We spend a lot of engineering time and money designing a foundation
for a piece of equipment. Contrary to popular belief, machinery foundation
structural design is still evolving. We must rethink today's foundations to
eliminate the design stress concentration points to reduce the possibility of
a crack developing in the concrete. The most common causes of cracking
in large concrete foundations are inside right angles (Figure 1-1) built into
the foundations. You can easily eliminate these stresses by incorporating a
chamfer of three to six inches into the design.

As mentioned earlier, the general rule of thumb for reciprocating equip-
ment foundation design is for the foundation to be a minimum of five times

the mass of the operating equipment. For example, if a reciprocating

engine and high-speed compressor assembly weighed 25,000 lb, the under-
lying concrete mass should weigh about 125,000 lb. Sometimes, installing

a foundation of this mass for a reciprocating skid-mounted assembly is not
practical or even feasible. To compensate for this lack of foundation mass,
you sometimes can fill the individual skid compartments with concrete at
the time of fabrication. The idea is for this concrete to act as a damping
agent by adding mass to the skid. The concrete is added after the skid has
been fabricated and painted.


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