What is Steam Hammer and How a Pick Heater Can Help

Steam hammer, or water hammer, is defined as a concussion or sound of concussion of moving water against the sides of a containing pipe or vessel (such as a steam pipe)1, which sounds like hammering on the pipe.  This condition occurs when uncondensed steam bubbles collapse upon contact with cold tank or pipe walls.  It can also take place when a valve is suddenly closed, or a pump shuts down. This causes the water pressure to rise and fall rapidly.  This can result in damage to the pipes and associated equipment, reduce the range of operation, and affect temperature control.


One solution to this problem is the use of a Pick Steam Injection Heater. Pick’s method of injection sets them apart from all other direct steam injection heaters. To heat liquids, steam is dispersed through the precisely arranged orifice pattern promoting rapid mixing and instantaneous heat transfer. As the steam enters the internal injection tube it acts against a spring-loaded piston to expose some or all the orifices. As the steam input varies due to load changes the piston responds to adjust the number of exposed orifices providing rapid response to process changes.


The heating chamber and internal injection tube of the Pick System is designed to prevent pressure equilibrium and stabilizes steam injection pressure. This eliminates shock, hammer, noise, and vibration. 


In addition to preventing steam hammer, Pick Heaters offer improved energy efficiency, accurate temperature control, an wide operating range and can eliminate the need for storage tanks.  The helical flights inside the chamber ensure complete and thorough mixing of steam and liquid.


Pick Steam Injection Heaters are an ideal replacement for tank spargers and other heating methods that may be prone to steam hammer issues. If you are experiencing problems with steam hammer in your process heating system, consider using a Pick Heater to eliminate these issues and improve the overall efficiency of your system.

For more information - contact us.

Cutaway fo a Steam Injection Heater

Cutaway View of a Pick Steam Injection Heater