A study of seismic response of rotating machines subjected to multi-component base excitation

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Virginia Tech


Rotating machines such as motors, generators, turbines, etc. are crucial mechanical components of modern industrial and power generation facilities. For proper functioning of these facilities during and after an earthquake, it is essential that the rotating machines in these facilities also function as desired. The dynamics of a rotating machine is quite complex. It is further complicated by the presence of earthquake induced base motions. The response spectrum methods, which are now commonly used for calculating seismic design response of civil structures, cannot be used as such for calculating the design response of rotating machines. In this thesis, a response spectrum method which can be applied to the rotating machines is developed.

To develop the response spectrum approach, a generalized modal superposition method is utilized. The random vibration analysis is applied to incorporate the stochastic characteristics of the seismic inputs. The applicability of the proposed response spectrum approach is verified by a simulation study where fifty sets of acceleration time histories are used. The proposed method considers the fact that earthquake induced base motions have several components, including rotational inputs. To define the correlation between the rotational and translational input components of the excitation, the correlation matrix and a travelling seismic wave approaches are used. The numerical results are obtained to evaluate the effect of rotational input components on the response of a rotating machine. It is observed that the rotational components are important only when they are very strong. In actual practice, such strong rotational inputs are not expected to excite rotors which are either directly placed on ground or are placed in common buildings. In the proposed spectrum approach, nevertheless, the effect of rotational input components can be easily incorporated if the correlation between various excitation components is specified.