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Seismic Analysis of an Axial Blower using ANSYS

Hyung-Bin Im LG Electronics, Inc., Core Technology Group Seoul, Korea Sewan Kim LG Electronics, Inc., Core Technology Group Seoul, Korea Jintai Chung Hanyang University, Mechanical Engineering Seoul, Korea
Abstract A seismic analysis is one of crucial design procedures of an axial blower used in nuclear power plants. The blower should withstand and operate under emergency situations such as earthquake. For the seismic analysis, we performed modal analysis and then evaluated Required Response Spectrum (RRS) from the given Floor Response Spectrum (FRS). Prior studies have been done similar to this method [1][2]. A finite element model of the blower is established by using commercial FEM software, ANSYS. After the finite element modeling, natural frequencies, mode shapes and the participation factors are obtained from the modal analysis. The RRS is acquired by numerical approach on the basis of the principle of mode superposition. We were able to verify the structural safety of the axial blower and confirmed the validity of the present seismic analysis results.

Equipment used at nuclear power plants requires robust and reliable designs because in case of disaster, such as earthquake, small damage can turn into an unpredictable result. Blower used at nuclear power plants is important because of such reason. Currently, Wyle and Ellis & Watts of the United States perform most of the seismic analysis and design in Korea. Authors conducted experiments in order to improve seismic technology in Korea. Seismic technology can be roughly categorized into analysis and experiment. The ideal way is testing the final product but this has to make the actual prototype, which is expensive and time consuming task. Like many other engineering processes, finite element method was used, instead. In order to conduct seismic analysis, it is necessary to perform modal analysis and calculate RRS from the FRS. In this paper, desired data from the modal analysis will be obtained from ANSYS using axial blower model. Those data will be used in numerical analysis for calculating RRS, which is essential data for designing axial blower. Therefore, it was possible to determine whether the axial blower is safe through RRS.

Derivation of Equation of Motion

Before getting into seismic analysis, it is necessary to model mathematical earthquake. From this model, the motion of equation of axial blower will be derived. Earthquake applies forces to all 6 Degrees of Freedom(DOF), however rotational components are negligible. In most cases, two dimensional translation forces account for most of the earthquake energy. In most of earthquake proof design, it is assumed that vertical forces are negligible because of the gravity, however, in this paper, all 3 translational forces are considered. The following equation governs the motion in 1 DOF system [4][5].
& & & mv& + c (v z ) + k (v z ) = 0

& F = mv&

(1) (2)

where v(t) is the absolute displacement of mass m, z(t) is the absolute displacement of the surface and w(t) = v(t) z(t), which denotes displacement of mass m relative to the surface. In most cases analysis is done by surface acceleration instead of surface displacement because a seismometer measures the surface acceleration [4]. Displacement of the surface can be obtained from integrating the acceleration data twice. Contrarily, it is possible to measure the displacement of the surface and calculate the acceleration data by differentiating the measured data twice but this method will carry considerable error. Equation (3) shows the surface acceleration.

Figure 1, A single DOF system

Figure 2. A multi DOF system (3)

& && && & & & v& = w + z , v z = w , v z = w

Equation (4) is derived from equation (3) and equation (2).

&& & && mw + cw + kw = mz


Equation (4) shows that if we assume z(t) is negligible, seismic design will be possible by exciting dynamic && load, mz . Now it is possible to expand the 1 DOF system into multi DOF system, which has following equation of motion [4].
&& & & [m ]{w}+ [c ]{w}+ [k ]{w} = [m ]{z&}



{w} = {v } {z }


Finite Element Analysis

Figure 3. Finite element model using ANSYS In order to conduct FEA on the axial blower, each part should be modeled properly prior to analysis. The structural base and fan casing of the fan was modeled using Shell63 element in ANSYS 5.5. Youngs modulus is 2.071011 Pa and density is 7.8103 kg/m3. Element Lumped Mass21 was used for the impeller and valve. Motor was modeled with Beam4 element with surface area of 0.1649m2 and moment of inertia of I z = 1.2164 10 3 m 4 , I x = 2.4328 10 3 m 4 . Figure 3. is the modeled axial blower with total elements of 7620. As most of earthquake wave have frequencies less than 33 Hz, if the resonance frequency of the axial blower is less than 33 Hz, overloaded stress from resonance may happen. In this case, stress value calculated by Square Roots of Sums of Square (SRSS) method should be compared to allowed stress value in order to assure the safety of the structure.

n =1

2 n

2 2 = 12 + 2 + L + n


The load conditions include, dead weight of the equipment, internal pressure on fan housing, Operating Basis Earthquake (OBE) and Safety Shutdown Earthquake (SSE). In this paper, dead weight of the equipment, internal pressure on fan housing and SSE are considered. The axial fan is mounted with anchor bolt on the floor boundary conditions of FEA were modeled accordingly. Table 1. through Table 3. show natural frequency analysis results. Table 1. Participation factor and effective mass in the X-direction
Mode Frequency Participation factor 1 2 3 4 5 16.7815 21.5053 49.6115 58.5583 79.4635 1.70E-08 -31.734 -1.40E-08 -3.29E-08 -4.1552 Ratio 0 1 0 0 0.13094 Effective mass 2.91E-16 1007.03 1.96E-16 1.08E-15 17.2658 Mass fraction 2.68E-19 0.927785 0.927785 0.927785 0.943692

Table 2. Participation factor and effective mass in the Y-direction

Mode Frequency Participation factor 1 2 3 4 5 16.7815 21.5053 49.6115 58.5583 79.4635 -0.13598 3.77E-09 -33.803 4.4354 1.65E-08 Ratio 0.004023 0 1 0.131213 0 Effective mass 1.85E-02 1.42E-17 1142.64 19.6727 2.73E-16 Mass fraction 1.43E-05 1.43E-05 0.883556 0.898767 0.898767

Table 3. Participation factor and effective mass in the Z-direction

Mode Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 16.7815 21.5053 49.6115 58.5583 79.4635 Participation factor 34.597 2.23E-08 -1.0362 -6.8552 -1.84E-08 Ratio 1 0 0.02995 0.198144 0 Effective mass 1196.96 4.97E-16 1.07367 46.994 3.39E-16 Mass fraction 0.95028 0.95028 0.951133 0.988442 0.988442

We discover that the first mode is less than 33Hz; therefore it is necessary to conduct seismic analysis. Also we see the participation factors are different on each direction because of the structural characteristic. Figure 4. shows the first mode shape. Generally, the earthquake waves are given as random function in time domain. In order to obtain structural response, Response Spectrum Analysis (RSA) method is widely used because combining frequency spectrum of earthquake wave and modal frequency yields RRS. If the first mode frequency exists under 33Hz, resonance is likely to occur. Therefore it is necessary to calculate the natural frequency from modal analysis and find acceleration value for each mode from response spectrum. Then it is possible to obtain combined stress from earthquake waves on all 3 directions by running RSA by results from ANSYS and then using SRSS method from equation (7). Figure 5. through Figure 7. shows stress distribution regarding dead weight, internal pressure and SSE load, respectively. Table 4. Summary of stress value results
Components Pipe stress Maximum stress of fan Dwyer gauge stress Valve stress Combined stress(psi) 195.8 20,305.3 38.0 100.8 Allowable stress(psi) 21,600 21,600 21,600 21,600

Table 4. summarizes stress values from other than earthquake waves. The highest stress value should be less than the allowable stress.

Figure 4. Fundamental mode shapes of the axial blower

Figure 5. Stress distribution subject to dead weight

Figure 6. Stress distribution subject to pressure

Figure 7. Stress distribution subject to SSE load

Required Response Spectrum

In order to solve coupled ordinary differential equation, such as equation (5), orthogonality of normalized mass fraction from the modal analysis is utilized [4][5]. Superposition method is used to express {w} as shown in equation (8).

{w} = [ ]{} = { r }r (t )
r =1


where [ ] is modal matrix, { r } is modal vector and r (t ) is modal coordinate. Equation (9) is written in terms of modal coordinates and was obtained from combining equation (8) and equation (5).

& & & [m ][ ]{&} + [c ][ ]{} + [k ][ ]{} = [m ]{z&}



[ ]T

to equation (9) yields equation (10).

& & [ ]T [m][ ]{&} + [ ]T [c][ ]{ } + [ ]T [k ][ ]{ }= [ ]T [m]{&&} z


where [ ] is normalized modal matrix and [c ] is orthogonal damping matrix. By using orthogonality, equation (10) becomes equation (11) [4].
& & & {&}+ [ \ 2 r r \ ]{}+ [ \ r2 \ ]{} = [ ]T [m ]{z&}


rth equation of equation (11) is as follows;

&& & & &r + 2 r r r + r2 r = r z


where r is modal damping ratio and r is participation factor, which is needed for seismic analysis. r is obtained from ANSYS mode analysis and equation (13), single DOF equation will be used to obtain r [2][4].
2 & & v& + 2 n v + n v = f (t )


2 where m is mass, c is damping constant, k is spring stiffness, c m = 2 n , k m = n , f (t ) = F (t ) m and n is natural frequency of the system. When expanding this system to multi degrees of freedom, r becomes r = c 2mr r . c was set to 0.03 and m r is the effective mass, obtained from ANSYS modal && analysis. In equation (12), z denotes FRS. If we assume modal displacement r and floor displacement z

as r = H r e it , z = Ze it , then equation (12) becomes equation (14).

2 r

2 + i 2 r r H r e it = r 2 Ze it


from the equation (14), we find frequency response function, H r .

Hr =

r 2 Z r2 2 + i 2 r r


r (t ) could be found by inserting H r into r (t ) = H r e it and again using r (t ) with equation (8) gives
{w} as follows.

{w} = {r } r (t ) = {r }H r e it = { }e it W
r =1 r =1


Absolute displacement, {v} is calculated from equation (17).

{v } = {w}+ {z }


note that the assumptions were { } = { }e it , {w} = { }e it and {z } = {Z }e it . Therefore it is possible to v V W find not only absolute position but also the accelerations for each component from the next equation.
2 { } = 2 { } 2 {Z } V W


where { }, { }, {Z } are absolute displacement, relative displacement and magnitude respectively. Also V W & && && acceleration is described as 2 { } = V& , 2 { } = W , 2 {Z } = Z , acceleration of the absolute V W


{ }


displacement is shown in equation (19).

& & & {V&} = {W& }+ {Z&}


In order to find acceleration of nth node, we take the absolute value of equation (19)
& && && V&n = Wn + Z n



& V&n

&& & is the acceleration of absolute displacement on nth node, W n + Z&n is the sum of acceleration of

relative displacement and magnitude on nth node. Equation (20) is the RRS equation. Figure 8. exhibits RRS of the upper part of the blower, which is connected to the data acquisition system. Figure 9. is the RRS of the lower part of the blower, which is connected to the floor mount. Figure 8. and Figure 9. shows RRS up to 100 Hz. In reality, earthquake waves have frequency as high as 33 Hz Frequencies above 33 Hz are rare and they can be neglected. As shown in graphs, RRS less than 33 Hz does not exceed 10G. As it was unable to find any change in natural frequency and structural defect in this paper, the axial blower can be concluded safe against the earthquake.

Figure 8. Required response spectrum at node 1306 in (a) the x-direction (b) the y-direction (c) the z-direction

Figure 9. Required response spectrum at node 2440 in (a) the x-direction (b) the y-direction (c) the z-direction

In this paper, the axial blower was modeled and undergone mode analysis in ANSYS. Data from mode analysis, such as modal participation factor and effective mass were used to determine frequency response function and then modal coordinate function. Then superposition method is applied to yielded modal coordinate function in order to find RRS. By obtaining RRS, it was possible to determine the safety of the axial blower used in the nuclear power plant. In this paper, RRS of the axial blower exhibits stable condition and didnt exceed 10G under most earthquakes. However, when Y-direction frequency is above 50 Hz, RRS value exceeds 10G. It is known that frequency of the earthquake waves seldom go above 33 Hz, but the structural safe should be thought. As the axial blower is weak in Y-direction frequency, it is desirable to reinforce the mounting bolt to the surface in order to ensure safety.

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