Design of Fan Foundations

by Donald B. Walters, (M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Burns and Roe, Inc., 5520 Los Santoes Way, Jacksonville, Fla. 32211,
Jeffrey B. Kirby, (A.M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Burns and Roe, Inc., 800 Kinderkamack Rd., Oradell, N.J. 07649,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 23-36

Document Type: Journal Paper


A design approach for satisfactory and cost effective rotary machine foundations, especially fan foundations, is presented. The often used minimum stiffness criterion for the foundation is replaced by a criterion on bearing deflections. After the properties of the foundation and soil are determined, a dynamic analysis is performed, utilizing a multi-degree of freedom system which accounts for the fan rotor, oil film, bearing housing and supports, foundation and soil. The adequacy of the foundation is determined by comparing the calculated bearing deflections to allowable limits. These calculated and limiting deflections are then used in conjunction with calculated dynamic forces to obtain foundation design loads. Items to be incorporated in project specifications, computer costs, and additional manhours required for this design approach and future design recommendations are given. An illustrative example is provided.

Subject Headings: Foundation design | Machine foundations | Displacement (mechanics) | Soil properties | Soil analysis | Dynamic analysis | Dynamic loads | Equipment and machinery

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