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MECHANICAL DESIGN

BASICS OF TALL COLUMNS

INTRODUCTION

Column is a vertical pressure


vessel which physically
separates a mixture into two
or more products. Process
consists that mixture of
different boiling point
products is boiled and the
more volatile components
comes out of the mixture.

The process and operation of a


column depends on
Internals. Column Internals
are broadly divided into two
parts:

Part-1: Trays.
Part-2: Packing.

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Mostly Used trays are as follows


1.Valve Tray
2. Sieve Tray
3.Bubble cap tray .
4. Dual flow Tray
5.Baffle Tray
6.Chimney Tray
7.Cartridge Tray
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Different Types of Packings


1.Rasching Ring ( 1st Generation).
2.Pall Ring ( 2nd Generation).
3.Cascade Mini Ring ,Metal Tower Packing (3 rd
Gen)
4. Rasching Super Ring.
5.Wire Mesh Packing.
6.Wire Guaze Packing.
7. Grid Packing
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Sr.
No

Description

Trays

Pressure Drop

High

Low

Lower

Fouling Service

Yes

No

No

Yes

Difficult

Difficult

Feed Point
Flexibility
Liquid Hold up

Considerable

Small

Small

Cleaning

Easy

Difficult

difficult

Cost

Low

Low/Medi
um

High

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Random Structured
Packing Packing

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Minimum column diameter for trayed


columns is typically 0.75m;otherwise
packed columns are used.
Change in column diameter effect the
vapor velocity for given vapor flow
rate.

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Mechanical Design of Tall Columns


Definition
A vertical vessel with height to dia ratio >10

Design basis and criteria


Process column is normally designed as self-supporting type.
The self supporting type of process columns are designed as a
cantilever beam i.e. a fixed support at one end in the form of a
cylindrical or conical shell called Skirt, with a base ring resting on
concrete foundation and fixed firmly by anchor bolts embedded onto
the foundation.

Design Loads

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Internal or external design pressure


Self weight including attached piping, platforms, ladders,
nozzles & manholes, operating fluid, insulation, fireproofing,
welded internals, removable internals and other structural
attachments.
Loading due to external attachment or equipment.
Wind and seismic loads.
Other loads like thermal stresses, cyclic loadings etc.

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Design Load conditions

ERECTION CONDITION: Column (in uncorroded and ambient temperature)


erected on foundation, without insulation, platforms, ladders, trays etc.,
but with welded attachments plus full wind or seismic load on column.
OPERATING CONDITION: Column (corroded) under design pressure and
design temperature including welded items, trays, removable internals,
piping, platforms, ladders, reboilers mounted on columns, insulation, fireproofing, operating liquid etc. plus full wind on insulated column or
seismic load.
HYDROTEST CONDITION: Column (corroded in ambient temperature) in
vertical position under test pressure including welded items, platforms,
ladders, reboilers mounted on column, fire proofing, full of water plus 33%
of full wind load on uninsulated column. Seismic load is not considered.
EMPTY CONDITION: Column (corroded in ambient temperature) with
welded items, trays, removable internals, piping, platforms, ladders,
reboilers mounted on column, insulation, fire proofing plus wind on
insulated column or seismic load. Internal/external pressure and operating
fluid are not considered.

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Wind Design as per IS 875: 1987


Basic wind speed (Vb) is based on peak gust velocity
averaged over a short time intervals of about 3 sec.time at 10
m height above mean ground level in open terrain (category
2) and 50 yrs return period. This can be taken from site data
or code.
Design wind speed Vz = K1*K2*K3*Vb
Where, K1: Probability factor/Risk coefficient
K2: Terrain height and structure size factor
K3: Topography factor
Design Wind Pressure Pz= 0.6* Vz^2 N/sq.m
Wind load =Ae*Cf*Pz
Where,
effective area Ae =effective dia.(De) * height (uniform wind)
Cf = shape factor (=0.7 as per EDB)

Computation of Projected Area


Effective Vessel Diameter;
De = ( Vessel OD + twice insulation thickness) X Kd
For Kd
Vessel OD including insulation (mm)

Coeff. Kd

less than 914 (36)

1.5

914-1524(36-60)

1.4

1524-2134(60-84)

1.3

2134-2743(84-108)

1.2

more than 2743(108)

1.18

The principal parts contributing to the total wind load are;

Vessel shell OD with twice the insulation thickness, if any.

Adjusted platform area.

Caged ladder.

Piping- largest pipe in top third of column running to groun


level

Seismic Design as per IS 1893: 2002


Response spectrum method is used for Columns.
For a project site following parameters are
required;
Z = Seismic Zone factor
I = Importance factor
R = Response reduction factor
Sa/g = Average acceleration coefficient (from
acceleration spectra
curve-normally 2%
damping is considered)
Horizontal seismic coefficient
Ah =Z I (Sa/g)/ 2R
Seismic Base shear,
Vb = Ah *Wo

Allowable stress for combined Loading

Shell thickness calculation for


combined
Loads:
The
tangential stress
t due to the pressure is given by;

t = PD/2t
Sa
Where, D = mean corroded shell diameter
P = Design Pressure
t = Corroded thickness of the shell
Sa = Code allowable stress, reduced by joint efficiency

The unit force ; lt = PD/2 Sa*t (Kg per linear cm)


The combined stress in longitudinal direction L
On the windward side;
L = (PD/4t) + (4M/ D2 t) (W/ D t) Kg/cm2
l = (PD/4) + (4M/ D2) (W/ D)
Kg/linear cm.
and the shell thickness is
t = [(PD/4) + (4M/ D2)-( W/ D)] / Code allowable stress

On the leeward side;


L = (PD/4t) - (4M/ D2 t) (W/ D t)
Kg/cm2
l = (PD/4) - (4M/ D2) (W/ D)
Kg/cm
The maximum compressive stress in the shell is induced at
the bottom tangent line on the leeward side when the
internal pressure is equal to the atmospheric pressure;

L = - (4M/ D2 t) (W/ D t)
Code allowable
stress
Or for the vacuum vessels;
L = -(PD/4t) - (4M/ D2 t) (W/ D t) Code
allowable
stress

Maximum axial buckling can occur locally at section when


L reaches critical buckling stress.(Refer UG23 (b) and (d))
Code allowable stress (tensile or compressive) for wind/
seismic loading) are increased by 1.2 times.

Support Skirt Design :


Maximum longitudinal stress due to the external moment M
and weight W at the base is;
L = (W/ Dsk tsk) +/ - (4M/ Dsk2 tsk)
If vessel is tested in vertical position, the longitudinal
compressive stress at the base
L = (WT/ Dsk tsk)
Support skirt thickness; based on maximum stress in the
skirt-to-head weld.
tsk = [(W/ Dsk) + (4M/ Dsk2 )] / E * Code allowable
stress
Where; E = weld efficiency (consider 0.55 for skirt butted to
knuckle portion)

Skirt thickness tsk should be satisfactory for the allowable


column deflection (H/200); usually tsk for tall towers is
chosen not less than the corroded bottom shell section plate
thickness.
Support skirts for large diameter vessels, which have to be

Flared skirts are used for very tall columns for high
moments.

If a large access or pipe opening is located in the skirt shell


L = +/- M/tsk[(/ Dsk2/4) (Ydsk/2)] W/(Dsk-Y)tsk
Where, Y is opening.
If L is too high then the opening has to be reinforced.
Skirt thickness required to withstand reaction due to bolting
is also checked.

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Anchor Bolt Design :


Ab = Bolt tensile stress area
M = Overturning moment at base due to wind or
earthquake
W = weight of the vessel
d = Bolt circle diameter
do = Outside diameter of the base ring
di = inside diameter of the base ring
N = total no. of anchor bolts in multiple of 4
ZL= d2/4, linear section modulus of the bolt
circle

axis

C = d, circumference of the bolt circle


x = distance of an anchor bolt from the neutral
Sa= allowable design stress for the anchor bolts
F = Uplift force per bolt due to the outside

The maximum tension on the bolt circumference per linear


cm. is;

T = (M/ ZL)-(W/C)
= (4M/d2)-(W/d)

If 4M/d2 is larger than W/d there is a positive uplift force


inducing tension stress, with magnitude depending on the
distance x spanned by half the anchor bolts. The max. force
F on the bolt at distance x=d/2 from the neutral axis;

F=Td/N=(4M/dN)-(W/N)
per bolt

And the required bolt area is;


Ab = [(4M/d)-W]/NSa

Calculation of static deflection of column


Deflection at top of the column is restricted to 6/100feet.
This is required for proper functioning of trayed column
Deflection at the top of the column is calculated by adding
the individual deflections of various sections due to wind
load, shear load & moment at the end of each section as
explained;

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Vibration Analysis :
Period of vibration is calculated by;

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Vibration Analysis :
Criterion , as recommended by Zorrila :
W/LDr2
20 Vibration analysis MUST be
performed
20 < W/LDr2
25 Vibration analysis SHOULD be
performed
25< W/LDr2
Vibration analysis NEED NOT be
performed.
Where,
W
Total corroded weight of Column, lb.
L
Total length of column, ft.
Dr
Average internal diameter of top half of column,
ft.
Ws
Corroded weight of column excluding weight of
parts
which don't contribute to stiffness. lb.
The natural frequency of vibration for a bare structure
(W/Ws=1) based on actual value of (D/L2) (10)4 is;

f=(f1) (D/L2) (10)4.


Refer table 1
(tb = uncorroded thickness at the base of the structure)

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When insulation, ladders, piping, platforms, internal trays,


operating fluid etc. are considered to contribute to stiffness
of structure (W/WS>1),
Now frequency
f=(f1) (D/L2) (10)4(Cf)
Refer table 2

Logarithmic decrement is the log of the ratio of successive


amplitudes of a damped, freely vibrating column and is a
measure of the structural ability of the column to dissipate
energy during vibration.
For a particular depends on the type of
construction and the insulation used. The value of can be
selected from table 3 based on the reported average
values.

THANK YOU!

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