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Foundation Design Philosophy for

Equipment on Skid
In this page I will talk about the foundation design philosophy for Equipment
on skid. These equipment are static in nature and are resting on Channel
section or Wide beam section. A very simple analysis and design is required
to produce a Foundation for equipment on skid. You need to follow the
following steps to complete the foundation design:
Step-1 : Review of Equipment Drawing (Vendor Equipment Drawing)
Plan dimension of Equipment base frame
Height of Equipment
Anchor bolt location, size and embedment depth
Empty weight of Equipment (De)
Operating weight of equipment (Do)
Location of center of gravity both vertically and horizontally
Step-2 : Verification of foundation location, elevation and external fittings loads
You need to review Plot plan, Equipment location drawings and 3 -D Models
and check whether you have all the following information:
Verify the area available for foundation.
Verify Foundation location and Elevation
Pipe supports and Nozzle loads on Equipment (Dp)

Location and size of Platforms around the Equipment, if any


Locations of underground pipes
Electrical and Instrument duct banks
Locations and extent of adjacent foundations
Verify the location and extent of new/existing foundations not shown
in 3D model or plot plan.
Step-3 : Description of Foundation Loads:
Please follow this section to understand the different loads on foundation:
Equipment Empty weight : The empty weight is the in-place weight of the Equipment,
including the fabricated weight of the equipment, plus the weight of internals, piping and
insulation, but excluding the weight of fluids or products which will be contained in the
equipment during operation.

Equipment Operating weight :


Fluid inside the Equipment

Equipment Empty weight (De2) + Weight of

Pipe supports and Nozzle loads on Equipment (Dp): Please Coordinate with the
Pipe Stress Group for determination of nozzle loads and loads due to pipe supports
attached to the Equipment.

Wind Shear and Moment: Most of the time you will not find this load data in
vendor drawings. You need to calculate this load based on project design basis.
During wind load calculation, you need to consider the pipes and platforms
attached with the equipment.
Seismic Shear and Moment (if the Project site is at Seismic zone): Most of the
time you will not find this load data in vendor drawings. You need to calculate

this load based on project design basis. During seismic load calculation, you
need to consider the pipes and platforms attached with the equipment.
Step-4 : Block Sizing Criteria:
Concrete foundation block supporting equipment, shall be sized according to the
following criteria:
Face-to-face Block size shall be the larger of the following:
(a)

Bolt center line distance + 200mm

(b)

Bolt center line distance+ 8 x bolt diameters

(c)

Bolt center line distance + sleeve diameter + 150mm

(d)

Out to out dimension of skid + 100mm each side

(e)

Bolt center line distance + 2 x (minimum bolt edge distance)

It is desirable to make the pedestal deep enough to contain the anchor


bolts.

Step-5 : Anchor Bolt Check:


Design of anchor bolts shall be based on the following considerations. Corrosion
allowance should be considered when required by the project design criteria.
Tension Check:
The maximum tension force in the anchor bolts (Tmax) may be calculated
according with following formula:

Tmax = M / (Nb x BCD) (Equipment weight) / Nb


Where, M = total maximum moment on foundation due to wind or seismic
BCD = Bolt center line distance
Nb = no. of anchor bolt
Shear Check:
When anchor bolts are utilized to resist shear, the unit shear per bolt shall be
calculated as follows:

Vmax = V / Nb

where, V = total shear force on anchor bolt.

When oversized anchor bolt holes are provided in the vessel base plates or
when anchor bolt sleeves that are not grout-filled are used, anchor bolts should
be designed to resist tension only.
Frictional resistance to shear between the equipment skid and the concrete or
grouted bearing surface shall be utilized to resist shears induced by wind or by
other static loads. Frictional resistance shall not be employed to resist shear
induced by seismic loads. For seismic-induced shear, adequate mechanical
means shall be provided to resist horizontal shear, either by means of properly
detailed anchor bolt / bolt hole arrangements or through a combination of
anchor bolts, shear lugs, or other anchorage devices. The static coefficient of
friction between steel and concrete or between steel and cementitious grout
shall be considered as 0.4 or specified in project design criteria.
Tension Shear Interaction check:

When anchor bolts are subjected to combined shear and tension loads, the
design shall be based on satisfying interaction formula (say, Appendix-d of ACI
318).
Please note that anchor bolt edge distance, spacing and load capacity shall
be as per project design criteria.

Step-6 : Load combinations for foundation sizing / Pile loads and Foundation
design:
You need to create the load combination per your project design criteria.
However, I have created this load combination based on ACI 318:
Load combination for Foundation sizing and Pile load calculation (un-factored
load calculation):
LC1: Do + Dp
LC2: (De) + Wind
LC3: Do + Seismic
LC4: Do + Dp + Wind
LC5: Do + Dp + Seismic
Load combination for Pedestal and Foundation design (factored load
calculation):
LC6: 1.4*(Do + Dp)
LC7: 0.75 [1.4 De] 1.6 Wind
LC8: 1.2 Do +1.0 E

LC9: 0.75 (1.4 Do + 1.4 Dp) 1.6 Wind


LC10: 1.2 (Do + Dp) 1.0 E
The weight of the foundation and of the soil on top of the foundation shall be
included as dead load in all of these load combinations.
Now from above steps, you have learnt the following:
Different types of loads on foundation
Different criterias for the concrete block sizing
Maximum tension and shear force on each anchor bolt
A sample load combinations.
To complete the foundation design, your work will be to create following
calculation sheets:
o A calculation sheet for anchor bolt embedment length check (ex:
ACI 318 appendix-D).
o A calculation sheet for Concrete block sizing (considering soil
bearing pressure, Sliding, Buoyancy and overturning) or pile load
(tension, compression and shear on each pile) calculation and
check with soil consultant for acceptable values.
o A calculation sheet for foundation and pedestal reinforcement
calculation per your project design criteria.

I hope this page will be very helpful to you to understand the basic
foundation loads of a Skid Mounted Equipment.

Design Philosophy for Transformer Pit


In this page I will talk about how to detemine the size of oil containment for
transformer. Following is a typical picture of a transformer and its foundation
with oil containment.

Now, you will follow the below steps to determine the foundation and size of
spilled oil containment.
Step-1 : Review of Transformer drawing (Vendor Equipment Drawing)
You need to review transformer drawings from foundation design point of view and check
whether you have all the following information:

Transformer Erection weight

(De)

Transformer Operating weight

(Do)

Plan dimension of Transformer base


Height of transformer and location of oil tank
Total volume of oil in the oil tank
Transformer Center of Gravity location in empty condition and
operating condition for Seismic load calculation and application
Anchor bolt detail (size, location, projection, etc..) and transformer
supporting details
Step-2 : Verification of foundation location, elevation and external fittings loads
You need to review Plot plan, Equipment location drawings and 3 -D Models
and check whether you have all the following information:

Verify the area available for foundation and containment.


Verify transformer Foundation and containment location and Elevation
Electrical and Instrument duct banks Bus duct support and foundation
detail, on and around the transformer pit
Locations of underground pipes
Location of fire hose and sprinkler around the transformer
Locations and extent of fire wall and construction type of fire wall
Verify the location and extent of new/existing foundations not shown in
3D model or plot plan.
Step-3 : Soil / Geotechnical information:
Following Geotechnical information are required to start the foundation and
spilled oil containment:
Soil allowable Bearing pressure or pile capacity (Tension, compression
and Lateral force capacity)
Soil density
Active soil pressure co-efficient of soil
Earthquake soil pressure co-efficient
Ground water table location
Frost depth (for winter snow)
Step-4 : Transformer Pedestal sizing criteria:
Transformer pedestal shall be sized according to the following criteria:

Face-to-face pedestal size shall be the larger of the following:


(a)

Bolt c/c distance + 175mm

(b)

Bolt c/c distance + 8 x bolt diameters

(c)

Bolt c/c distance + sleeve diameter + 150mm

(d)

Size of base frame + 200mm

(e)

Bolt c/c distance + 2 x (minimum bolt edge distance)

It is desirable to make the pedestal deep enough to contain the anchor bolts
and keep them out of the mat.
Step-5 : Transformer spilled oil containment sizing criteria:
Containment size shall be calculated for worst condition. It is assumed that
worst condition will be happened when total oil is in the containment +
Transformer on fire + Heavy rain fall. So, total containment volume will be,
addition of following items:
Volume of transformer oil (mentioned in the equipment drawing)
Transformer on fire: When transformer is on fire (refer IEEE-980 annexB or NFPA-850 chapter-6 ) all the hose pipe (deluge system) will spray
the water on all four sides and top of the transformer. So total volume of
water will be: Water volume = (Total surface area of the transformer (all
4 sides) + top plan area of transformer) xrate of water flow from hose
pipe per unit area x total fire rating time.
Rain water: Total volume of rain water shall be calculated for total fire
time. So volume of rain water = Rain fall intensity (mm/hr) x Plan area of
containment x total fire rating time.

Generally, you will find that containment area is full of stones (40 mm down).
In this case, we consider that 35% void is available to accommodate the
above volume of oil and water mix. So, you need to increase the capacity of
the containment accordingly.
Step-6 : Anchor Bolt Check:
Design of anchor bolts shall be based on the following considerations. Corrosion
allowance should be considered when required by the project design criteria.

Tension Check:
The maximum tension force in the anchor bolts (Tmax) may be calculated
according with following formula:
Tmax = M / (Ny x BCD) - (De / Do) / Nb
Where, M = total maximum moment on foundation
BCD = Bolt c/c distance
Ny = No. of bolt row
Nb = no. of anchor bolt
Use De or Do whichever is critical.
Shear Check:
When anchor bolts are utilized to resist shear, the unit shear per bolt shall be
calculated as follows:
Vmax = V / Nb

where, V = total shear force on anchor bolt.

Frictional resistance to shear between the transformer base plate and the
concrete or grouted bearing surface shall be utilized to resist shears induced by

wind or by other static loads. Frictional resistance shall not be employed to


resist shear induced by seismic loads. For seismic-induced shear, adequate
mechanical means shall be provided to resist horizontal shear, either by means
of properly detailed anchor bolt / bolt hole arrangements or through a
combination of anchor bolts, shear lugs, or other anchorage devices. The static
coefficient of friction between steel and concrete or between steel and
cementitious grout shall be considered as 0.4 or specified in project design
criteria.
Tension Shear Interaction check:
When anchor bolts are subjected to combined shear and tension loads, the
design shall be based on satisfying interaction formula (say Appendix-d of ACI
318).
Please note that anchor bolt edge distance, spacing and load capacity shall
be as per project design criteria.
Step-7 : Load combinations for foundation sizing / Pile loads and Foundation
design:
You need to create the load combination per your project design criteria.
However, I have created this load combination based on ACI 318:
Load combination for Foundation sizing and Pile load calculation (un-factored
load calculation):
LC1: Do
LC2: (De) + Wind
LC3: De + Seismic
LC4: Do + Wind

LC5: Do + Seismic
Load combination for Pedestal and containment mat foundation design
(factored load calculation):
LC6: 1.4*(Do)
LC7: 0.75 [1.4 De] 1.6 Wind
LC8: 1.2 De +1.0 E
LC9: 0.75 (1.4 Do ) 1.6 Wind
LC10: 1.2 (Do) 1.0 E
The weight of the foundation and of the soil on top of the foundation shall be
included as dead load in all of these load combinations.
Step-8 : Loads on containment wall
Containment wall shall be designed for following loads and load combinations:
Active soil pressure on the wall
Surcharge load on wall due to live load on soil. You need to discuss with
construction about any site crane movement around the transformer pit.
Earthquake load on wall due to soil movement. Use Monobe
Okabe Equation for Earthquake load calculation.

Typical foundation and oil containment drawing for a


Transformer
For requirement of firewall refer NFPA-850 chapter-5.

Now from above steps, you have learnt the following:


Different types of loads on foundation
Different criterias for the pedestal sizing
Maximum tension and shear force on each anchor bolt
A sample load combinations.
To complete the foundation design, your work will be to create following
calculation sheets:
A calculation sheet for anchor bolt embedment length check (ex: ACI
318 appendix-D).
A calculation sheet for foundation sizing (considering soil bearing
pressure, Sliding, Buoyancy, uplift of foundation due to frost and
overturning) or pile load (tension, compression and shear on each pile)
calculation and check with soil consultant for acceptable values.
A calculation sheet for foundation, pedestal and containment wall
reinforcement calculation per your project design criteria.

Foundation Design Philosophy for


Horizontal Vessel
In this page I will talk about Horizontal vessel / Horizontal Drum equipment
foundation load calculation. Following is a picture of Horizontal vessel / Drum:

Now you will follow the following steps to start the foundation load calculation
and design:
Step-1 : Review of vessel drawing (Vendor Equipment Drawing)
You need to review Vessel drawings from foundation design point of view and
check whether you have all the following information:

Vessel Erection weight

(De1):

Vessel Empty weight

(De2):

Vessel Operating weight

(Do):

Vessel Hydrotest weight

(Dt):

Wind Shear and Moment in transverse direction


Seismic Shear and Moment in transverse direction (if the Project
site is at Seismic zone)
Vessel operating temperature and confirm with Mechnaical discipline
Total length of vessel and spacing of saddle supports
Vessel Center of Gravity location with respect to saddle

Anchor bolt location on fixed and sliding saddle


Detail of equipment saddle (fixed and sliding)
Step-2 : Verification of foundation location, elevation and external fittings loads
You need to review Plot plan, Equipment location drawings and 3 -D Models
and check whether you have all the following information:
Verify the area available for foundation.
Verify Foundation location and Elevation
Pipe supports and Nozzle loads on Equipment (Dp)
Location and size of Platforms around the vessel
Locations of underground pipes
Electrical and Instrument duct banks
Locations and extent of adjacent foundations
Verify the location and extent of new/existing foundations not shown
in 3D model or plot plan.
Step-3 :

Description of Foundation Loads:

Please follow this section to understand the different loads on foundation:


Vessel Erection weight (De1): The erection weight is the fabricated weight of the

vessel, plus internals, platforms, etc., that are actually erected with the vessel. Data from
Equipment drawing.

Vessel Empty weight (De2): The empty weight is the in-place weight of the completed
vessel, including the fabricated weight of the vessel, plus the weight of internals, piping,
insulation, and platforms, but excluding the weight of fluids or products which will be

contained in the vessel during operation. Data from Equipment drawings.

Vessel Operating weight (Do): Vessel Empty weight (De2) + Weight of Fluid
inside the vessel. Data from Equipment drawings.
Vessel Hydrotest weight
water

(Dt):

Vessel Empty weight (De2) + Weight of test

Pipe supports and Nozzle loads on Equipment (Dp): Please Coordinate with the
Pipe Stress Group for determination of nozzle loads and loads due to pipe supports
attached to the vessel.

Wind Shear and Moment (W): You will find this load data in vendor drawings.
However, you have to calculate this load based on project design basis. During
wind load calculation, you need to consider the pipes and platforms attached
with the vessel. Transverse and longitudinal wind load shall be calculated per
design project criteria. No allowance shall be made for shielding of winds by
nearby equioment. The calculated design moments and shears due to wind load
should be compared to those shown on the vessel drawings and maximum
loads shall be used for foundation design.
Seismic Shear and Moment (E) (if the Project site is at Seismic zone): You
will find this load data in vendor drawings. However, you have to calculate this
load based on project design basis. During seismic load calculation, you need to
consider the pipes and platforms attached with the vessel. The longitudinal
seismic force shall be resisted by the fixed end pier only unless the piers are tied
together by tie beams below the base plates. Transverse seismic forces shall
be resisted by both piers using saddle or base plate reactions as the basis for
computing base shear. The calculated design moments and shears due to
seismic should be compared to those shown on the vessel drawings and
maximum loads shall be used for foundation design.
Thermal Load (T): The thermal load is defined as the load which results from

thermal expansion or contraction of the exchanger/vessel in the longitudinal


direction. The maximum thermal force is equal to the maximum static friction
force (frictional resistance) acting at the equipment sliding support before the
saddle begins to move. The frictional resistance equals the coefficient of friction
(see project design criteria) times the vertical support reaction.
The thermal load considered in foundation design shall be the smaller of the
following:
1. The maximum pier reaction at the sliding end times the
coefficient of friction of the sliding surfaces
2. The force required to deflect each pier one-half the amount of
the total thermal expansion between supports (assuming
thermal loads of equal magnitude, but opposite directions, act
on each pier).
Generally, for short piers, the frictional force discussed in item (a) above governs
the design.

Step-4 : Load combinations for foundation sizing / Pile loads and Foundation
design:
You need to create the load combination per your project design criteria.
However, I have created this load combination based on ACI 318:
Load combination for Foundation sizing and Pile load calculation (un-factored
load calculation):
LC1: Do + Dp + T
LC2: (De1 or De2)+ Wind
LC3: De2+ Seismic

LC4: Do + Dp + Wind + T
LC5: Do + Dp + Seismic + T
LC6: Dt + 025*Wind
Load combination for Pedestal and Foundation design (factored load
calculation):
LC7: 1.4*(Do + T + Dp )
LC8: 0.75 [1.4 De2 (or 1.4 De1)] 1.6 Wind
LC9: 1.2 De2 +1.0 E
LC10: 0.75 (1.4 Do +1.4 T + 1.4 Dp) 1.6 Wind
LC11: 1.2 (Do +T + Dp) 1.0 E
LC12: 0.75 (1.4 Dt) 1.6 (0.25 W)
The weight of the foundation and of the soil on top of the foundation shall be
included as dead load in all of these load combinations.
Step-5 : Anchor Bolt Check:
Maximum shear and tension on anchor bolt shall be calculated based on
above load combinations and shall be compared with project acceptable
value. Anchor bolt embedment length shall be checked per any project
approved code (ex: ACI 318 appendix-D).
Step-6 : Pedestal Sizing and reinforcement:
Unless controlled by other factors, the minimum pier dimensions in each

direction should equal to the dimensions of the base plate plus


100mm. Piers shall be sized in 50mm increments. The minimum thickness

of the pier should be approximately 10% of the pier height, with a minimum
of 250mm.

Pier size should be adjusted to ensure the factored vertical force on


the pier does not exceed the value of 0.1Agfc (Refer ACI 318
section 10.3.5)
Piers should be designed as axially loaded cantilever flexural
members
When the size of the pier cannot be adjusted and the value of the
axial load exceeds 0.1Agfc, the piers should be designed as
compression members subjected to combined flexure and
compressive axial load.
For piers with slenderness ratio equal to or exceeding 22, moment
magnification effects should be considered (refer section 10.13 of
ACI 318). In calculating the slenderness ratio, a "K" factor of 2
should beused. The P-M column interaction check may also be
considered in pier design.
Shears on piers along both the longitudinal and transverse directions
of the equipment shall be checked per code requirements (refer ACI
318, Chapter 11).

Reinforcement should normally be arranged symmetrically. Both


the fixed end and sliding end piers shall be sized and reinforced
identically. For pier height less than 7 feet, the vertical reinforcement
may be extended from the foundation with no dowels being required.

A double tie shall be placed at the top of piers, spaced 50mm and
125mm below the top of concrete (or below the bottom of grout), to
protect the top of concrete piers against cracking.
Step-7 : Slide plate :

Slide plates are placed at the sliding end pier to allow longitudinal
movement of exchangers and vessels due to the thermal
growth. The steel slide plate on the sliding end is generally coated
with Dow Corning G-n Metal Assembly Paste or similar lubricant in
order to reduce the coefficient of friction. Slide plates should be
galvanized or painted to prevent corrosion.
For large movements and/or heavy horizontal vessels, it may be
necessary to use slide plates with low coefficient of static friction,
such as lubrite, teflon, etc. Design of lubrite and teflon slide plates
shall be in accordance with the recommendations of the slide plate
manufacturer, as the coefficient of static friction varies with the
temperature and pressure at the bearing surface.
Typical coefficients of friction () are as follows

0.15, for mild steel slide plates coated with Dow Corning G-n
Metal Assembly Paste

0.20, for mild steel to mild steel without lubricant


0.06, for teflon slide plates with bearing pressure over 100 psi
Now from above steps, you have learnt the following:

Different types of loads on foundation


Different criterias for the pedestal sizing
Maximum tension and shear force on each anchor bolt
A sample load combinations.
To complete the foundation design, your work will be to create following
calculation sheets:
o A calculation sheet for anchor bolt embedment length check (ex:
ACI 318 appendix-D).

o A calculation sheet for foundation sizing (considering soil bearing


pressure, Sliding, Buoyancy and overturning) or pile load (tension,
compression and shear on each pile) calculation and check with
soil consultant for acceptable values.
o A calculation sheet for foundation and pedestal reinforcement
calculation per your project design criteria.