla Liptk

1222 Control Valve Selection and Sizing


FIG. 6.14m
Resistor element used for valve back-pressure and noise reduction.
(Courtesy of Dresser Flow Solutions.)

elements with noise attenuation capability of several dBA.

These multiple orice restrictors are very useful in valve
FIG. 6.14l noise control work, but like diffusers, they lose effectiveness
Multistage step trim valve for use on compressible fluids. Outlet is with ow turndown.
expanded to compensate for volume change. (Courtesy of Dresser
Flow Solutions.) Combination Valves Combination multipath and multi-
stage valves are usually required for the more severe and high
noise producing services. These are the workhorse designs for
Multistage Valves Pure multistage valves force the ow
the really tough applications, especially those that can cause
through a single path of two or more restrictions in series.
extensive valve trim damage due to erosion or cavitation or
(Figure 6.1y gives some examples.) An example of this design
noise levels in excess of 100 dBA. Various manufacturers have
is shown in Figure 6.14l. The multiple orices in series divide
taken different approaches to the design of this type of valve.
the total valve system pressure drop over several stages (typ-
Many are based upon multiple orices in series and par-
ically three to nine). Thus, the reduced pressure drop per stage
allel with the ow controlled by a close-tting cylindrical
results in greater friction loss, reduced local velocities, and
plug inside the cage for throttling (Figure 6.14o).
reduced noise.
A variation of this design also incorporates a secondary
The shape of the trim element allows an increasing effec-
diffuser element built into the valve (Figure 6.14p).
tive ow area between the inlet and the outlet to compensate
for the change in gas density and increase in specic volume. One manufacturer has designed a valve for moderate pres-
Thus, the outlet ange size is often larger than the inlet to sure drops using a standard valve trim assembly that elimi-
limit the exit velocity to a level that will not regenerate exces- nates the close-tting cylindrical plug and uses a noise atten-
sive noise. Typically, these valves can provide noise attenua- uator element ranging from one to seven stages (Figures 6.14q
tion up to 25 dBA, depending on pressure ratio and exit Mach and 6.14r).
number. Another design utilizes the pressure loss producing
effects of a uid passing through a series of sharp turns
Resistor Elements In addition to diffusers, other special
designs of multiple orice restrictors are available (Figure
6.14m). These devices are built in a wafer design for install-
ing between anges and can be used in single- or in multi-
stage congurations.
Such resistor elements can be installed in series, as shown
in Figure 6.14n. These resistor plates are designed to work in
series with the control valve to share the total pressure drop in
a way that reduces pressure ratios on each element, thereby
reducing the potential to generate noise. FIG. 6.14n
The design of some of these devices forces the uid Noise can be reduced by resistor elements that are installed in
through multiple changes in direction, acting like friction series. (Courtesy of Dresser Flow Solutions.)

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1223

Bonnet Bonnet ange

Bonnet gasket
Body Attenuator

Seat ring
gasket Seat ring
FIG. 6.14o
Multipath and multistage valve with shaped first stage holes. (Cour- FIG. 6.14q
tesy of Emerson Process Management.) Two-stage noise attenuator in a valve, which was designed for use
with a standard inner valve trim assembly. (Courtesy of Flowserve
machined into a set of stacked disks (Figure 6.14s). Other
similar designs are illustrated in Figure 6.1y and 6.1aa.
Depending upon the manufacturer and design, multi- require some validation of manufacturers claims of noise
stage, multiorice valves will typically have 27 stages, reduction for these critical service valves in addition to their
although some might use 20 or more. However, the number noise calculations.
of stages required by any specic design for a given appli-
cation depends on the design principles employed and their
effectiveness in the application. In other words, having more AERODYNAMIC NOISE PREDICTION
stages does not necessarily make a valve quieter than another
design with fewer stages. Inexperienced users are advised to Valve noise prediction is an inexact science because of the
complex nature of noise generation by the control valve and
the transmission of this noise through the pipe wall. So it is
not surprising that a number of different prediction methods
are used by manufacturers and others. What is surprising is
that the various methods can give answers for the same appli-
cation that differ by up to 20 dBA.
The subject of valve noise prediction is still subject to
continuing research and evaluation. So what should we do?

FIG. 6.14r
FIG. 6.14p Multistage noise attenuator (and detail of that attenuator) in a valve,
Multipath and multistage valve with integral secondary diffuser which was designed for use with a standard trim assembly with
element. (Courtesy of ABB Control Valves.) pressure balance. (Courtesy of Flowserve Corporation.)

2006 by Bla Liptk

1224 Control Valve Selection and Sizing


Disk stack congurations

FIG. 6.14s
Special noise element design using labyrinth passages incorporated on plates. (Courtesy of Control Components Inc.)

Each manufacturer claims to be able to predict the valve noise International Electrotechnical Commission published the
level and provide a valve design solution. It nally falls upon rst edition of IEC 534-8-3 in 1995 and the second edition
the user to obtain the best possible process data, carefully IEC 60534-8-3 in 2000. The basic methods in these standards
evaluate all proposals, ask questions and resolve marked dif- are essentially the same. They both are based on the published
ferences, and nally use good engineering judgment and works by Lighthill, Powell, Fowcs and Hawkins, Reethof and
experience in selecting the vendor for each application. Ward, Shea, Fagerlund, Baumann, and the contributions of
It is wise to err on the conservative side when making a many others. These organizations update their respective
nal selection, because the cost of mistakes and of the required standards when new information is validated.
retrot may far outweigh valve cost differentials. Fortunately, The author has selected the more recent IEC Standard
the noise prediction standards of the various standards organi- 60534-8-3 (2000) to demonstrate the basic calculation process.
zations have helped to make comparisons of noise predictions This standard and the eld of acoustics in general use SI units.
somewhat easier for users and manufacturers alike. For conversion factors to U.S. Customary units, the reader
should refer to Appendices A.1 and A.2 and is cautioned to
Standards use the proper gravitational unit conversions (i.e., gc ). To avoid
excessive detail, only the SI system of units will be shown in
The past quarter-century has seen continuous improvements in this section.
the standardized methods and in the industrial acceptance of
noise prediction standards for valves. In 1979 the Verband
Deutcher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. (VDMA) published
the rst standardized method of calculating the sound level for Calculations
valves as Standard VDMA 24422, which addressed both hydro-
dynamic and aerodynamic noise. VDMA revised 24422 in 1989 Acknowledgment: The author thanks the International Elec-
to include calculations of the frequency domain. trotechnical Commission for permission to reproduce informa-
The weakness of the VDMA method was that key valve tion from its International Standard IEC 60534-8-3. All such
noise parameters had to be determined experimentally; when extracts are copyright of IEC, Geneva, Switzerland. All rights
testing was not practical, prediction accuracy was unsatisfac- reserved. Further information on the IEC is available from
tory. Meanwhile, other organizations were developing pre- IEC has no responsibility for the placement and
diction methods based on free jet turbulence theories. context in which the extracts and contents are reproduced by
The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society the author; nor is IEC in any way responsible for the other
(ISA) published standard ISA-75.17 in 1989, and the content or accuracy therein.

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1225

IEC 60534-8-3 The intent of this section is to familiarize c2 Speed of sound at downstream conditions m/s
the reader with the nomenclature and illustrate the basic D Valve outlet diameter m
procedure of the IEC 60534-8-3 aerodynamic noise predic-
d Diameter of a circular ow passage m
tion method. However, the standard covers additional spe-
dH Hydraulic diameter of a single ow m
cial cases and details that are too extensive for coverage
here. Like all theoretical methods, it is based on assump-
tions and limitations that must be applied with appropriate di Smaller of valve outlet or expander inlet m
internal diameters
engineering skill and judgment to practical applications.
Some of the stated assumptions and limitations of IEC Di Internal downstream pipe diameter m
60534-8-3 include Dj Jet diameter at the vena contracta m
do Diameter of a circular orice, the area m
The valve is installed with steel or alloy steel piping of which equals the sum of areas of all
upstream and downstream, possibly with pipe expand- ow passages at a given travel
ers, and that the downstream piping is straight for a Fd Valve style modier = dH /do Dimensionless
length of at least 2 m from the point where the noise FL Liquid pressure recovery factor of a valve Dimensionless
measurement is made. without attached ttings (see note 4)
The method assumes that the uid properties can be FLP Combined liquid pressure recovery factor Dimensionless
modeled on the perfect gas laws. and piping geometry factor of a control
The method can be used for most valve types. How- valve with attached ttings (see note 4)
ever, it is not applicable for full-bore ball valves where FP Piping geometry factor Dimensionless
the product FpC (for the operating condition) exceeds
fg External coincidence frequency Hz
50% of the valves rated ow coefcient.
The method shown for standard single-stage trims in fo Internal coincidence pipe frequency Hz
this section applies only for valve outlet and down- fp Generated peak frequency Hz
stream pipe velocities with Mach numbers up to 0.3. fpR Generated peak frequency in valve outlet Hz
Refer to IEC 60534-8-3 for multistage trims and or reduced diameter of expander
higher velocities. fr Ring frequency Hz
Transmission loss of noise through the pipe wall is l Length of a radial ow passage m
based on a simplied method due to the wide toler-
lw Wetted perimeter of a single ow passage m
ances in pipe wall thickness for commercial steel pipe.
Lg Correction for Mach number dB (ref po)
The calculated sound pressure level assumes a location
1 m downstream from the valve or expander and 1 m LpAe A-weighted sound pressure level external dBA (ref po)
from the outside of the pipe wall in an acoustic free of pipe
eld. LpAe,1m A-weighted sound pressure level 1 m from dBA (ref po)
The prediction does not guarantee actual results in the pipe wall
eld. Validation tests were conducted with low pres- Lpi Internal sound pressure level at pipe wall dB (ref po)
sure air and steam in laboratory tests, and the majority Lwi Total internal sound power level dB (ref Wo)
of test results were within 5 dBA of the predicted M Molecular mass of owing uid kg/kmol
sound pressure level.
Mj Freely expanded jet Mach number in Dimensionless
regimes II to IV
Nomenclature The following list of symbols, denitions,
Mj5 Freely expanded jet Mach number in Dimensionless
and units is a partial set of those used in IEC 60534-8-3.
regime V
Mo Mach number at valve outlet Dimensionless
Symbol Description Unit Mvc Mach number at the vena contracta Dimensionless
2 M2 Mach number in downstream pipe Dimensionless
A Area of a single ow passage m
2 m Mass ow rate kg/s
An Total ow area of last stage of multistage m
trim with n stages at given travel ms Mass ow rate at sonic velocity kg/s

C Flow coefcient (Kv and Cv) (see IEC Various N Numerical constants (see Table 6.14v) Various
60534-2-1) (see IEC 60534-1) No Number of independent and identical ow Dimensionless
cvc Speed of sound in the vena contracta at m/s passages in valve trim
subsonic ow conditions pa Actual atmospheric pressure outside pipe Pa (see note 3)
cvcc Speed of sound in the vena contacta at m/s po Reference sound pressure = 2 10 (see Pa
critical ow conditions note 5)

2006 by Bla Liptk

1226 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

ps Standard atmospheric pressure (see note 1) Pa Method Outline Numerous equations are involved in the
pvc Absolute vena contracta pressure at subsonic Pa calculation procedure, but a brief outline of the ve general
ow conditions steps will ensure continuity in the procedures.
pvcc Absolute vena contracta pressure at critical Pa
ow conditions 1. Gather the necessary input data
Valve sizing data and dimensions of trim and body
p1 Valve inlet absolute pressure Pa
p2 Valve outlet absolute pressure Pa
Conguration and dimensions of adjacent piping
p2B Valve outlet absolute pressure at break Pa Service conditions and uid properties
point 2. Calculate key pressures and pressure ratios, and deter-
p2C Valve outlet absolute pressure at critical ow Pa mine the noise regime
conditions 3. Calculate the effective jet diameter
p2CE Valve outlet absolute pressure where region Pa 4. Calculate jet conditions, acoustic efciency, sound
of constant acoustical efciency begins power, peak frequency for the noise, and internal
R Universal gas constant = 8314 J/kmol K sound pressure level
rw Acoustic power ratio (see Table 6.14w) Dimensionless 5. Calculate pipe natural frequencies, pipe transmission
Tvc Vena contracta absolute temperature at K
loss, and external sound pressure level
subsonic ow conditions
Noise Regimes There are ve key noise regimes identied
Tvcc Vena contracta absolute temperature at K
critical ow conditions
in IEC 60534-8-3, which have different mechanisms governing
the generation and transmission of sound. In order to determine
T1 Inlet absolute temperature K
which regime applies to a given set of conditions, several
T2 Outlet absolute temperature K important pressures and pressure ratios must be calculated and
TL Transmission loss dB compared with the actual downstream pressure, p2.
tp Pipe wall thickness m The vena contracta is the region of ow constriction with
Up Gas velocity in downstream pipe m/s maximum velocity and minimum pressure, pvc, given in
Uvc Vena contracta velocity at subsonic ow m/s
Equation 6.14(7).
Sound power W p1 p2 2
Wa pvc = p1 6.14(7)
Wm Stream power of mass ow W FL2
Wms Stream power of mass ow rate at sonic W
If the valve has attached ttings, FL is replaced by the
value of FLP / FP . At critical ow conditions, the vena con-
Wo Reference sound power = 10 (see note 5) W
tracta pressure is p vcc.
Recovery correction factor Dimensionless
( 1)
Contraction coefcient for valve outlet or Dimensionless 2
expander inlet pvcc = p1 6.14(8)
+ 1
Specic heat ratio Dimensionless
Acoustical efciency factor (see note 2) Dimensionless The downstream pressure at the critical pressure drop
1 Density of uid at p1 and T1 kg/m
3 where sonic ow begins at the vena contracta is P2C.
2 Density of uid at p2 and T2 kg/m
p2C = p1 FL2 ( p1 pvcc ) 6.14(9)
Relative ow coefcient Dimensionless

Note 1. Standard atmospheric pressure is 101.325 kPa or 1.01325 bar. At the break point pressure, P2B , shock cell turbulent
interaction begins to dominate noise generation. For down-
Note 2. Subscripts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 denote regimes I, II, III, IV, and V,
stream pressures greater than p2B , turbulent shear ow gen-
2 5
erates most of the sound power.
Note 3. 1 bar = 10 kPa = 10 Pa.
Note 4. For the purpose of calculating the vena contracta pressure, and ( 1)
p1 1
therefore velocity, in this standard, pressure recovery for gases is p2 B = 6.14(10)
assumed to be identical to that of liquids.
Note 5. Sound power and sound pressure are customarily expressed
where is a correction factor dened as
using the logarithmic scale known as the decibel scale. This scale relates
the quantity logarithmically to some standard reference. This reference
5 12
is 2 10 Pa for sound pressure and 10 W for sound power. 2
Equations 6.14(7)(46) and 6.14(48)(53) are used here by permission of
IEC. Copyright 2000, IEC, Geneva,

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1227

p1 TABLE 6.14t

p2 C pvcc Characteristics of IEC Noise Regimes
= 6.14(11)
p1 p2C Downstream
pvcc Regime Pressure Description

I p1 > p2 p2C Subsonic ow; isentropic recompression;
Regime V begins when downstream pressure drops to turbulent shear noise
P2CE and is where acoustical efciency becomes constant. II p2C > p2 Sonic ow at vena contracta; isentropic
Further reductions in downstream pressure will not increase pvcc recompression; turbulent shear noise
the sound pressure level.
III pvcc > p2 Supersonic ow past the vena contracta; no
p2B recompression; noise from shock
p2 CE = 6.14(12) turbulence and shear turbulence
IV p2B > p2 Sonic ow at vena contracta; supersonic
Table 6.14t summarizes the boundaries and characteris- p2CE Mach cone terminates in Mach disk at
tics of Regimes I through V. outlet; shock interaction dominates noise
V p2CE > p2 Supersonic Mach cone reaches maximum
Calculate Jet Diameter Determining the jet diameter Mach number; acoustical efciency and
requires information about the valve trim dimensions in order noise level are constant
to calculate the valve-style modier Fd , which is the ratio of
hydraulic diameter, dH, of a single ow passage to the circle
diameter, do , corresponding to the total ow area. Lacking specic dimensions, approximate values of Fd
are given in Table 6.14u.
Fd = 6.14(13) The jet diameter, D j , is calculated from Equation
do 6.14(16).
dH = 6.14(14) D j = N14 Fd CFL 6.14(16)

4 No A where units conversion factor N14 is found in Table 6.14v and

do = 6.14(15) depends on whether the required ow coefcient, C, is given

as Cv or Kv . (Refer to Section 6.15 in this chapter for infor-
mation about ow coefcients.)

TABLE 6.14u
Typical Values of Valve-Style Modifier Fd (Full-Size Trim)
Relative Flow Coefficient

Valve Type Flow Direction 0.10 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
Globe, parabolic plug To open 0.10 0.15 0.25 0.31 0.39 0.46
To close 0.20 0.30 0.50 0.60 0.80 1.00
Globe, 3 V-port plug Either* 0.29 0.40 0.42 0.43 0.45 0.48
Globe, 4 V-port plug Either* 0.25 0.35 0.36 0.37 0.39 0.41
Globe, 6 V-port plug Either* 0.17 0.23 0.24 0.26 0.28 0.30
Globe, 60 equal diameter hole drilled cage Either* 0.40 0.29 0.20 0.17 0.14 0.13
Globe, 120 equal diameter hole drilled cage Either* 0.29 0.20 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.09
Buttery, swing-through (centered shaft), to 70 Either 0.26 0.34 0.42 0.50 0.53 0.57
Buttery, uted vane to 70 Either 0.08 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.24 0.30
Buttery, 60 at disk Either 0.50
Eccentric rotary plug Either 0.12 0.18 0.22 0.30 0.36 0.42
Segmented ball 90 Either 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.78 0.98

NOTE: These values are typical only; actual values are stated by the manufacturer.
* Limited p1 p2 may apply in ow-to-close direction.
Copyright 2000, IEC, Geneva, Switzerland.

2006 by Bla Liptk

1228 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

TABLE 6.14v TABLE 6.14w

Numerical Constants N Acoustic Power Ratio rw
Flow Coefficient Valve or Fitting rw

Constant Kv Cv Globe, parabolic plug 0.25

3 3 Globe, 3 V-port plug 0.25
N14 4.9 10 4.6 10
4 4 Globe, 4 V-port plug 0.25
N16 4.23 10 4.89 10
Globe, 6 V-port plug 0.25
Note: Unlisted numerical constants are not used in Globe, 60 equal diameter hole drilled cage 0.25
this standard
Globe, 120 equal diameter hole drilled cage 0.25
Copyright 2000, IEC, Geneva, Switzerland.
Buttery, swing-through (centered shaft), to 70 0.5
Buttery, uted vane, to 70 0.5
Buttery, 60 at disk 0.5
Regime I Calculations Calculate the following subsonic Eccentric rotary plug 0.25
parameters for the vena contracta. Segmented ball 90 0.25
Gas velocity: Expanders 1

Copyright 2000, IEC, Geneva, Switzerland.

( 1)

Uvc = 2 p1
1 6.14(17)
1 p1
Peak frequencies in Regimes I and II are based on Strou-
Stream power: hals equation with the Strouhal number = 0.2.

m(Uvc )2 0.2Uvc
Wm = 6.14(18) fp = 6.14(24)
2 Dj

Absolute temperature:
Common Calculations for Regimes IIV For sonic condi-
tions in the vena contracta, calculate the following parameters.
( 1)
p Vena contracta temperature:
Tvc = T1 vc 6.14(19)
Tvcc = 6.14(25)
Speed of sound: +1

RTvc Velocity of sound:

cvc = 6.14(20)
Mach number: cvcc = 6.14(26)

Uvc Stream power:

M vc = 6.14(21)
With this information, calculate the acoustical efciency Wms = 6.14(27)
factor, 1, sound power, Wa, and peak frequency, fp.
Mach number in the freely expanding jet:
1 = (1 10 4 ) M vc 6.14(22)

( 1)
Wa = 1rwWm FL2 6.14(23) 2 p1
Mj = 1 6.14(28)
1 p2
where rw is the acoustic power ratio taken from Table 6.14w.

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1229

Next, the acoustical efciency factors, sound power, and The acoustical efciency factor becomes constant:
peak frequency are calculated for the regime in question.

( 2)
6.6 FL2
Regime II Acoustical efciency factor: 5 = (1 10 4 ) j 5 6.14(38)
2 = (1 10 4 ) M 6j .6 FL 6.14(29) Sound power generated in this regime that radiates into
downstream pipe is
Sound power:
Wa = 5rwWms 6.14(39)
p p2
Wa = 2rwWms 1 6.14(30)
p1 pvcc Peak frequency:

Peak frequency:
fp = 6.14(40)
1.25 D j M j25 1
0.2 M j cvcc
fp = 6.14(31)
Noise Calculations The following calculations are used for
Regime III Acoustical efciency factor: all regimes.
Downstream mass density:
3 = (1 10 4 ) M 6j .6 FL 6.14(32)
2 = 1 2 6.14(41)
Sound power: p1

Wa = 2rwWms 6.14(33) Downstream sonic velocity:

Peak frequency is calculated from Equation 6.14(31).

c2 = 6.14(42)
Regime IV Acoustical efciency factor: M

where T2 may be found from thermodynamic isenthalpic

( 2)
6.6 FL2
4 = (1 10 ) j 6.14(34) relationships. If uid properties are not known, reasonable
2 results can be obtained by assuming T2 is approximately
equal to T1.
Sound power: Mach number at valve outlet:

Wa = 4rwWms 6.14(35) 4m
Mo = 6.14(43)
D 2 2c2
Peak frequency:
If the outlet Mach number Mo is above 0.3, accuracy of
0.35cvcc this method diminishes. IEC 60534-8-3 clause 7 provides
fp = 6.14(36) further procedures for high Mach number applications, which
1.25 D j M 2j 1 is outside the discussion of this basic process.
The internal sound pressure level, Lpi, referenced to 2
Regime V Jet Mach number reaches it maximum: 10 Pa is calculated in dB from the following:

2 (3.2 10 9 )Wa 2c2

M j5 = [(22)( 1) 1] 6.14(37) L pi = 10 log10 6.14(44)
1 Di2

2006 by Bla Liptk

1230 Control Valve Selection and Sizing

Transmission through the Pipe The pipe wall must be

made to vibrate in order for noise inside the pipe to radiate TABLE 6.14x
Frequency Factors Gx and Gy
into the air outside the pipe. The mode of pipe vibration, for
the purpose of this prediction method, is determined from fp < f o fp f o
the peak frequency of the noise source and the natural fre-
4 23
quencies of the pipe. f
fp fp
Gx = o Gx = for fp < fr
The assumption is made that the shape of the sound fr fo fr
frequency spectrum is an arc or haystack-shaped curve that
Gx = 1 for fp fr
reaches a pronounced maximum level at peak frequency, fp.
Although this is true for most valves, some congurations f fp
can possess atter broadband spectra that could radiate Gy = o for fo < fg Gy = for fp < fg
fg fg
more noise than the simplied model predicts.
Gy = 1 for fo fg Gy = 1 for fp fg
Pipe natural frequencies are functions of the pipe diam-
eter, wall thickness, and density. The transmission loss Copyright 2000, IEC, Geneva, Switzerland,
model used by the IEC standard is based on the work of
Fagerlund and Chow. The important characteristic frequen-
cies are explained in detail by Singleton and are summarized
below. The transmission loss across the pipe wall is calculated
Ring frequency, fr , has a wavelength exactly equal to the from Equation 6.14(49).
circumference of the pipe, which produces a resonant stress
wave around the circumference. 2
c Gx pa
TL = 10 log10 (7.6 10 )
( )
t p f p
+ 1 ps
fr = 6.14(45) 415G y
External coincidence frequency, fg, corresponds to the Next, calculate the downstream pipe velocity correction
external acoustic wave speed that matches the speed of a factor, Lg.
exural wave in pipe wall. Assuming the speed of sound in
steel is 5000 m/s and 343 m/s in air, 1
Lg = 16 log10 6.14(50)
1 M2
3 (343)2
fg = 6.14(46) where M2 should not exceed 0.3 and is calculated by
t p (5000)
First internal coincidence frequency, fo, is the lowest M2 = 6.14(51)
Di2 2c2
natural frequency of the pipe wall and produces a longitudinal
exural wave that spirals along the length of the pipe. The A-weighted sound pressure level radiated from the
outside surface of the pipe is given a 5 dB correction to
1250 c2 fr c2 account for all frequency peaks and is calculated below.
fo = = 6.14(47)
Di co 4 343
LpAe = 5 + L pi + TL + Lg 6.14(52)
Cutoff frequency, fc, though not part of the IEC standard,
Finally, a distance adjustment is made to calculate the
is signicant because at the cutoff frequency and below, the
sound pressure level in dBA at 1 m from the pipe wall.
wavelengths are too long to reect off the internal pipe wall,
making them incapable of vibrating the pipe. D + 2t + 2
LpAe,1m = LpAe 10 log10 i p
Di + 2t p
fc = 0.586 2 6.14(48)
Noise Calculation Example
The relationship of the peak frequency in the ow stream
to the pipe natural frequencies is used to calculate the fre- These calculations are typically carried out with computer
quency factors used in the transmission loss calculation. software and presented as part of the sizing calculations done
Table 6.14x, taken from IEC 60534-8-3, shows how fre- by valve manufacturers. For a thorough understanding, a
quency factors Gx and Gy are determined. simple calculation example is tabulated below.

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1231

Example 1. Steam Valve


Valve: NPS 4-in. (DN 100) Fluid: Steam

Trim: Parabolic plug M = 18.02 kg/kmol
C = Cv = 152 required (from sizing calculations) T1 = 260 C = 533 K
FL = 0.90 p1 = 2.5 MPa
= 0.60 p2 = 1.7 MPa
Fd = 0.31 m = 9.10 kg/s
Maximum allowable noise level: 90 dBA = 1.32
From steam tables:
Pipe: NPS 4-in. (DN 100) Schedule 40 carbon steel 1 = 11.17 kg/m
Di = 0.102 m T2 = 247 C = 520 K
tp = 0.00602 m 2 = 7.58 kg/m

Preliminary Calculations

Variable Equation Results

pvc 6.14(7) 2.5 (2.5 1.7)/(0.9) = 1.512 MPa
pvcc 6.14(8) 2.5[2/(1.32 + 1)] = 1.355 MPa
P2C 6.14(9) 2.5 (0.9) (2.5 1.355) = 1.573 MPa
6.14(11) 1.355/1.573 = 0.861
P2B 6.14(10) (2.5/0.861) (1/1.32) = 0.924 MPa
P2CE 6.14(12) 2.5/[(22) (0.861)] = 0.132 MPa
Regime? Table 6.14t p2 p2C : 1.7 1.573 Regime I
3 1/2
Dj 6.14(16) (4.6 10 )(0.31)(152 0.9) = 0.0167 m

Regime I Calculations
0.32/1.32 6 1/2
Uvc 6.14(17) {2(1.32/0.32)[1(1.512 / 2.5) ](2.5 10 /11.17)} = 460 m/s
2 5
Wm 6.14(18) (9.1)(460) /2 = 9.63 10 W
Tvc 6.14(19) (533)(1.512/2.5) = 472 K
cvc 6.14(20) [(1.32)(8314)(472)/(18.02)] = 536 m/s
Mvc 6.14(21) 460/536 = 0.858

Determine Internal Noise

4 3.6 -5
1 6.14(22) (1 10 )(0.858) = 5.76 10
rw Table 6.14w 0.25
5 5
Wa 6.14(23) (5.76 10 )(0.25)(9.63 10 ) = 13.9 W
fp 6.14(24) (0.2)(460)/(0.0167) = 5,509 Hz
6.14(41) or 3
2 7.58 kg/m
steam tables
c2 6.14(42) [(1.32)(8314)(520)/(18.02)] = 563 m/s
Mo 6.14(43) (4)(9.1)/[(0.1016) (7.58)(563)] = 0.263
9 2
Lpi 6.14(44) 10log[(3.2 10 )(13.9)(7.58)(563)/(0.102) ] = 162.6 dB

Determine Radiated Noise

fr 6.14(45) (5000)/[(0.102)] = 15.6 kHz

1/2 2
fg 6.14(46) (3) (343) /[ (0.00602)(5000)] = 2155 Hz
fo 6.14(47) (15600/4)(563/343) = 6401
2/3 4
Gx Table 6.14x fp< fo: (6401/15,600) (5509/6401) = 0.303
Gy Table 6.14x fo fg: 1.0

2006 by Bla Liptk

1232 Control Valve Selection and Sizing


TL 6.14(49) 7
10 log (7.6 10 ) (1) = 52.3 dB
(0.00602)(5509) ( 7.58)(563)
+ 1
( 415)(1)
M2 6.14(51) 4(9.1)/[ (0.102) (7.58)(563)] = 0.261
Lg 6.14(50) 16log[1/(1 0.261)] = 2.10 dB
LpAe 6.14(52) 5 + 162.6 52.3 + 2.1 = 117.4 dBA
LpAe,1m 6.14(53) 117.4 10log{[0.102 + 2(0.00602) + 2]/[0.102 + 2(0.00602)] = 105 dBA

Conclusion: Noise level exceeds desired maximum; consider noise reduction trim; consult manufacturer.


Placing extra distance between noisy equipment and people Noise prediction for liquid ow through valves should con-
is sometimes a viable alternative to expensive noise reduction sider three major ow regimes. 1) Turbulent ow, which,
treatment, if there are no other detrimental effects of the noise without cavitation, rarely produces noise levels high enough
at the source. to create dangerous structural vibration or noise pollution. 2)
If a noise source can be treated as a point in the acoustic Cavitating ow, which produces noise from vapor cavity
far eld, the sound radiates in a spherical pattern. Atmo- formation and collapse as well as from turbulence, and it
spheric vents can be treated this way. The reduced sound frequently causes excessive vibration and noise in addition
pressure level at some distance, r, from the center of a point to erosion of valve and piping materials. 3) Flashing of liquid
source can be determined from a measured or calculated into vapor across a valve sometimes causes high levels of
sound pressure level taken at a reference distance of ro from noise and vibration, if vapor velocities in the downstream
the center (typically ro = 1 m + pipe OD/2) using Equation piping approach sonic velocities. Piping systems should be
6.14(54) below. so sized as to avoid vapor or two-phase velocities, which are
high enough to cause noise and erosion.
r Hydrodynamic noise prediction is currently in a state of
LpAe,r = LpAe,1m 20 log10 6.14(54) development. Noise prediction Standards VDMA 24422 (1989)
and IEC 60534-8-4 (1994) have been shown by Kiesbauer and
Baumann to predict lower than actual noise in many cases. A
Because noise produced by valves radiates to the envi-
more accurate method of hydrodynamic noise prediction has
ronment largely through the pipe for great distances down-
been proposed (Kiesbauer, J. and Baumann, H. D., Recent
stream of a valve, this type of noise source is generally treated
Developments in the Prediction of Hydrodynamic Noise of
as a line source. Line sources radiate noise in a cylindrical
Control Valves, Valve World, February 2004), which is being
pattern. The reduced sound-pressure level at distance, r, from
considered by the IEC as a revision to Standard 60534-8-4 at
a line source is
the time of this writing. This method includes calculations for
turbulent ow and cavitating ow regimes. There are no stan-
r dards or generally accepted methods at this time for predicting
LpAe,r = LpAe,1m 10 log10 6.14(55)
ro noise under ashing conditions. For calculation of noise, the
reader is advised to study the Kiesbauer-Baumann method or
Example 2. Valve Noise at a Distance Problem: Using the later revisions of IEC Standard 60534-8-4.
same valve and conditions from Example 1, what would be Hydrodynamic noise predictions use a differential pres-
the sound pressure level for a worker 30 m away from the sure ratio, xF , to identify noise regimes.
downstream pipe (centerline)?
Solution: From Example 1, LpAe,1m = 105 dBA, and pipe p1 p2
OD = 0.114 m. Use Equation 6.14(55). xF = 6.14(56)
p1 pv

30 m The incipient cavitation index, xFz, corresponds to the

LpAe,30m = 105 10 log10
1m + 0.114 m/2 differential pressure ratio at which cavitation in a valve begins
and should be determined from cavitation tests, although
= 105 15 = 90 dBA some of the methods include ways of estimating xFz. This is

2006 by Bla Liptk

6.14 Valves: Noise Calculation, Prediction, and Reduction 1233

the index that separates the turbulent ow regime from the Chow, G. C. and Reethof, G., A Study of Valve Noise Generation Processes
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Fagerlund, A. C, Use of Pipe Wall Vibrations to Measure Valve Noise,
ISA Paper #74-829.
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2006 by Bla Liptk