August 2003

Special Report: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Realistically assess reciprocating compressor foundation and mounting system loads

Common assumptions about frame flexibility can result in miscalculating forces

Pantermuehl, P. J., Smalley, A. J., Southwest Research Institute

Substantial loads are generated and transmitted by large reciprocating compressors mounted on concrete foundations. The loads, which must be transmitted across the tie-downs connecting a compressor to its foundation, need to be realistically quantified to see how they affect integrity of tie-downs and concrete. Forces that should be considered include gas forces induced by the compression process, unbalanced inertia forces induced by reciprocating and rotating motion of compressor components, and forces from individual throws and cylinders. Assumptions regarding compressor frame flexibility strongly influence tie-down fo

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