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Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

By R. M . C a s h m a n , ~ Member
The author discusses the various functions that marine machinery foundations may be
called upon to perform ,and develops theoretical considerations involved in their design.
In addition, specific examples of foundations for the more important ship components are
discussed and illustrated. A section on the attachment of components to foundations
is included. A bibliography of pertinent material available from other sources is attached.

THIS paper was prompted by an apparent lack

of general information on the design of marine
machinery foundations in teclhnical literature.
Although there are extensive published treatments of specific problems in foundation design,
no generalized discussion seems to be available.
These notes are offered in the hope that they will
prove useful in stating typical problems and furnishing some clues toward their solution. To
this end, all additions and revisions reflecting the
experience of others in the field will be most welcome.
In practice, the structural designer is usually
presented with a machinery arrangement which
shows the plant components floating in space at
various locations dictated by the needs of machinery contiguity, shaft lines, suction heads, access,
piping, and so on. I t then becomes his responsibility to tie these objects to the nearest suitable
structure in such a manner that they will perform
their intended functions under all expected operating conditions.
History proves a powerful ally in m a n y of these
problems. By reference to a previous ship, a solution which worked is adapted to the case in hand
and often works again. Where no precedent can
be found, a solution is invented. In either
case, the trial trip usually furnishes at least a
partial proof of the design. If excessive vibration, thermal misalignment or overstressing is
observed, revisions are undertaken at post-trial
availability. Unfortunately, a single trial m a y
not disclose the effects of fatigue or shock.
Stress Analyst, Antenna Systems, Inc., Manchester,
N. H., formerly Assistant Naval Architect (Technical),
Hull Engineering Department, Bethlehem Steel Company,
Shipbuilding Division, Quincy, Mass.
Presented at the January 1962 meeting of the New
England Section of THE SOCII~TY Ola'Naval ARCHITECTS

Recent years have seen rapid evolution of power

plants, with the introduction of entirely new families of machinery components requiring new
methods of mounting. Increased emphasis has
been placed on space and weight saving, to the
point of rendering post-trial adjustments to machinery or structure difficult and expensive.
There is every expectation that this trend u.ill continue. Also, there is under way at least one proposed design basis for components which calls for
some knowledge of the foundation characteristics in
advance [1]. 2 Thus it appears that more emphasis will be placed in the future on a rational
or analytical approach to foundation design rather
than a comparative or rule-of-thumb treatment.
It is proposed to outline first the general and
specific requirements of machinery foundations.
This will be followed by a discussion of design
methods and criteria, from both theoretical and
empirical standpoints, to meet these requirements.
Some specific structures will be iIlustrated, with
comments on their design, to show the application
of these principles. Some of the related theory,
which m a y also be found useful in other structural
problems, will be found in Appendixes 1 through 4.
Functions of Machinery Foundations

Any structure which supports something has an

obvious duty to carry the static load, with some
factor of safety taken from experience. In the
case of a shoreside installation it is sometimes
sufficient to stop there; in mobile platforms
such as ships, however, other factors must be considered. If, in addition, the item to be supported
provides its own thrust or excitation independ2 N u m b e r s in b r a c k e t s d e s i g n a t e R e fe re nc e s a t end of


ently of the mobile platform, a further order of

difficulty is introduced.
For purposes of this discussion, the loads impressed on any machinery foundation m a y be
divided into two classes; i.e., dynamic and static.
For further simplification, the "static" group will
include periodic loadings which can be treated b y
static theory because their periods are so long
t h a t little or no dynamic response will be evoked
in the system. This leads to the following summary, in which the term loads m a y include forces,
m o m e n t s or both :

Factors Causing Dynamic Loads

(a) Vibration of ship structure.
(b) Vibration of mounted unit.
(c) . Variable thrust or torque.
(d) Shock.
Factors Causing Static Loads
(a) Deadweight of component.
(b) Ship motionsin a seaway.
(c) Gyroscopic reactions of rotating machinery.
(d) Thermal deflections.
(e) Steady-state reactions.
Some past practice in foundation design indicates that, where design criteria have been used
at all, they have been based largely on the static
effects, especially in merchant work where classification society rules contain only brief references to
the subject and these are confined largely to main
engine and boiler supports. I t is understandable
t h a t this should be so, since the static approach is
simple in concept and in m a n y cases has produced
designs which have given no trouble under dynamic loadings. Furthermore, it has been possible to correct the occasional unsatisfactory design after service experience, and the implication
of malfunctions at some later stage of ship life
are perhaps less important than they would be in
naval service.
A more rational approach would be to design
first for the dynamic factors involved, since any
one of these m a y surpass the entire list of static
factors as a design criterion. Some recognition
is given to this thought in naval work [2] where
the design is required to be suitable for all of the
dynamic aspects mentioned. I t will not be contended t h a t this approach would eliminate entirely the need for post-trial adjustments; however, it should minimize such instances. A
further possible div-idend would be the elimination
of redundant structure and unnecessary weight
from certain foundations formerly drawn up
with little or no design analysis. Overall, it
is believed t h a t some decrease in the total weight


of foundations would result, other important

gains being better protection against casualties
and smoother operation of the machinery plant.
T h e subsequent discussion, accordingly, will
take up the dynamic effects first and in the order
of the foregoing listing.

Designing For Dynamic Loading

Vibration of Ship Structure
Practically all of the difficulties in this respect
arise from resonance of the foundation-component
system with vibrations impressed upon the ship
by the propellers. Since damping in welded
structures is very small, it is possible to experience
a motion in the mounted component of 20 to 30
times the amplitude of the neighboring hull structure, if a natural frequency of the local system
should happen to coincide with the impressed
frequency. The situation in its simplest form
approaches the resonance diagram for a displacem e n t excitation shown in reference [:3] (page 46).
Resonance is a very unsatisfactory condition
when precise alignment of machinery is essential,
and m a y induce structural failures through fatigue, since stress is proportional to the strain
amplitude of vibration, in this case the relative
motion of the component with respect to the base
of the foundation.
The most common form of propeller-induced
vibration occurs at the so-called blade frequency,
which is the product of R P M and number of
blades. Each blade, as it rotates, passes through
a field of variable wake behind the ship. This
results in variable forces on the blade, the radial
components being fed into the ship through the
stern bearings or struts and the longitudinal components through the line shafting and thrust bearings. In addition, each blade carries with it a
pressure field which impinges upon a given point
of the hull at this same frequency. As would be
expected, the total effect is more pronounced at
the immediate stern. However. when the thrust
bearing is located on the same foundation as the
main propelling unit, as it is in most current
practice, p a r t of this excitation is brought into the
midst of the machinery plant. The longitudinal
pulses are transmitted to the hull through the
thrust girders directly but also m a y appear as
vertical disturbances because of tilting of the
foundation under the variable thrust.
In addition to the fundamental blade frequency,
higher harmonics are sometimes experienced.
This is because the wave form of propeller-impressed vibration is not a pure sine wave and gives
rise to Fourier components [31. These are likely
to be more pronounced in single-screw installa-

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

tions, particularly where the propeller works in an

enclosed aperture, since the wave form shows maximum distortion under such conditions. With
multiple screws turning in a relatively open field of
water flow, irregularities in the wave form are
An occasional case of R P M frequency will occur
if a propeller is unbalanced as a result of damage
or if a tailshaft is bent. Also, in multiple-screw
installations, a "beat" frequency m a y appear
when two shafts are turning at slightly different
speeds, this being the difference between the two
blade frequencies. Neither R P M nor beat frequencies would be expected to give much trouble
since each is quite low compared to the natural
frequency of most foundation structures, and is
therefore well removed from local resonance.
However, both can occur in the range of natural
modes of the ship girder and are capable of exciting "springing" motions of the entire hull and
oscillations of slender structures such as masts.
Thus to summarize, it is good practice to design
foundations clear of resonance with fundamental
blade frequencies at full power in all cases. In
single-screw plants, it is well to stay away from
double or even triple blade frequency, if possible,
to avoid the effect of higher harmonics. Fundamental blade frequencies at full-power operation
m a y vary from three to 30 cps, depending upon
ship type. Fortunately, the lower values are
associated generally with single screws, so that
it is usuaUy possible to keep clear of higher harmonies in these installations with little or no additional effort as compared to the fundamental
frequencies of multiple-screw plants.
I t is preferable in most cases to design the
foundation for a natural frequeney above the fullpower exciting frequency; i.e., the tuning ratio
(impressed frequency)/(natural frequency) in
the resonance diagram should be less than one.
If the opposite were true, a transient resonance
would be experienced in building up or coming
down from full power, and if the ship were required to operate at reduced power for extended
periods, the possibility of steady-state resonance
would exist.
The assignment of a quantitative criterion for
any ship is perhaps the most difficult part of the
problem. This is due chiefly to the inaccuracies
inherent in any calculation of natural frequency
of a shipboard installation, which in the last
analysis is no better than the assumptions which
go into it. The experience of the author in this
respect is that assumptions which appear reasonable and even conservative in the beginning m a y
give a calculated frequency higher than the actual
by 50 percent or more. I t is probable that two




G --)-~-


Gr-cT1ON ~,-,a.



Fig. 1 Typical pedestal foundation

factors are responsible for this situation; the

assumed versus the actual stiffness of the ship,
and the fact that some of the water outside of the
hull moves with the vibrating system and appears
to increase its effective mass. In calculating the
stiffness of any supporting structure, it is necessary to establish some ultimate fixed base, such as
a bulkhead or the shell, which can be considered
infinitely stiff in the direction of freedom being
considered. Any actual movement of this reference member will then decrease the apparent stiffness of the system, and it is evident t h a t the
"fixed" members of a ship really do move. I t
can be appreciated that the problem is intensified
in very heavy components with extensive support
structure, since more of the primary ship structure
comes into play and the entrained water mass is
larger and less susceptible to analysis.
For small components such as pumps, motors,
and the like, resembling discrete masses and supported by simple pedestal-type foundations, it is
usually adequate to use a single-degree-of-freedom
treatment where the natural frequency is,

2rr \ m /
m being the mass of the component and k
the stiffness constant of the foundation, or the
force required to produce unit deflection in the
direction of motion being considered, both in

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


pound-inch-second units. Damping can be ignored, since it is slight and its effect on natural
frequency is entirely negligible. I t is usually adequate to limit the investigation to linear modes in
the three principal planes; namely, vertical,
athwartships, and longitudinal, although rotational modes about one or more of these axes are
sometimes significant. If the base of the foundation is attached to comparatively rigid structure,
and no entrained water is assumed, it seems in
order to design for a natural frequency of about
twice the highest anticipated impressed frequency.
Then the calculated frequency can turn out to be
some 70 percent greater than the actual and the
tuning ratio (impressed frequency)/(natural frequency) will be about 0.85, corresponding to a
"magnification factor" of two or less in the
resonance diagram. This means that the strain
amplitude in the foundation will be limited to
twice the local amplitude of the ship's structure,
and for most cases this will be a satisfactory solution.
A type of foundation quite commonly used
for supporting small auxiliaries is the built-up
tapered pedestal, Fig. 1; it m a y be instructive to
go through a design procedure for this model.
Assuming that the bottom structure of the ship is
several times as stiff as the pedestal, which is
usually the case, the system m a y be idealized as a
simple mass and spri~lg.
The mass of the mounted unit should be augmerited by about one third of the pedestal mass
in recognition of the fact that there are no really
"weightless" springs. Its location is taken to be
the center of gravity of the unit, and the assump.tion is made that the characteristics of the pedestal
extend upward to that point. It then remains to
calculate k in each of the principal directions.
For the vertical mode, the stiffness constant for
the pedestal is that of a tapered column axially
loaded. This presents no particular difficulty and
is usually of little interest since most structures of
this type are amply stiff in the axial direction.
In the athwartship and longitudinal modes,
however, the deflection of a tapered cantilever
under a load at the free end is wanted. The exact
solution of this problem can be tedious and is
hardly justified by the degree of accuracy needed
for this case. Appendix I develops the concept
of an equivalent beam of constant section which
will have the same end deflection as the tapered
beam under the same load. This shows that, for
structures of these proportions, the equivalent
depth of web or width of flange m a y be called
0.7D + 0.3d, where D and d are the web depths or
flange widths at the built-in and free ends, respectively. In the case of built-up sections these

factors m a y be applied to both webs and flanges

and the inertias of these members m a y be added
directly to obtain the inertia of an equivalent
section of constant dimensions.
In short, stubby pedestals the lateral deflection
due to shear deformation m a y be an appreciable
portion of the total and should be added to the
bending deflection. I t is sufficient to consider
only the material in the plane parallel to the applied load in this calculation, and the same depths
obtained for the equivalent beam in bending m a y
be used.
Having established k in each direction, it remains to verify that the natural frequency in all
modes is about twice the blade frequency of the
propellers, or to modify the proposed design as
Where heavier and more complex components
are to be supported, it m a y be desirable to consider the system as composed of two or more
masses for each direction of motion, one being the
mass of the component and another the mass of
entrained water and ship-bottom structure. If
n discrete masses are assumed, n natural frequencies will result; since the effort still is to get all of
these above the known impressed frequency, only
the fundamental or lowest mode is significant.
Even so, it m a y prove difficult to get enough stiffness into the supporting structure to raise this
first-mode frequency to an acceptable value. The
usual procedure is to stiffen as much as possible
and hope for the best; the excitation delivered
to the area in question m a y be so small that, even
with a very large magnification factor, resultant
strain amplitudes will still be acceptable. Some
ships have operated with large machinery units
which are close to or under full-power blade resonance, and vibration has not been considered serious. Occasionally, however, very large amplitudes m a y develop from this cause, requiring
a change of propellers or other costly measures for
resolution of the problem.
I t would seem advisable, where calculations
forecast such a possibility and no further structural reinforcement is feasible, to consider some
kind of damping device or undamped absorber as
a cure for the condition. In other applications,
notably electric transmission lines and shafting
systems subject to torsional vibrations, suitably
designed dampers have long been accepted as a
means of smoothing out a resonant condition. Although the energy absorption requirements would
probably be higher than in most current applications, it should not be too difficult to design a
slip-joint or dashpot which would effect a marked
reduction in linear amplitudes at resonant frequencies.

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

For the more complicated case involving several

degrees of freedom, there is no ready method
which will suit all conditions. The underlying
theory is available in [3]; the principal difficulty,
however, lies in assigning values to the masses and
"springs" which make up the system. In connection with the mass of entrained water, /4]
m a y be found useful. Incidentally, one should
not be surprised at the magnitude of water mass
which seems to attach itself to the vibrating system; where an appreciable area of ship's bottom
is considered to be in motion, 100 tons is not an
exceptional figure.
When calculations cannot forecast the natural
frequency within desired limits, or become so involved as to create manpower problems, it m a y
be preferable to run a "buml)" test or a forcedvibration survey on a particular component.
Both procedures have been used with success by
the author's company, the former on small con>
ponents and the latter on larger and more complicated installations. I t has been found that a
portable-mechanical oscillator, weighing considerably less than 1(1(Ilb and driven by a 1-hp motor
with variable-speed control, will supply all the
excitation that is needed to identify natural frequencies of the largest components up to 50
cps. The usual procedure is to ,scan slowly over
the speed range of the oscillator, feeding the pickup
voltages to tape through suitable amplifiers
and filters. Resonant frequencies are immediately apparent at the end of each run as salients
on the tape record and, if pickups are properly
phased at the beginning of the test, 1node shapes
can be determined from these records.

Vibration of Mounted Unit

This becomes a problem only where the component supplies an excitation from its own moving
parts, either rotational or translational.
Modern balancing techniques dispose of practically all of the eccentricity in rotating electrical
machinery and steam turbines. Where such
a driving unit is coupled to a centrifugal pump,
however, an appreciable excitation m a y exist
because of nonuniform forces on the impeller working in the pumped fluid.
Reciprocating drives of every" kind will bear
watching because of the inherent periodic forces
and moments which arise from the inertias of
the various moving parts and the fluctuations in
pressure of the driving medium (steam, air or
gas). Also, if a fluid is being pumped by a reciprocating piston, fluctuations in both suction
and discharge pressure have been known to cause
serious vibrations. If the configuration of the
piping is such as to magfiify the effect of such




\ , < ,~'

Fig. 2 Typical bonded s p o o l mount

pressure variations ("organ-pipe" resonance) a

potentially destructive situation can exist. Unfortunately, the chances of such local resonance
are difficult to assess in adwmee of installation
and totally unexpecte d modes sometimes appear
(in one case a fluid system was strongly excited
by a three-cylinder redprocating pump at a frequency of nine times pump R P M ) .
As in the case of propeller-excited vibrations
delivered by the supporting structure, it is desirable that the natural frequency of the system
be kept away from resonance. In this instance,
where the excitation is fed irlto the other end of
the system, there is additional incentive to do so.
The "translnissibility" of tile foundation should
be kept low so that the vibratory forces from the
component will not be transmitted, at full value
or better, to the surrounding areas.
Since the classic method of reducing transmissibility is to soften the foundation (which decreases the natural frequency of the system), and
since it is usually desirable to avoid propellerblade frequency by stiffening the foundation,
an impasse m a y result front trying to satisfy both
conditions in the conventional way.
A solution which has been adopted, notably in
the case of submarines where it is of vital importance to isolate noise-generating equipment from
the hull, is the flexible mount. This takes various forms, perhaps the most common being the

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


bonded rubber spool m o u n t illustrated in Fig. 2.

These, and other devices of similar effect, are
available in a wide range of flexibilities and load
capacities. Their common denominator is a low
stiffness characteristic (as compared with a steel
foundation) which reduces the natural frequency
of the system to a very low value. This nmkes
the transmissibility of the foundation practically
nil, provides good shock resistance, and removes
the natural frequency far from blade frequency.
Although it has been remarked earlier t h a t blade
frequency should be escaped on the high side,
the natural frequencies of flexibly mounted equipm e n t can be made so low t h a t a meeting of the
two is improbable at a n y conceivable propeller
R P M in the operating range.
Flexible mounts have disadvantages in certain
situations, especially where aligmnent of the
mounted machinery is critical. Where a driving
and driven unit are coupled, as in the case of
motor-driven centrifugal pumps, it is usual to
provide a common bedplate and insert the flexibility between this and the p r i m a r y ship structure. Also, these mounts are more expensive and
m a y require some added degree of maintenance as
compared with conventional structure. Where a
serious self-excited vibration is known or suspected, however, they m a y offer an entirely satisfactory solution.
When this type of mounting is introduced, the
structural portion of the foundation usually has
minor influence on the frequency of the system and
m a y be considered a "spring" of infinite stiffness
for most practical purposes. T h e selection of
proper mounts to provide a given natural frequency, however, is a function of several variai~les
and usually requires more than a casual investigation. This is one subject for which specialized
theory and criteria have been developed, as
exemplified by references [5] and [6].
Variable Thrust or Torque

This category is intended to include fluctuating

loadings impressed upon the mounted component
b y reason of its physical connection with some
separate source through shafting, piping, and
so on, as distinct from a self-contained excitation.
T h e outstanding example, of course, occurs in
the main thrust-bearing foundation, which in
most modern steam plants is an integral part of
the reduction gear and turbine supports. Usually
in reciprocating drives, and occasionally in steamturbine practice, the thrust bearing is separately
mounted at some distance from the main propulsion unit.
The variable loads are delivered to the thrust
bearing by the line shafting and have their origin

in the wake variation at the propeller, previously

discussed in connection with vibrations of ship
structure. The shafting carries both variable
thrust and torque. Where the thrust bearing is
isolated on its own support, the thrust variations
show up there and the torque variations at the
propulsion-unit foundation; in an integral arrangement, they are fed into the ship structure at
essentially the same location.
Torque variations are transmitted to the structure through reactions at the gear and pinion
bearings in geared rotary drives, and through reactions at journal and crosshead or piston bearings
in reciprocating drives. In the latter, torque
variations arising from variable steam or gas pressure and the inertia of moving parts are usually
of a much higher order than those induced by wake
Because of the m a n y considerations involved in
the design of foundations for main propulsion
units, this subject is treated under a separate
heading. I t m a y be noted here, however, t h a t
the characteristics of such foundations play a
p a r t in determining the response of a rather complicated mass-elastic system consisting of propeller, line shafting, thrust bearing, main propulsion
unit and structure. The effects of longitudinal
thrust excitation upon such systems have been
treated extensively in [7]; torsional excitation
is similarly well covered in [8].
Another application where variable input loadings could be a problem is the rudder-support
system. Since rudders usually work behind propellers for m a x i m u m steering effect, they are subject to large variations in hydrodynamic forces.
In single-screw vessels where the rudder is of
necessity directly in line with the propeller shaft,
an even number of propeller blades can impress
upon the rudder a considerable m o m e n t variation
in the transverse plane. This occurs at blade
frequency and is due to the passage of diametrically opposite blades ahead of the rudder at the
same instant, the " u p " blade throwing water to
starboard and the "down" blade to port. With
an odd number of propeller blades, only one at a
time can be lined up with the rudder. The
wake-induced m o m e n t variation is less severe in
this case, but occurs at twice the blade frequency.
A significant postwar contribution in this area has
been the so-called "clearwater" stern in which
the rudder assembly is hung from the stock
and the b o t t o m shoe of the stern frame is eliminated.
Since rudderstock bearings are customarily
supported by a h e a v y web structure which is well
bedded into the hull, the chances are t h a t the
natural frequency of the system is high in corn-

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

parison with the known exciting frequencies.

However, it is advisable that a routine check of
this aspect be made in the design stage. It
is at least conceivable that "roughness" experienced at the stern in some vessels, and dismissed
as inevitable, m a y be due in part to local resonance of ship structure under this; type of loading.
Observation of a peak in roughness at some R P M
less than that corresponding to ful! power could
be taken as an indication of such a condition.
Rudders have been known also to vibrate at
frequencies unrelated to shaft ',speeds, and the
same presumably could apply to other appendages
such as diving planes of submarines or the fins
of roll-stabilizing devices. In one case [9] the
vibration impressed upon the hull was of such
magnitude that an extensive research program was
undertaken to determine the cause and cure.
These instances fall in the category of self-excited
vibrations, where the flowing water supplies the
energy to keep the 1notion going, and are less
easy to predict than propeller-excited vibrations.
T h e y are mentioned here only to ',suggest that part
of their solution m a y lie in analysis of foundation

Practically all of the available data on this
subject are of recent vintage, and their application
has been confined almost exclusively to naval vessels. The problem was first a t t a c k e d seriously
in the early stages of World War II, and research
since the end of the war continues to improve
knowledge of the subject. While this chapter is
far from closed, the present state of the art permits some valid conclusions to be drawn. For
a historical sunmmry and a discussion of fundamental principles, the reader is referred to the
first four chapters of [10]; a later and more detailed treatment of design problems appears in
[11]. Both references deal primarily with the
effect of shock on machinery components, which
is outside the scope of this paper; however, the
role of the foundation can be recognized and the
given data can be interpreted to suit it.
The interest of naval activities in shock is of
course prompted by the desire to achieve continuous plant operation in vessels of the fleet
despite underwater explosions near the hull, and,
more recently, nuclear explosions at some distance. As far as is known, there is no organized
effort to make shock resistance a criterion for
merchant vessels. However, reference [12] discusses possible improvements in merchant hull
design and concludes that the need for such measures is equivalent to the need for Civil Defense.
Without taking a position in this matter, it is

possible to state that opportunities do exist for

providing improved shock resistance in merchant
vessels through design, at very little additional
cost in construction. This applies to foundations
as much as to any other element of ship structure.
For purposes of the following discussion, shock
is defined as the motion of the shell, bulkhead or
other structure to which the foundation is attached. This motion can be stated in terms
of displacement or either of its two succeeding
time derivatives; velocity or acceleration. If
any of these three quantities is available as a function of time, the other two can be derived by differentiation or integration, the latter process being preferred as more accurate. Accelerations
have a direct relationship to the forces acting in
any system and a shock input expressed in such
terms is in useful form for the calculation of
stresses and strains.
The primary cause of shock excitation is, of
course, the underwater explosion previously mentioned. Other mishaps such as collisions or
groundings produce only low-order inputs at
points remote from the damage, the. accelerations
being of the order of a few gravities at most
as compared with 100 g or more from near-miss
explosions. Current naval requirements for machinery colnponents [2] relate the shock accelerations inversely to the weight of the assembly supported, since theory and practice agree that relatively large masses act to reduce the shock motion.
The acceleraticn criterion (shock design number)
is also a function of the direction of shock motion,
recognizing the directional differences in response
of a ship hull to a given incident. Testing
machines have been devised for subjecting components to comparable loadings before actual
shipboard installation. There are indications
that these criteria m a y be increased as the result
of experience from recent nuclear test explosions
and in order to promote shock resistance in components which lnore closely approach the resistance of nawd ship hulls.
In comlnon with other design standards which
seek to establish uniform treatment of nonuniform
and sometimes urlpredictable input, loadings, the
N a v y shock curves share the fate of continual
reappraisal. I t has been objected that they are
too high and too low, too general and too specific,
too complex and too simple. T h e y represent
but one of several approaches which might be
used, the most serious competitor being the calculation of actual system response to a given
"starting velocity." Also, they make no distinction with respect to location in the ship,
whereas units mounted on a platform m a y "see"
only a fraction of the shock input generated at

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


shell and inner-bottom locations. The natural

frequency of the shocked system does not appear
as a variable; this is a fundamental feature
of competitive proposals such as [1] and has much
to recommend it. Despite such obvious shortcomings, the N a v y shock curves do have the
virtures of uniformity and ease of application, and
if properly applied will provide the foundation
designer with some relative measure of the efficiency of his foundations.
I t will be pointed out here t h a t structural
foundations should not necessarily be designed to
support, within their elastic limit, the full force
represented by the product of component weight
and shock-design number as read from the N a v y
curves. In the usual case the ship hull is capable
of surviving a relatively high degree of shock
without failure; the components are designed or
tested to shock accelerations roughly equivalent to
those shown on the N a v y curves; and the bolting
strength at elastic limit is of a similar order. I t
thus appears proper to provide a foundation
which, b y entering the plastic range just below the
failure point of the component, will act as a mechanical fuse, absorbing energy and thereby protecting the component. This principle is recognized in [2] which implies t h a t foundations should
absorb some of the shock energy by buckling or
stretching rather than by fully elastic deformation. Thus if the survival limit of a component
and its bolting can be stated in terms of a 20-g
acceleration, the ideal foundation is one which will
reach yield point at a loading; of, say, 19 times the
weight of the component and will show a large
plastic deformation immediately thereafter. I t
should be noted also t h a t the yield point in this
case is likely to be higher than under static conditions; provided brittle failure is not a consideration, most structural materials show i m p r o v e m e n t
in this property under impact loading. Of
course, if there is good reason to believe that the
shock resistance of the component is considerably
higher than the N a v y curves require, the bolting
and foundation strength m a y be suitably increased above the curve value.
I t m a y occur to the reader at this point t h a t
resistance to vibration and resistance to shock are
basically at odds; for the former, it is desired to
provide a foundation which is relatively stiff,
while the latter requirement places some limitation on strength. Although stiffness and strength
are related, they are not the same thing.
T h e ability to provide suitable vibration and
shock characteristics in the same foundation depends upon the shock-design number used and the
geometry of the structure. The task is easier
when the S D N is high, the required natural fre730

quency is low and the load p a t h through the

structure is short; a mounting which takes the
load in direct tension or compression is easily
handled but a cantilever mounting m a y be difficult
to design for this purpose. Appendix 2 illustrates
these principles for a few elementary foundation
types and offers some coefficients b y which the
efficiency of a proposal m a y be judged in advance
of actual design.
This is an appropriate place to point out that
foundations are scarcely ever built of anything
but mild steel. Since the modulus of elasticity is
practically independent of composition, there
would be no gain in stiffness from using hightensile materials. And, since the ratio of strength
to stiffness in a given geometry varies directly
with the yield point, a high-strength steel might
actually defeat a suitable compromise between
vibration and shock resistance.
Designing for Static Loads

Having assessed the foregoing list of dynamic

criteria, or having elected to wait for the trial trip
to bring to light a n y shortcomings which it is
capable of disclosing, the designer m a y turn his
attention to static-type loadings which are more
certain to occur and easier to predict.
Dead Weight of Component
Since gravity is always present, the weight of
any component represents a constant reaction on
the foundation which supports it. This is axiomatic and hardly needs recording, but should not
be overlooked in process of designing for other
loadings. Dead weight b y itself is a poor criterion
for design unless the vessel in question is without
propulsive power and is to be moored forever in
protected waters.
Ship Motions in a Seaway
Inertia forces due to motion in a seaway are
certain to occur during the life of the ship and can
be evaluated beforehand with reasonable accuracy. Sometimes they are dictated b y specifications; where they are not, Appendix 3 derives
them for the general case and offers some advice on
estimation of periods and amplitudes of ship
Since a ship is a free body it can experience
three angular and three linear modes of motion;
but only rolling, pitching and heaving are of any
significance to this discussion. I t is sufficient for
this purpose to assume t h a t each of these is a
harmonic motion. Their natural periods are so
long, however, t h a t no dynamic response in a
machinery-support system is conceivable. T h u s
the m a x i m u m value of the inertia force m a y be

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

thought of as a static loading on the system. This

maximum occurs always at the time of maximum
amplitude of motion and the resulting force is
therefore applied in a direction appropriate to the
inclined position of the ship. Since roll, pitch and
heave m a y all be in phase, all three forces should
be vectored together with the dead weight of the
component to obtain the resultant load on the
Rolling and pitching are relatively easy to
visualize and deal with, and both usually occur
in the natural period of the ship. Heaving, on the
other hand, is largely a result of coupling from
roll or pitch motions and is greatly influenced by
the period of wave encounter. For these reasons
it does not have a well-defined period or amplitude
and inertia forces from this cause are usually
assigned somewhat arbitrarily. A "recent design
specification called for a value of 30 percent of
dead load in a ship of 8000 tons displacement.
Only in rare cases will the total inertia force
due to ship motion approach the dead weight of a
component. Accordingly, if a rough cut is desired
for design purposes, the weight m a y be applied
twice; once as a gravity load and once as an
inertia load in an appropriate direction, and the
resultant applied to the foundation. The working
stress to be used m a y be established by specification or by the policy of the individual design
activity; a common value is half the yield point.

Gyroscopic Reactions from Rotating ,Machinery

When any rotating element is forced to change
its plane of rotation, as by rolling or pitching
motions of a ship, it resists the change by exerting
a couple in a plane containing the axis of rotation,
but perpendicular to the plan(: of the forcing
couple. This is the familiar characteristic of the
gyroscope. The strength of the resisting couple
is directly proportional to the angular velocity of
the forced motion and is given by

d1~ = ( ~ - e ) ( ~ )

O = O.OO3251'VR2NO



resisting couple, lb-ft

weight of rotating element, lb
radius of gyration of rotating element, ft
speed of rotation, R P M
angular velocity of force([ lnotion, rad/sec
acceleration of gravity, fl./sec ~

Traditionally, high-speed rotating machinery

has been mounted with its axis fore and aft, because the maximum angular velocity of pitch is
only a fraction of the maximum roll velocity and
the same ratio holds for gyroscopic reactions at

the bearings and bolting pads. However, this

practice m a y admit of a second look in cases where
a transverse orientation would be preferred for
space saving or other reasons.
In high-speed
equipment, gyro reactions will generally be larger
than inertia reactions due to roll and pitch, but
will reach their maximum value when the others
are zero and the two will not be additive. Naval
shock requirements, however, lead to instantaneous bearing h)ads m a n y orders of magnitude
higher than either, and it is difficult to visualize
trouble from gyro reactions on such ruggedly
designed bearings.
As an example, consider the case of a large
marine geared turbogenerator set recently installed. For the turbine end, running at 6950
rpm, the quantity W R 2 was about 300 lb-ft2; for
the low-speed gear and generator, operating at
1200 rpln, [/VR 2 was about 19,0011 lb-fU. If this
set had been installed with its axis athwartships,
it could have been subjected to a maximum angular velocity, due to roll, of about }.~ radian per
see (assuming the severe case of a total roll period
of 10 sec and a roll amplitude of 30 deg each side).
The resisting couples would amount to 2260 and
24,700 lb-ft for the turbine and generator ends,
respectively, for a total of about 27,000 lb-ft.
The bedplate of this unit is mounted on a threepoint bolted support, which would be subjected
to horizontal shear from the gyro couple induced
as just described. The geometry of the bolting
pattern is such that the maximum shear load on
any one pad would be 2400 lb, hardly a cause for
Considering the bearing reactions, also directed
horizontally in the case described, the distances
between main bearings for the turbine end and the
generator end, respectively, are 3.7 and 6.S ft.
Thus the gyro reactions would be 610 lb on each
turbine bearing and 3630 lb on each generator
bearing. The same bearings would be subjected
to vertical forces of 73 lb and 910 lb, respectively,
from inertia loading under precisely the same
storm conditions, but are supposed to be capable
of surviving shock loadings, in the same direction,
of 510() lb and 64,(/()0 lb. The gyroscopic reactions
which would result from an athwartships mounting of this lnachine, therefore, are not the governing consideration.
I t is interesting to note that, as far as gyroscopic
reactions are concerned, the location of a component with respect to the ship's axis of roll is
immaterial, since the maximum angular velocity
of roll is the same everywhere. Also, mounting on
a vertical axis will result in exactly the same gyro
forces from ship's roll as mounting on a horizontal
athwartships axis. In the vertical case, however,

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


an additional component will result from pitching.

If it is desired to estimate gyro reactions,
Appendix 3 leads to an expression for velocity
also. Remembering that the maximum angular
velocity in a "vibration" such as rolling or pitching is the single amplitude times the "circular
0 =

0 ls0/\7/


0 = maximum angular velocity, rad/sec
0 = maximum assumed inclination of roll or
pitch, measured on one side of vertical, deg
T = period for a complete cycle, see
The other factors in the expression for the gyro
couple, given at the beginning of this section, are
of course functions of the component in question.

Thermal Deflections
Whenever the operating temperature of a component is different from the shutdown temperature, the tendency to thermal movement must be
dealt with. Solutions of this problem m a y use
any one or a combination of three fundamental
principles, as follows :
1 Rigid mounting, resulting in thermal stresses
in the component itself as well as in the foundation,
2 Flexible mounting, wherein the unit is essentially free to expand while the foundation
deforms, and
;3 Sliding mounts, wherein the unit is essentially free to expand without intposing loads on
the foundation.
The rigid-mounting concept is feasible only
where the temperature difference is small. In
the case of mild steel, for example, a bar restrained
in a perfectly rigid manner at both ends will reach
yield point at an increment of about 1S0 F, so
that the use of this solution is just about limited
to vessels containing saturated steam or water at
atmospheric pressure or less.
As between flexible and sliding mounts, the
former are gaining favor, partly as a result of the
increased use of welding but also because of inherent advantages. Among these m a y be mentioned the minimization of field machining work,
elimination of any maintenance except ordinary
structural preservation, and freedom from operating problems such as corrosion, galling and
seizing of sliding parts. Thus, while the provision
of sliding keys or slotted bolt holes is quite simple
from the design viewpoint, a few extra hours or
days spent on the design of a flexing foundation

should be repaid out of installation and operational savings.

The usual method of providing the necessary
displacement in a flexing foundation is to take it
as a bending deflection, which allows considerable
movement without unduly high stress. For such
familiar components as turbines and condensers,
this is usually accomplished by fixing one end of
the unit and supporting the other end on a flat
plate, mounted in a plane perpendicular to the
direction of principal thermal growth, which
bends about an axis at some distance from the
point of attachment. Where the depth of the
plate is so small as to require no stiffening, stresses
at the root m a y be calculated by simple cantilever
theory. In large installations, however, it becomes necessary to stiffen most of the plate area to
provide stability under loading in the plane of the
plate. In such cases the bending deflection is
confined mostly to a narrow strip at the b o t t o m
end. Appendix 4 shows a typical installation of
this kind and derives an approximate expression
for the maxinmm stress in the bent portion.
In merchant work, loading in the plane of the
flex plate usually consists of that portion of the
dead weight of the component borne by the flexing
end of the support, suitably augmented by roll and
pitch factors. In naval work shock loading must
be considered and here the colunm load will be
some multiple of the dead weight. Full-scale and
model-scale shock tests conducted against naval
vessels in the recent past have led to closer scrutiny of the flex-plate design.
Cylindrical components, which are becoming
increasingly common, m a y be mounted to good
advantage on a three-dimensional version of the
flex plate. Since such units move equally in all
radial directions under temperature differential or
internal pressure, the "flex plate" becomes a
cylinder or frustum of a cone. The analysis of
such support skirts, as they are called, is somewhat
more involved than for the flat plate, but various
methods are available for solution of stresses.
Reference [1:~] derives an approximate expression
for stresses in the support-skirt attachment resulting from internal pressure, and appears to be
suitable for use in obtaining temperature stresses
also. An interesting application of the theory of
beams on elastic foundations to the case of cylindrical or slightly conical shells is discussed in
reference [14] and is pertinent to this problem. At
least one computer program, based on a finitedifference method, is known to be in use by a
design activity in this field.
Some flex plates are designed for "self-springing" or initially inelastic cycling. If the nominal
design stress at full flexure is set at about twice the

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

yield point, then the first warm-up excursion will

take place along the stress-strain path OAB in
Fig. 3, OP being the strain at full flexure. Return
to the cooled-down state will take place along BC


A, 15




_ ___-_sx_ -

Fig.3 Stress-strain paths in "self-springing"

and all later cycles will follow this line. If it is
desired to avoid the initial plastic strain represented by AB, the flex plate m a y be "cold-set" or
backed off about half of the given amount in a
direction opposite to that of the thermal growth.
The first and all subsequent cycles will then follow
DOAOD which is elastic all the way. Ordinarily
there will be no fatigue problem implied in either
case, since the number of hot-cold cycles to be
expected over the life of a ship is not large in
terms of endurance limit and mild steel is reasonably ductile. With design stress approaching the
yield point, however, one should pay close attention to possible stress concentrations and quality
of welding.
Flexing supports, whether flat or cylindrical,
should of course be checked as circumstances m a y
require for dynamic conditions such as vibration
or shock. The flat flex plate, having very little
stiffness in the direction of therlnal growth, is
usually considered ineffective in this direction, the
load being assumed entirely by the fixed end of
the foundation. Since the plate is quite stiff in
its own plane, however, it is called upon to assume
loads so applied. The cylindrical or conical skirt,
o n t h e other hand, m a y be the sole support of the
component and should be able to develop the required strength and stiffness in each plane. In
some cases, particularly where it is necessary to
locate the skirt near the end of a long cylindrical
vessel, it m a y be difficult to design a skirt with

sufficient resistance to lateral shock loading and

pendulmn-type vibration.
I t has been found
expedient in such cases to add an auxiliary sway
brace in the form of an axial pin on the free end
of the vessel, working in a socket attached to the
ship structure or welded to a diaphragm plate
perpendicular to the pin. This permits longitudinal growth but inhibits lateral motion.
In general, flexibility requirements will dictate
light plating because of linfitations on bending
stresses or, in the case of delicate components,
unwanted "feedback" loading from flexure of the
foundation. When it becomes difficult to satisfy
both flexure and strength requirements, a system
of two or more flexing elements in parallel is sometimes used. For example, a given flat plate if
doubled in thickness would feel twice the flexural
stress and would be eight times as stiff in flexure
but only twice as strong in shear or compression,
neglecting buckling tendencies. By dividing the
same material between two independent plates,
however, a comparable increase in strength will
result but the flexnral stress will remain the same
and the flexural stiffness will only double.
Sliding mounts for small components such as
heat exchangers usually take the form of bolts
working in slotted holes. For more important
equipment such as main propulsion nmehinery
and condensers, a system of keys and keyways is
usually used to develop the requisite shear
strength for expected loadings in directions other
than that of the thermal moveme.nt. ~rhile both
types of arrangement have given satisfactory
service, there is always the possibility that seizing
or galling of the moving parts will load the equipment or structure in a manner not intended. Accordingly it is important that these connections
be so located that they are easily accessible for
lubrication and maintenance.
Steady-State Thrust or Torque
A situation arises occasionally where the characteristics of a machinery component itself have
very little to do with the design of the foundation
which supports it. Such is the case when a relatively small item, such as a pmnp or valve, is
connected to a run of piping subject to thermal
stresses. As the size or stiffness of the piping
increases, the loads imposed on the foundation
through the unit become increasingly large as
compared with other criteria. For example, pipe
reactions may amount to several times the shock
loading. Since it is always better to discover such
cases before the plant is put together, a careful
check by the foundation designer should include a
survey of the important piping and its points of

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


Major shipyards now "stress out" the larger

sizes of hot piping almost as a matter of course, to
arrive at the minimunl use of material within
allowable thermal-stress limits for the piping
itself. Digital computers have provided the economic justification for this kind of analysis and
machine programs are available which will give
stresses at any desired point in the system quickly
and with a precision limited only by the accuracy
of the input information. These programs also
yield, or can be easily modified to yield, the reactions at points of attachment to various components considered as "anchors." In the general
case, the output for an anchor point consists of a
set of six figures, comprising a force in each of
three mutually perpendicular directions and a
moment about each of these axes. Armed with
this information, the structural analyst can determine quickly whether pipe reactions should govern
the design of a foundation for a particular component.
Main Propulsion Unit Foundations
Unfortunately this, one of the most important
foundations in the ship, is usually the least amenable to theoretical analysis. There are two basic
reasons for this: (a) The loads to be imposed
upon it are not fully predicfable. (b) I t extends over such a large area and is so intimately
allied with basic ship structure that its response,
even to a known input, can be difficult to determine. As a result of these circumstances an
empirical approach, strongly flavored with conservatism, has prevailed in most designs and is
not lightly to be discounted.
The arrangement of the main propulsion components is affected by m a n y considerations, of
which the method of structural support is not the
least. Among these m a y be mentioned the power
rating, the space available for the main unit, the
number of screws, arrangement of injection and
discharge piping, and so on. As in most complex
installations, the resulting arrangement is usually
a compromise among several factors. The most
important of these in considering the arrangement
of structure is the condenser orientation.
With a longitudinal condenser, it is usually
possible to use extensions of one or more of the
longitudinal girders of the reduction-gear foundation as supports without seriously restricting access beneath the condenser.
This adds appreciably to the longitudinal stiffness of the whole
arrangement by providing an additional shear
path for getting thrust loads into the ship's bottom
structure. However, this arrangement makes it
awkward to use a flexing type of support in the

condenser foundation and just about dictates the

use of sliding feet.
The condenser and low-pressure turbine easing
can stand a certain amount of restraint in the
transverse direction, but very little movement of
the rotor centerline in this direction can be tolerated because of ~ear on the flexible couplings.
For this reason the support walls are designed for
approximately equal transverse stiffness and the
bottom of the condenser is sometimes pinned. In
the longitudinal direction, however, free thermal
expansion is essential to prevent possible "bowing" of the turbine casing and consequent internal
damage. In this type of arrangement this is
achieved by rigidly bolting the after end to the
foundation and providing slotted bolt holes and a
longitudinal keyway at the forward end.
With the axis of the condenser athwartships, it
wiU usually be very difficult to provide effective
continuations of the longitudinal girders beyond
the forward end of tjae reduction-gear table because the condenser with its heads and circulating
water piping will occupy much of the needed
space. Thus the effective depth of the foundation
will be sharply reduced under the condenser,
leaving little more than the ship's bottom structure in this area. This condition can lead to undesirable "rocking" motions of the gear table, as
discussed in reference [7], if compensating measures are not taken.
The best way out of this situation is to "bed in"
the gear table as firmly as possible at the after
end, making it in effect a stiff cantilever which
will deflect very little under the moment created
by the thrust loads, regardless of the relative
softness of the bottom structure. To accomplish
this end, it is highly desirable to line up the top
plate of the gear table with a continuous deck or
platform on the other side of the engine room
bulkhead if at all possible. If this cannot be
achieved within acceptable rearrangements of the
ship, the shaft-alley bulkheads often can be lined
up with the thrust girders or side girders under the
gear table by a minor rearrangement. In multiple-screw installations where engines are well
outboard, the possibility of an additional shear tie
between the bedplate and the shell or inner bottom
should not be overlooked.
A favorable aspect of the athwartship condenser
arrangement is the ability to anchor the after support flange of the turbine or condenser and mount
the forward flange on a flex plate, eliminating the
need for a sliding joint.
In this arrangement there exists a choice of
mounting the turbine directly on the foundation
with a "hung" condenser or mounting the condenser directly with the turbine superimposed.

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

The former alternative is the usual preference of

the author's company for the following reasons:
1 Vertical movement of the LP rotor coupling
with respect to its pinion is minimized because the
distance between the rotor centerline and the
bolting plane, and the consequent thermal expansion, is smaller. Also, thermal changes in the
condenser do not affect the support.
2 The gear case and L P turbine girders can be
combined into a common structure of great stiffness, minimizing relative motion of these elements.
3 The condenser cross section can be widened
in the longitudinal direction and shortened in
height, allowing minimum elevation of the turbine
and consequently stiffer support.
The location and method of support of the
thrust bearing should be considered carefully,
since the ship is literally being driven through the
structure in this immediate area. Where the
bearing is separate from the gear case it is usually
elevated above the plane of the gear table and is
mounted on vertical extensions of the thrust
girders. While structural provisions can be made
to suit this condition, a nester and more satisfactory arrangement can be achieved when the
bearing is built into the gear case immediately
aft of the bull gear. An integral thrust bearing is
sometimes found forward of the gear, and while
such an arrangement has the advantage of reducing the size of the bearing, it is not commonly
used in high-powered installations. The reason
for this is t h a t the cutouts for the gear well and the
condenser leave only an isolated pedestal on
which to m o u n t the thrust bearing and the amount
of thrust which can be imposed on such a foundation is limited.
.The stiffness of the thrust foundation in a
longitudinal direction influences the natural
frequencies of longitudinal vibrations of the main
propulsion system.
The effect of increasing
stiffness is to move resonant frequencies ("criticals") to a higher R P M . The aspect of the stiffness-critical R P M curve, however, is rather flat,
particularly for the fundamental mode.
Occasionally theory indicates a gain for "softening"
the foundation. This can occur where a critical
already exists below full-power R P M and it appears advantageous to move the critical still
lower. A condition which must be satisfied, of
course, is that such action would not have adverse
effect on the criticals in other modes of the same
system. In spite of such theoretical indications,
it has always been the practice in the author's
company at least to make main unit foundations
as stiff as reasonably possible in all directions, and
it is believed that this approach is quite general

throughout the industry. A co~scious effort to

soften a foundation system would seem always to
be attended by doubts as to the accuracy of the
stiffness calculation and the possibility that lowfrequency excitations might prove more numerous
and more troublesome than the designer would
reasonably expect.
Reference [7] was perhaps the tirst suggestion
that stiffness rates of such foundations could be
calculated, if only for the purpose of deciding
which of the structural members were meaningful
and which redundant. The same paper offered
some representative values of the longitudinal
stiffness rate for various ship types. On the
strength of these suggestions, and in response to a
request from shafting designers who needed an
estimate of foundation stiffness in order to predict longitudinal criticals, such an estimate was
made from preliminary design plans of a recent.
main unit foundation.
The first figure obtained from this analysis was'.
almost at the upper limit suggested by reference.
[7], and was therefore looked upon with some
suspicion. A recheck, modifying certain assumptions in the direction of conservatism, gave a
lower figure and though this was ',still considered
high, it was released for purposes of shaft critical
When the foundation had been
completed and all the machinery in,stalled, the line
shafting was uncoupled and the assembly was
given a forced-vibration test with. a mechanical
oscillator. Knowing the mass of the machinery,
it was a simple matter to deternline from the
resonant frequency, which was cle~,My evident on
the tape, the stiffness rate of the foundation. This
turned out to be higher than the original estimate.
Further verification was obtained on the trial trip,
where the longitudinal natural frequencies showed
up within one R P M of the values predicted from
this experimentally determined stiffness rate.
This experience is cited for two purposes:
(a) To record that an attempt tr~ calculate the
stiffness properties of a main unit foundation was
not an entire waste of time, in thi.s one instance
at least; and (b), to show that extra dividends in
stiffness can repay a conscious effort to integrate
the foundation with every usable element of
ship structure in its vicinity.
Attachment of Components to Foundations
Because of the myriad of possible shapes and
sizes of components, it would not be practical here
to discuss "typical" cases. There are, however,
some fundamental characteristics of attachments
which m a y be usefully explored.
Some years ago, nearly all components were
bolted to their supporting structures. With the

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


widespread use of welding, however, a change to

welded a t t a c h m e n t s has made some headway
although their full potentiality is still far from
being realized. In view of the savings in weight
and installation cost, it seems strange t h a t this
method is not more commonly used for certain
classes of equipment.
Of course, bolting still
m a y have the a d v a n t a g e where precise alignment
is a factor or when it is likely that the entire component will be unshipped and replaced at intervals.
At this writing, the N a v y has under advisement
an addition to its General Specifications which will
prescribe the character of welded a t t a c h m e n t s
where contractors m a y elect to use them. Although there is nothing in the present specifications to prohibit welding, all of the requirements
for a t t a c h m e n t s are based on bolting.
In the design of attachments, whether bolted
or welded, it is first necessary to establish the
magnitude, direction and points of application of
the loading to be transmitted to the foundation.
This m a y seem axiomatic, but occasionally a case
arises where an early definition of the problem by
the shipbuilder can save some grief b y pointing
out to the component vendor a design requirement
of which he is otherwise unaware, or vice versa.
In any case, the design of a t t a c h m e n t s is an area
where b o t h should work closely together.
Ordinarily, the foundation a t t a c h m e n t s will
feel some kind of bilateral loading, such as shear
due to transverse thrust combined with tension or
compression due to overturning moment. Under
these conditions it would seem advisable to determine the principal stresses and the m a x i m u m shear
stresses in bolts from a M o h r ' s circle analysis,
applying a suitable factor of safety on each.
Where the m o m e n t is large, as in the case of
switchboards and other vertical components, it
will p a y to dispose the bolting (or welding) pattern
in such a manner t h a t its section modulus is
greatest about the axis of the m a x i m u m expected
T h e shock requirements associated with naval
vessels usually govern the design of a t t a c h m e n t s in
t h a t class of work. If anything fails under shock,
it should not be the foundation attachment, since
the component could then become a missile
capable of inflicting injury on personnel and plant.
However, insurance against such a casualty can
be bought fairly inexpensively b y careful and
conservative design, which seems here very much
in order.
Fortunately, the well-known tendency of ductile
materials to show i m p r o v e m e n t in physical properties under impact loading is a hidden bonus if a
"static" design method is used. Experiments [15]

with SAE 1020 bolt material under shock indicate

a 30 percent ilnprovement over static yield
strength. I t was also a conclusion of this s t u d y
t h a t long bolts have better shock resistance in
tension if the shank portions are turned down
approximately to the root diameter of the threads.
The reason for this is t h a t plastic yielding is then
forced to occur in the long shank section, which b y
reason of its greater length can supply more
strain energy than the threaded portion.
Sometimes, as a result of physical limitations on
number and size of bolts, it becomes necessary to
consider high-strength bolt material. While this
m a y provide a perfectly good engineering solution,
the designer should have in mind the chances of
his scheme being aborted in the material control
organization and should take corresponding precautions. Also, during the life of the plant, the
component in question m a y be unshipped and replaced (with standard bolts) a number of times.
This is to say t h a t high-strength bolt material
should be specified for shipboard use only after
the most careful consideration.
Where a bolted a t t a c h m e n t is likely to be
subjected to severe vibration or is designed for a
sliding joint as for thermal expansion, it is good
practice to provide captive features to prevent
loosening. In the past such measures as cotter
pins, lock nuts, wires, peened ends and similar
mechanical devices have been employed for this
purpose. There is now oll the m a r k e t a viscous
fluid which can be applied to the threads of bolts
or studs and which hardens in the absence of air,
providing great resistance to backing off. This is
available in several grades of viscosity depending
upon the film shear strength desired.

1 "Shock Design of Shipboard Equipment,

D y n a m i c Design-Analysis Method," N A V S H I P S
2 General Specifications for Building Ships
of the U. S. N a v y .
3 Den Hartog, "Mechanical Vibrations,"
fourth edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company,
Inc., New York, N. ., 1956.
4 " H y d r o d y n a m i c Masses and H y d r o d y namic Moments of Inertia," David Taylor Model
Basin Translation No. 260, July 1956.
5 "A Guide for the Selection and Application
of Resilient 5lounts to Shipboard Equipment,"
D a v i d Taylor Model Basin Report 880, 1958.
6 Wright and Hagg, "Practical Calculation
and Control of Vibration Transmission Through
Resilient Mounts and Basic Foundation Structures," Bureau of Ships Index No. NS-713-212,
December 1959.

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

7 J . R . K a n e and R. T. McGoldrick, "Longitudinal Vibrations of Marine Propulsion Shafting

Systems," TRANS. S N A M E , vol. 57, 1949, pp.
8 Powell and Bassett, "Practical Aspects of
Torsional Vibration in Marine Geared-Turbine
Propulsion Units," TRANS. S N A M E , 1944.
9 R . T . McGoldriek, "Rudder-Excited Hull
Vibration on USS Forrest Sherman," TRANS.
S N A M E , vol. 67, 1959, pp. 341-385.
10 "Mechanical Shock in N a v a l Vessels,"
N A V S H I P S 250-660-26, 1946.
11 "A Guide for Design of Shock Resistant
N a v a l E q u i p m e n t , " N A V S H I P S 250-660-30,
12 Hollyer, "Direct Shock-Wave D a m a g e to
Merchant Ships from Non-contact Underwater
Explosions," H a m p t o n Roads Section, S N A M E ,
April 1959.
13 Wojeieszak, "Stress Analysis of the Junetion Between a Support Skirt and Pressure Vessel," A S M E Nuclear Engineering and Science
Conference, April 1959, published by Engineers'
Joint Council, New York, N. Y.
14 Den Hartog, "Advanced Strength of
Materials," McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.,
New York, N. Y., 1952.
15 Forkois, Conrad, and Vigness, "Properties
of Bolts Under Shock Loading," Society for Experimental Stress Analysis, 1952.
16 A. H. Keil, " T h e Resi)onse of Ships to
Underwater Explosions," TRANS. S N A M E , vol.
69, 1961, pp. 366-410.




Fig. 4

b e a m of uniform section and of length L, whose

bending deflection at the free end under the load
P will be the same as t h a t of the b e a m illustrated
in Fig. 4. Let the depth taper be: designated b y
a, so t h a t
a -


andd~ = d + a x

T h e inertia of the actual b e a m at a n y point,


[~, = t(d + ax) a~

and the m o m e n t at any point,
M~, = P x = E [ d'2y



F r o m (1) and (2) the differential equation for the

defected shape is

Appendix 1
Development of

d2y _

Beam" Concept for a

Tapered Cantilever


dx 2

The essence of tlfis concept is that, for any

cantilever b e a m of tapering section, there can be
found a fictitious b e a m of constant section and
equal length which will have the same bending
deflection at the free end under the same concentrated load. For the purpose at handl the fact
t h a t the shapes of the two deflection curves are
different is immaterial.
Since the types of such beams encountered in
machinery foundations are usually composite
structures consisting of webs and flanges, either
or b o t h of which m a y be tapered, it is convenient
to make use of one concept at a time and assemble
the results later.
Consider first a beam consisting of a platte web
only, which is inefficient b u t conceivable in practice, Fig. 4.
Problem: Find A, the d e p t h of a cantilever


E t ( d + ax) 3

Performing two successive integrations, and

solving for the constants of integration b y putting
d y / d x and y = 0 when x = L, leads to an expression for the deflection y. Putting x = 0 into
this, the deflection at the free end under the load
P turns out to be

E t ( D -- d) :~

(D-- d)(3D-- d)]





The end deflection of the fictitious b e a m of constant depth & is

(Yl) o -

4PL a

]~lA 3


Equating (Y)0 and (Yl)o and solving for &,

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations







=====~ ~



Fig. 5

(.Scc.-b,on sirnhar


A= I31oge(d)

3 ( D - d ) (23DD2- d ) ]

Fig. 6

Consider next a cantilever beam, Fig. 5, composed only of flanges, of constant area, and tapered
in depth in the same manner as in the previous
example. The flanges work together by fiat.
This of course is an abstraction but it is a useful
one for the purpose of this study.
Let the (constant) area of one flange be A and
let the depth taper be designated b y a, so that




dx = d + a x

B y a process exactly similar to that used in the

previous example,

(Yr)o -

A =

.3(D + d ) ( D - D


d) -- 6dlog,

Finally, consider a cantilever beam of constant

depth, Fig. 6, composed only of flanges which
taper in breadth. This, like the previous example, has no physical counterpart but is a useful
fiction. While the notation is slightly different
for this case, the approach is the same.
Let the breadth taper be designated by a, so


2PL 3

3EA A2

from which

Ad, 2

Co Fit. 5)



P~ = E r x ~,d~


dey _
dx 2
E A ( d + ax) 2


dx 2

dx = d + a x

Using the same technique as before,

5 = d~tH~"

The bending deflection of the illustrated beam

at the free end is

P x = E I ~ dx-

(l 4)

d2y _
dx 2
EtH2(d -Fax)


2PL 3
(y) o -

E A (D -- d) a


-F (D -- d)(DD -4-d) 1

and for the fictitious beam it is




The bending deflection of the illustrated beam

at the free end is
Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

the fictitious cantilever, of constant section and

of length equal to the length of the real beam, it
will be substantially the same as the free-end
deflection of the real b e a m under a concentrated
load applied at this point.







~IG. 5,


_~ '~2.



Relations Between Natural Frequency and Shock

Design Number for Elementary Foundation Types



EQ (18)

OF- $~oc~




Fig. 8


Fig. 7

Column Mounting (Fig. 8)

2PL 3
(y)o = EtH2(D _ d) 3


I d 2 l o g ~ ( D ) 4- ( D - - d ) ( D 2 - - 3 d ) ]


And for the fictitious b e a m it is

(Yl)o --

2PL 3


F r o m which



d) 3


weight of mounted unit

shock design number
sectional area of column
length of column as shown in Fig. 8
yield stress of column material
modulus of elasticity
F . = natural frequency of system in direction
of shock
k = stiffness constant of column

N =
A =
L =
E =

In an "ideal" foundation,

d2 l g ~ ( d ) l


Each of the results (6), (12) and (1S) is plotted
in Fig. 7. For tapered cantilevers of all usual
proportions, and without violating the limits of
accuracy wanted in the solution of the problem at
hand, a n y of these rather cumbersome expressions
m a y be represented b y the linear function shown
on the diagram, whose equation is
A = 0.7D -t- 0.3d



- -

assuming column



where q is slightly greater t h a n uni.ty

F, =

-~--. ~- ,


Replacing A in equation (21) b y its value from

equation (20), the weight drops out and

1 {NEg'y/'
F,, = ~ \ ~ /


A = d e p t h (or flange breadth) of a fictitious

cantilever b e a m
D = same p r o p e r t y of real cantilever at
built-in end
d = same p r o p e r t y of real cantilever at free

Putting everything into pound-inch-second units

and assuming mild steel, the natural frequency in
cycles per second is

When the free-end deflection is calculated for

This puts a numerical value on the product of

F, = 90

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

, approx



intuitive reasoning, which would predict increasing difficulty in staying above a given natural
frequency with :

Lower shock design numbers.

Longer load paths.

For the case pictured, however, one would

seldom expect to be in difficulty; the lowest
possible 5DN is 6, and the highest designed
natural frequency, following the criterion of the
section, "Vibration of Ship Structures," would
nearly always be under 50. Equation (2:3) says
t h a t even in this extreme combination, foundation
lengths up to 20 in. are acceptable. Further, in
the event t h a t a columnar support proves too
stiff under shock loading, it is theoretically possible to design deliberately for buckling in this

Cantilever Mounting (Fig. 9)

cal section in a form similar to (23)

f ' , , = 110 ( N ) I / : ( D ) 1/2


Experimenting with different values of D/L

(the depth to length ratio of the cantilever) leads
to the conclusion t h a t v e r y short, s t u b b y cantilevers will be necessary to achieve a suitable
balance between shock and vibration requirements at the lower end of the SDN scale: i.e.,
for h e a v y components. The D in equation
(28) m a y be taken as the equivalent depth in the
case of a tapered cantilever, as developed in
Appendix 1.

Beam Mounting
T h e two cases illustrated will bracket m a n y of
the support systems to be found in practice. By
similar processes it can be verified t h a t in the case
of a component at mid-span of a simply-supported
beam of length L,


oF s n o o t

and at mid-span of a fixed-ended beam,

Fig. 9
In addition to the symbols used previously, let
= inertia of cantilever
c = distance from neutral axis to extreme fiber
By processes similar to those of the previous

1 (k'y/'~



1 (3EIw)V2


Replacing I in equation (25) b y its value from

(24), the weight again drops out and

1 (3NEgc~ 1/'
F~ = ~ \ ~ /


An interesting and convenient property of these

relationships is that, provided the b e a m is
symmetrical, the geometry of its cross section
does not appear in any of them. Thus, the
designer can estimate the suitability of proposed
foundations b y a quick look at length, transverse
dimension, and shock design number only.
This entire analysis, of course, rests on the
assumption t h a t the foundation is so designed
t h a t it will go into yield just before it sees the
prescribed value of shock loading, NW. Once
this has been done, equations (23), (28), (29)
and (30) m a y limit the ability to achieve at the
same time a satisfactory natural frequency. If
an impasse is reached, it would seem t h a t the
vibration aspect should be given priority over
shock requirements for nonvital equipment. For
vital equipment, the conventional approach m a y
have to be discarded in favor of unusual measures
such as flexible mounts.


and numerically,
F~ = 156



F r o m which it is seen t h a t the transverse dimension of the cantilever is also significant.
Equation (27) can be rewritten for a symmetri740

Inertia Forces Due to Ship Motions in a S e a w a y

In Fig. 10, the center of oscillation: At static

waterline for small angles of roll, approaches center of gravity of ship for large angles. For pitching, at center of flotation.

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

/ 150
- - L~"



S T I F: !: E bl ~.~.



Fig. 10


DI/k G ~ A ~

Fig. 11


TR = rolling period for a complete cycle, port to starboard

and back to port again, sec
OR = nmximum inclination reached by ship, measured on
one side of vertical, deg
x = distance of component off eenterline of ship, ft
y = distance of conlpol]ent above or below assumed
center of oscillation, ft
W = weight of component, lb
R = maximum vector inertia force, lb
H = maximum horizontal inertia force, lb
V = maximum vertical inertia force, lb
g = acceleration of gravity, 32.2 feet/see -~
I t is c o n v e n i e n t for, this case to t h i n k of t h e
rolling m o t i o n as a v i b r a t i o n whose "circular
f r e q u e n c y " is 27r/T~. T h e m a x i n m m a n g u l a r
acceleration will t h e n be the single a m p l i t u d e in
r a d i a n s t i m e s t h e square of circular frequency, or
7r 47K-'
0~ X - - - IS() Tte 2
a n d J~, the vector i n e r t i a force, will be the nmss of
the c o m p o n e n t times linear acceleration :

R = lJ~ X

O~ 4~r 3 (x'-' + y~.)v..,

180 TR ~

where y is as before b u t x now has the m e a n i n g of

the l o n g i t u d i n a l distance from the center of oscillation.
I n this case H is directed l o n g i t u d i n a l l y b u t V
is vertical as before. H will be small except a t
high elevations (gun directors, m a s t h e a d radars,
a n d so on) a n d V will be small except for u n i t s at
considerable distances from the center of p i t c h i n g
oscillation, which is very near the l o n g i t u d i n a l
center of flotation in the w a t e r plane.
W h e r e periods a n d a m p l i t u d e s are n o t specified,
the former can be e s t i m a t e d from t h e g e o m e t r y
a n d loading c o n d i t i o n of the ship b u t the l a t t e r
are u s u a l l y t a k e n a r b i t r a r i l y . T h i r t y degrees of
roll and five degrees of p i t c h are c o m m o n l y assigned as l i m i t i n g values on the supposition t h a t
the m a s t e r would be sufficiently concerned b y
t h a t s t a t e of affairs to alter course or take other
action to relieve his ship.
T h e f u n d a m e n t a l expression for the n a t u r a l
period of a n g u l a r m o t i o n is



(a.,~i.) v,

0.0214WOR 0 7 + y~),/~
~R 2

R e s o l v i n g this force into its c o m p o n e n t s parallel

to the p r i n c i p a l planes of t h e ship,
H -

0.0214W0ey a n d K lit["


T h e d e r i v a t i o n of i n e r t i a forces due to p i t c h i n g
is exactly similar; if T a n d Op represent, respectively, the full period of p i t c h in seconds and the
single a m p l i t u d e of p i t c h in degrees,
f[ = ().l)214WO,y a n d K = (LO214I,VORx

T p"

"F . ~

where T is the full period in seconds, k is the radius of g y r a t i o n a n d G M is m e t a c e n t r i c height,

b o t h in feet; these q u a n t i t i e s r e l a t i n g to r o t a t i o n
a b o u t a t r a n s v e r s e or l o n g i t u d i n a l axis as the case
m a y be.
F o r ships of n o r m a l form a n d p r o p o r t i o n s the
t r a n s v e r s e r a d i u s of g y r a t i o n is n e v e r far from 40
p e r c e n t of the beam, so t h a t for rolling m o t i o n s

(G_/I/I) ,/~ approx

T h e m a x i m u m GA,[ for a n y of the a n t i c i p a t e d load-

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


ing conditions should be used, and this is usually

known by the time foundation design is under
way. In cargo vessels and tankers maximum
Gel,/ usually occurs in light condition, while
passenger liners and c o m b a t a n t naval vessels
experience higher values with full liquids on board.
Because the distribution of load over the length
of a ship is subject to somewhat greater variation
than over its width, the radius of gyration in this
direction is less of a constant. The calculation
of this quantity is tedious and will hardly be warranted b y the needs of foundation design alone.
Accordingly, the pitching period is usually derived from comparisons with similar ships of
known periods, or if a quick and conservative
estimate is wanted, one half the rolling period m a y
be taken.

Since w and e are small compared to h in the

diagram, the bending m o m e n t in the unstiffened
section is virtually constant over the length A/3
and the elastic curve of this section approaches a
circular arc, the slope of the tangent at B approaching e/h. if the m o m e n t in A B on account
of the deformation e is AJ, then
e/h = M - w / E I and 21,/ = e E [ / w h
and we have for the bending stress in a unit strip
of AI3 on account of the deformation e:
Mc/_,r = e E t / 2 w h
The moment imposed oi1 the same unit strip
by the eccentric unit loading, P, is P e and the
corresponding stress is


J)ec/I -


Stiffened Flex Plate

An exact analysis of stresses in the flex plate

shown in Fig. 11 would be tedious and would
still rest on assumptions such as fit of bolts, degree
of rotation of flanges, and so on. The load and
deflection diagram idealizes the case for the purpose of an approximate solution and makes the
following broad assmnptions, which are on opposite sides of the t r u t h and so tend to neutralize
each other :
(a) All of the bending deflection takes place
in the unstiffened strip at the bottom.
(b) The bolting flange at the top is free to rotate.

The column stress due to P is P / t , and combining all these terms, the maximum stress in the
bent portion A B is
e E t / 2 w h -t- dPe q_ P_


total thermalmovement, in.

modulus of elasticity, psi
thickness of flex plate, in.
width of unstiffened portion, in.
height of flex plate, in.
vertical unit loading on flex plate, lb/in.

L. K. Losee, a Visitor: At the Bureau of Ships we
are currently making an intensive study of foundations and how their design influences the resistance of a ship to the effects of underwater
M a n y ship structures can hardly be said to be
designed at all. To design against shock, then,
requires first the relationships between loads and
stresses be determined by some reasonably reliable analytical procedure. Once stress calculations replace sheer guesswork as a basis for scantlings, it is relatively easy to proceed from static
to dynamic loads. For example, if a step velocity
change is used as a measure of the loading, within
a Scientific and Research Section (Code 442), Bureau
of Ships, Washington, D. C.

a given range of frequencies, the internal and

external energies can be equated. The former,
under elastic conditions, is proportional to stress
times strain, and hence to stress squared. I t
is necessary, therefore, to know only the distribution of stresses under loadings in the various directions. Such a distribution must usually be known
or assumed in order to make the static stress calculation, so this kind of dynamic loading requires
little additional work.
Unfortunately, the most elementary stress calculation often presents formidable obstacles.
Foundations especially have annoying tendencies
to be unsymmetrical and atypical. Their design
defies attack by handbook formulas and highspeed computers alike.
Possibly the most powerful weapon in the

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

foundation designers' arsenal is limit design.

Limit design obviates m a n y of the difficulties
associated with the determination of stresses in
a highly redundant structure. And although
shock loadings m a y involve reversals of direction
of the inertia forces, the limit loads are probably
better measures of shock resistance than are loads
based on purely elastic conditions.
Within the limits of shock intensity under
which it is feasible to avoid any considerable deformation of the fotmdation, the designer is concerned with making his structure strong enough
or resilient enough. (Such limits will be influenced greatly by tile need for preserving alignment of the equipment supported.) Beyond
those limits, he is very properly concerned, as the
author indicates, with avoiding excessive strength.
Under extreme conditions something has to give.
I t is important that the weakest link in the chain
be one which can deform a large a m o u n t without
disastrous results. The formation of a plastic
hinge in a beam is greatly preferable to reaching
yield stress in a bolt. The beam has a vast reserve of plastic energy. If it is not too strong, it
limits the loads on more vulnerable parts.
In considering loads from ship motion, the author suggests that the pitching period be taken
about half the rolling period. A more rational
formula which requires only readily available data
Natural period of pitch (see)
= 0..5

disolacement (tons)
tons per inch innnersion

A more precise formula would include the ratio

of the radii of gyration of mass and water-plane
area, but this is a refinement hardly worth making, unless by adjusting the coefficient to reflect
measured periods on similar ships. In any case,
loads based on simple harmonic pitching motion
cannot be considered conservative. The possibility of slamming must not be forgotten. In
comparison with shock loadings from underwater
explosions, all ship motion forces generally pale
into insignificance.
W. I. H. Budd, Member:
It is surprising that a
general paper on the subject of foundation design,
which is important to satisfactory operation of
marine power plants, has not been published previous!y. The author's paper is a wLluable contribntion to fill this gap.
The author's reference to the structural designer, who is presented with a machinery arrangement that shows the plant components floating in
space and the designer faced with the responsibility of tying these objects to the most suitable

structure, should not give the reader an impression that machinery location is accomplished without consideration of foundation problems. Structural design must receive proper consideration
simultaneously with shaft lines, heads, piping,
and so on, so that the final arrangement will
represent the optinmrn combination and compromise of all factors.
In connection with the use of a variable-frequency oscillator to induce vibration, it may be
well to caution that 1he point of application of
the excitation will affect the performance of
complex structures and, therefore, requires
considerable thought and judgment to obtain
realistic results.
The calculation methods referred to in reference
[5] of the paper have some limitation in that
they assume planes of vibrational sym.metry which
do not always exist in actual practice. This
assumption has been made in order to perform the
calculations manually. Design organizations active in this field use a more general approach with
the aid of electronic computers.
The author states that if bearing,; nlust withstand shock, they will probably not be affected
adversely by gyroscopic forces which are usually
of lower magnitude. Possibly some consideration
should be given to the time intervals involved.
Shock loadings are of extremely short duration.
They will probably not cause loss of hTdrodynamic
film lubrication. The longer loading times associated with gyroscopic forces m a y result in
loss of the oil film for suflhcient time to cause
damage or failure in some borderline cases.
The author mentions that the aspect of the
stiffness-critical R P M curve is rather fiat for the
fundamental mode. A recent case showed 10
percent change in critical R P M for a 50 percent
change in stiffness. The relationship of spring
constants and masses for this particular system
appeared to result in a steeper slope than is norreal. Although in m a n y cases, this steeper slope
would not be significant, the subject design was
close to the acceptable limit and failure to account properly for the actual sti:einess of the
foundation was of concern.
The author states that it is not customary to
soften a foundation in an effort to reduce the
critical frequency. In addition to the reasons
mentioned by the author, it will generally be
found that an increase in the flexibility of the
foundation will result in an increased amplitude
of vibration at the main unit.
Appendix 4 furnishes information in connection
with a stiffened flex-plate arrangement. This
arrangement has often been used when the length
is large relative to the deflection. In cases where

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


the length is short relative to the deflection, the

stiffener has been snipped at the top as well as at
the bottom. This arrangement is often used at
one end of a high-pressure turbine. T h e stress
for such an arrangement, assuming an unstiffened
length w at top and bottom, m a y be found b y
multiplying the bending stress of a completely
unstiffened plate;

by a factor K having the following values :

h -




W. E. Pray, Member: T h e author states t h a t the

structural designer is usually presented with an
arrangement t h a t has components floating in
space. However, the piping designer, who locates the machinery, is concerned with how equipm e n t is going to be supported. M a n y times,
when he is making preliminary layouts, he m u s t
develop design concepts of the structure t h a t will
support .the components. Granted, "rule-oft h u m b " methods and experience have been the
basis for his designs but, m a n y times, the original
configuration, which ties into the existing structure, closely approximates the final foundations.
As more emphasis is placed or rational and analytical approaches to foundation design, the piping designer m u s t be more aware of the static and
dynamic problems confronting the structural engineer and to consider them when locating equipm e n t and piping. This paper makes available
to the piping designer information developed b y
structural specialists which will enable him to
take a more rational approach.
Seeing t h a t the structural design of foundations
has been so adequately covered in this paper some
of the other aspects of good foundations should
be discussed.
~.As the author states, there has been a rapid
evolution of power plants and equipment.
Equally i m p o r t a n t are the requirements t h a t go
with these power plants. T h e potential to
operate for long periods at full power has emphasized the importance of reliability. To implement this reliability, the maintenance and
repair of equipment m u s t also be considered in the
design of machinery foundations. T h e y must
be designed for accessibility to vital parts of equipm e n t and provisions made for the removal of these
parts, under all sea conditions, without disturbing

other equipment or piping systems. These

requirements will present complex problems if the
foundation is designed for dynamic forces and
consideration is given to saving of weight and
T h e increased demand for remote operation of
valves and equipment has necessitated an increase in small regulating equipment, such as,
solenoid valves, differential pressure transmitters
and water-level indicators. The mounting of
these units is as i m p o r t a n t as the equipment they
serve. If these small units are located any distance from the ship's structure and foundations
are designed to shock-design numbers, the supporting members become h e a v y and space-consuming. The author's suggestion of a compromise and designing the supports to yield before
the units become missiles is well taken. Equipment such as pressure transmitters are very
sensitive. T h e y should be mounted on rigid
machined surfaces so t h a t they are not put out of
alignment when bolted-up. Small units such as
these deserve more attention from the structural
Another small unit t h a t n m s t be considered
as a structural support is the lifting pad. These
units probably cause more rework than any other
item in the ship. T h e y are usually scheduled for
installation early in construction because of their
location and to allow for the insulation of the
underside of decks. As piping, ventilation, and
wireways are installed, direct leads between pad
and units are obstructed and the pads have to be
relocated. A possible answer to this problem is
the development of hanger strips instead of single
pads. These strips would provide a series of
a t t a c h m e n t s which would give alternate locations
compared to one location with a single pad.
T h e y should be designed with large factors of
safety and in some eases welds should be nondestructively tested.
Supports for small piping and wireways, called
"chair hangers," present problems when they have
to be installed after insulation is in place. The
square "nelson stud" was developed to provide a
good welding surface to support pipe and cable
hangers under insulated decks. However, orientation of square studs is difl~eult and hanger installations have lost their professional look.
A possible solution is the return to the round stud
and stamping the chair hanger extensions to a
semi-circular shape.
More consideration should be given to combining foundations. F r o m observation, it is
apparent t h a t in m a n y instances adjacent foundations have been developed as single problems
where they could have been combined into one

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations

unit. Foundations t h a t are added late in plan

development, such as piping anchor supports,
should be factored into existing foundations
wherever possible. Granted, this will create
structural problems; however, time spent in the
design stage will provide savings in weight and
space and improve the esthetics of shipboard
Structural considerations for the main machinery units are v e r y well covered. The piping designer, however, has m a n y problems t h a t should
be discussed. Here again, space limitations have
crowded the lube-oil pumps, the main circulating
water pump, and the main machinery units into
a complex t h a t leaves little room for the necessary valves and piping. Cooperation b y the
structural and piping designers is m a n d a t o r y to
provide adequate foundation strength and the
necessary access for installation, operation, and
maintenance. Some design activities develop
full-size mock-ups in this area to resolve installation problems.
Usually, the reduction-gear
foundation provides a volume for the lubricating
oil. Access into this sump is nlost important for
inspection, cleaning, and repairs. Consideration
should be given to providing definite flow paths for
the oil from the various drain lines to the lube-oilp u m p suctions. These paths should be circuitous
to increase the "dwell" time and allow any entrained air to be liberated, thus avoiding cavitation in p u m p suctions. Limber holes should be
provided to allow flow from all points to purifier
suction to avoid pockets of emulsified oil. Some
consideration should be given to incorporating
large drain lines into the basic structure to provide
adequate slope under roll conditions and save
space, although this might not be possible with an
athwartship condenser. Some high pressure-high
t e m p e r a t u r e industrial installations have run oil
supply lines under structural drain trunks to save
space and to minimize the possibility of spraying
oil on hot surfaces.
T h e author points out t h a t the use of digital
computers has simplified the analysis of stress
in large piping. This has made available accurate
forces and m o v e m e n t s for the design of anchor
supports and sway braces. Critical analysis is
also being m a d e of small piping. Supporting
of these lines, which in the past has been left to
the installing trades m u s t have the attention of
the engineers. Special chair-type hangers ~nust
be designed to support the weight of pipe and
liquid, to prevent vibration, b u t to allow limited
m o v e m e n t to avoid stress concentrations
From these comments, the structural engineer
should be aware t h a t small equipment will need
more attention, with emphasis placed on reliabil-

ity, ease of operation and maintenance of equipment, and the saving of weight and space. To
paraphrase an old expression, "satisfactory ship
arrangements are only as good as their foundation."

B. Siegel, Member: Vibration of ship structure,

when it occurs, is sometimes, at first glance, assigned to unbalance in machinery, or to weakness
in machinery scantlings.
Therefore, to the
machinery designer it appears praiseworthy t h a t
this paper discusses the stiffness of the foundation necessary to avoid resonances.
I t has been demonstrated, and with several
assumptions, calculated, that for existing designs,
including submarines, the natural frequency of
main turbine and gear structures does not exceed
30 cps. I t appears t h a t stiffer designs are not obtainable or feasible. In fact, the majority of
foundations are resouant at less than 20 to 25
cps. I t is then a p p a r e n t t h a t even the fundamental of propeller-blade frequency could excite
foundations, on some ships.
I t has been the recommendation of the writer's
c o m p a n y for a number of years t h a t propulsion
turbine support beams (HP girders or L P turbine
beams or condenser.,; which support turbines)
should, as a maximmn, deflect no more than 0.0l I)
in. under static load. One reason for this criterion
is to obtain a reasonably high natural frequency of
these units, assuming the foundaLion is also
reasonably stiff.
The author describes well the advantages of the
" h u n g " condenser over the supported turbine.
The writer's c o m p a n y has built m a n y turbines for
both arrangements.
For most conventional
athwartship condenser designs, it reec,mmends the
supported turbine. To the writer's knowledge,
longitudinal condensers always support the turbine.
After World War II, it became evident t h a t
some difficulties were encountered in service with
hung condensers owing to improper setting of
the then widely used sway braces and similar
devices, i t also became apparent tkLat, as larger
powers were used, the condenser weights to be
c~/rried by turbines would and did increase more
quickly than the size (and, therefore, strength)
of the turbines since, the latter supported the
weight from the simple exhaust flange. The
author's and the writer's companies were deeply
involved in a design which evolved and resulted
in shifting the center of gravity of tile hung condenser aft closer to the. ship's beams and providing
an additional flexible support from the condenser
shell to the L P turbine beams.
Although this change is a great stride, it did

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


not relieve the turbine (a high-efficiency, highspeed, close-clearance machine subject to large
thermal swings) from the problem of supporting
a dead load of up to 3 times its own weight noranally and lnuch more during various transients.
For instance, it is not uncommon, in present
large ships to encounter 200,()00 lb or heavier
condensers working in conjunction with a 65,000lb turbine. I t appears quite reasonable to provide
a very large static structure with the relatively
small changes necessary to support a turbine.
I t is our feeling, borne out b y very successful
operation of m a n y m e r c h a n t and N a v y ships t h a t
the thermal m o v e m e n t s mentioned b y the author
are easily compensated for in alignment and t h a t
sufficient stiffness is relatively easily provided in
the supported turbine design. Further, the supported condenser design permits lower foundation
supports, closer to the vertical center of gravity of
the combined turbine-condenser unit.
Although it is agreed t h a t the high-strength bolt
and structural materials should be used with
discretion, it appears t h a t wider use could be
made of them since, in m a n y cases, a better design
and, sometimes, a reduction in cost could result.
The control of replacement bolts for these applications should be as careful, and should be no
more difficult than for high-temperature steam
Discussion Al:stracts
In addition to the foregoing discussions, which
were submitted in advance and read at the meeting, there were several verbal discussions, which
are abstracted as follows :
C. L. Wright, Member, referred to the Bureau of
Ships program for analytical design of foundations
under shock loading, noting t h a t the Bureau intended to establish a project for extensive study
of the subject including full-scale trials.
added t h a t recent studies of discrepancies between
actual displacements of ships and estimated
weights have indicated t h a t foundations are contributing far more to the total weight of the ship
than was realized.
H. G a l l e , 4 Visitor, presented a composite discussion representing his comments and those of his
associates. While conceding t h a t the analytical
approach to foundation design is not only desirable
but necessary i.n submarine practice, he pointed
out t h a t the designer is oKen so circumscribed, b y
such factors as potential interferences and lack of
suitable p r i m a r y structure in the immediate
vicinity of the foundation, t h a t m a n y compromises
4 Portsmouth


Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth,

N . I-I.

with ideal theory have to be accepted. He endorsed the preference stated in the paper for flex
plates over sliding mounts in submarines for an
additional reason; namely, t h a t sliding connections have been known to squeak, which is
undesirabIe from the point of view of noise emission. He noted an exception to the rule t h a t foundations are hardly ever built of anything but
mild steel, stating t h a t high-tensile alloy has been
used for certain flexing applications in submarines
where thermal stresses are high.
F. W. Wood, Associate Member, added to the list
of static loadings experienced by foundations in
submarines the following: (a) Forces due to
deformation of the hull under submergence pressure, noting t h a t the transverse bulkheads are
about the only elements of submarine structure
which retain their shape and location, and (5)
axial thrust on the line shafting due to the same
cause. He cautioned against the use of shock
mounts as a cure-all for a potentially resonant
condition, noting t h a t in some cases the shock
input to the component can conceivably increase
over t h a t which would be experienced in a rigid
mounting system.
S. Curtis Powell, Member, smnmarized the various approaches to the shock problem which are
now being studied and emphasized that, regardless
of the forms of a t t a c k being advanced b y the
separate activities concerned, all are attempting
to describe the same phenomenon. He felt t h a t
perhaps the fundamental problem was being magnified b y such duplication of effort.
E. H. McCallig, Member, deplored the circumstances which limited the author to describing
certain well-known types of apparatus only as
"cylindrical components." He considered this an
outstanding example of a policy which, b y isolating certain activities from our profession,
worked to the detriment of all. He noted that
digital computers could hardly be justified b y the
savings in piping length coming from use of a
machine program, and considered t h a t the value
of such eompnters was being over-rated in some
Author's Closure
The volume and quality of the discussion has
fully justified the hope, expressed early in the
paper, t h a t we would hear from others who have
had experience in some of the specialized problems which could only be hinted at in a paper of
this tyFe. The author's thanks go to each and

Design of Marine Machinery Fcun:lations

every one who took the time to contribute his

As to the timeliness of this paper, the author
was completely and blissfully unaware until a few
weeks ago t h a t the Bureau of Ships was mounting
a formidable program for improvement of foundation criteria, specifically in the area of shock
design. Mr. Losee modestly omitted to mention
that he has been a heavy contributor to this
program. The restllt has been an extremely
interesting and informative design data sheet
which is now being circulated to ship-design
activities for comment. I feel sure that those of
us who are concerned with shock design will want
to add it to the bibliography. Its title is "Design
of Foundations to R e g s t Shock Loadings,"
number DDS-9110-7. Along the same lines, Dr.
Keil's paper, reference [16] will be found helpful.
The press of events diq not permit a careful study
of this paper for application to the present one,
so a sharp eye will notice that it appears only as
the last item in the bibliography.
The major part of Mr. Losee's discussiou is
concerned with behavior of the foundatiol~ material beyond the elastic limit, -which is something
that most designers ordinarily shy away from if
they think of it at all. Nevertheless, if we are
going to fulfill the concept of the foundation as a
mechanical fuse, we shall have to enter this dark
territory, and Mr. Losee's work lights a path.
I t would appear that the effect of limit design on
the cantilever and beam relations developed in
Appendix 2 is to make a given beam effectively
stronger, but no stiffer, so that all the numerical
coet~eients will decrease. On the surface this
looks like a further handicap in finding a suitable
compromise between shock and vibration resistance, but an offsetting advantage is the energy
absorption represented by the plastic flow.
Mr. Losee's suggested formula for the period of
pitch is indeed more rational than the simple
approach suggested in the paper, but looks like a
heaving period with a nmnerical coefficient which
includes a mass of entrained water somewhat
greater than the displacement. The point is not
worth any further laboring, however, since pitching is unlikely ever to be a problem in foundation
I answer Mr. Budd and Mr. Pray together.
They both make the point that power-plant
engineers, as well as structural anal-vsts, customarily give thought to foundations when
arranging machinery and piping. I have known
both men for more years than they would wish to
have mentioned and am sure that neither of them
has ever been personally guilty of ignoring structural problems in the plaeew, ent of components.

My description of machinery "floatirLg in space"

was a gravity-defying metaphor, used without
qualification to describe an extreme situation
which is sometimes faced even in the best-managed design oflSces.
I agree with all of Mr. Budd's comments and
adnfit to some degree of oversimplification of the
section on gyroscopic loading. The intent of this
section was merely to suggest that one should
not follow blindly any traditional approach if a
rational look at the problem offers a chance of
im provement.
Both of these discussers have helped to fill out
the paper from the plant engineer's viewpoint,
where it was a little bit light as a result of having
been written by a hull man, and their contributions are much apt;reeiated.
Mr. Pray reminds us of something too often
overlooked; namely, that the mere size of an
object is not necessarily a measure of the care
that should be taken in its placement and support.
The plant m a y be just as dead, from shock failure
of a little black box, as from a mait:c propulsion
unit casualty.
The subject of pipe hangers is a special case
which requires examination both from static
(thermal) and dynamic (vibration) loading. The
locations and stiffness characteristics of such
hangers must nearly always be a compromise
between the conflicting requirements of piping
flexibility and the suppression of vibration.
Another paper could ahnost be written on this
subject alone, and it is hoped that this meeting
has helped to stinmlate interest in this sometimes
neglected area.
Mr. Siegel's comments, as do those of Mr. Budd
and Mr. Pray, afford a view of the foundation
from the machinery designer's eye, which is
necessary to complete the picture.
The numbers offered by Mr. Siegel for natural
frequencies of large masses such as turbines and
gears on their support structures, are in complete
a ~ e e m e n t with the author's experience. This
much is conceded in the paper, with the suggestion
that some means of damping be cousidered for the
purpose of reducing resonant amplitudes. In the
case of one heavy mass recently installed in a
large vessel, the low-frequency problem was
recognized at an early stage of the de.qgn, but the
assembly defied all efforts to raise the fundamental
frequency above 2II cps. A damping device was
considered, but was not used because time did not
allow a developmental program.
The criterion of I)./)lt3 in. maximum allowable
static deflection for turbine and cortdenser supports seems reasonable in light of the fact that this
can be translated into a natural frequency of 1S811

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations


cpm or about 31.3 cps, which should be proof

against most propeller-excited vibrations.
The brief review of this discusser's position on
L P turbine and condenser support is interesting
and merits consideration. When the paper was
being prepared, the author and others who helped
him were fully aware t h a t this was a controversial
topic. T h e variety of opinions held on this subject
almost indicates t h a t a colloquium, including
machinery and structural representatives from
various activities, would be a useful means of
defining objectives and solutions in this area.
Mr. Wright's reinforcement of Mr. Losee's
interest, and t h a t of the Bureau of Ships, on the
subject of foundation design is encouraging to the
author. Perhaps the discovery of a weight problem associated with foundations was in part
responsible for the a t t e m p t to refine their design.
There is little doubt t h a t closer attention to design
would produce weight-saving dividends in this
area as it has in m a n y others.
Mr. Galle's and Mr. Wood's discussions are
valuable additions in t h a t they reveal some of the
specialized problems encountered in submarine
practice. This is an area where the author had
little but hearsay evidence to work on, and such
contributions are appreciated in view of the fact


t h a t the author's c o m p a n y is now embarked upon

a submarine building job which will require an
extensive learning process.
Mr. Powell's comments on any paper are always
illuminating and these were no exception. The
author recognizes and agrees t h a t the separate
paths being followed by shock analysts lead, or
should lead, to similar design concepts. This is
not to say, however, t h a t the value of any given
approach should be discounted.
I t is quite
probable t h a t we shall hear more, rather than
less, of shock design in future naval applications,
as evidenced b y the N a v y ' s current policy of
conducting full-scale shock trials on new vessels at
considerable expense.
Mr. McCallig points the finger at a situation
which is a source of distress to m a n y in the engineering professions. While admitting the need
for certain security restrictions, one can still see
m a n y areas where a free exchange of information
and ideas would be an advantage far outweighing
the real or fancied risk of disclosure to unauthorized persons.
As to digital computers, the author's reference
to their use in piping design problems presupposed
that they would already be available in a large
design activity for other reasons.

Design of Marine Machinery Foundations