Research Article Open Access

Water Hammer Analysis by Characteristic Method

A.R. Lohrasbi1 and R. Attarnejad1
  • 1 University of Tehran, Iran


Rapid changes in the velocity of fluid in closed conduits generate large pressure, which are transmitted through the system with the speed of sound. When the fluid medium is a liquid the pressure surges and related phenomena are described as water hammer. Water hammer is caused by normal operation of the system, such as valve opening or closure, pump starts and stoppages and by abnormal condition, such as power failure. Problem statement: Water hammer causes the additional pressure in water networks. This pressure maybe defects on pipes and connections. The likely effects of water hammer must be taken into account in the structural design of pipelines and in the design of operating procedures for pumps, valves, etc. Approach: The physical phenomena of water hammer and the mathematical model which provides the basis for design computations are described. Most water hammer analysis involves computer solution by the method of characteristics. In this study water hammer is modelled with this method and effect of valve opening and closure will be surveyed with a program that is used for this purpose and with a numerical example. Results: The more rapid the closure of the valve, the more rapid is the change in momentum and hence, greater is the additional pressure developed. Conclusions/Recommendations: For preventing of water hammer defects, is recommended that valves should be open or closed slowly. Also with using the method of characteristics, we can modelled all pipe networks, and see the affects of water hammer.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 1 No. 4, 2008, 287-294


Submitted On: 23 April 2008 Published On: 31 December 2008

How to Cite: Lohrasbi, A. & Attarnejad, R. (2008). Water Hammer Analysis by Characteristic Method. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 1(4), 287-294.

  • 29 Citations



  • Water hammer
  • fluid
  • velocity
  • rapid change
  • characteristics method
  • valve