Steam Hammer - Fluid Flow

Fluid Flow Table of Contents
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Knowledge

Steam Hammer Review

A steam hammer is a power hammer driven by steam. It is used for tasks such as shaping forgings and driving piles. Typically the hammer is attached to a piston that slides within a fixed cylinder , but in some designs the hammer is attached to a cylinder that slides along a fixed piston

Steam hammer is similar to water hammer except it is for a steam system. Steam hammer is a gaseous shock wave resulting from the sudden starting or stopping of flow. Steam hammer is not as severe as water hammer for three reasons:

  • The compressibility of the steam dampens the shock wave
  • The speed of sound in steam is approximately one third the speed of sound in water.
  • The density of steam is approximately 1600 times less than that of water.

The items of concern that deal with steam piping are thermal shock and water slugs (i.e., condensation in the steam system) as a result of improper warm up.