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Title: Analysis of an Existing Compressor Foundation with Excessive Local Vibration

Author(s): O. S. Ali Ahmed and Damon G. Reigles

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 348


Appears on pages(s): 47-69

Keywords: Compressor foundation, soil-structure interaction, finite-element method, dynamic loading, machine foundation, stiffness, damping.

DOI: 10.14359/51732679

Date: 3/1/2021

This paper discusses the factors that affect the dynamic response of machine foundation systems, which include (1) the soil dynamic properties, (2) the geometric properties of the foundation, (3) mass of the machine and foundation, and (4) the amplitude and frequency of the applied dynamic loads. The primary objective in any machine foundation design is to limit the foundation response below a specific amplitude threshold. A foundation response exceeding this limit may adversely affect the performance of the machine and damage the machine internals, resulting in costly repairs and lost revenue. Also, the excessive vibrations may result in structural degradation of the foundation, additional excitation stresses on the machine, and increase the compressor unbalance loading. This paper presents dynamic analysis results of a four-cylinder compressor foundation originally designed without consideration for soil-foundation interaction and suffering from excessive vibration. The foundation block supports a 4-cylinder Dresser-Rand compressor, suction and discharge bottles, a crank, and a driving motor with a total weight of approximately 300 kip (1334 kN). A three-dimensional, finite element model representing the soil–foundation system was developed to determine the dynamic characteristics and assess the foundation response under applied dynamic loading from the compressor crank. Results showed that the response of the soil-foundation system is governed by the response of the individual support piers (blocks) and not the global foundation response. This paper also provides a recommended modification to the foundation geometry to reduce the effect of the individual piers' local modes and enhance the foundation dynamic performance.