Use of FEA Software in Evaluating Pump Vibration and Potential Remedial Actions to Abate Resonance in Industrial Vertical Pump/Motor Combinations

Author: Michael Tompkins, Robert Stakenborghs, Gregory Kramer


Reactor recirculation motor generator lube oil twin screw pumps are commonly found in nuclear power plants and throughout industry. In a vertical mounting configuration in which the electric motor is bolted atop the twin screw pump in an unsupported manner the natural frequency of the pump/motor structure can be quite low, resulting in damaging vibration. When a structure’s natural frequency coincides at or near the operating speed, or multiple thereof, a phenomena known as resonance can occur. Resonance can occur when a driving force, in this case minor imbalances in either the motor or pump, begins to vibrate and excite the structure resulting in greatly amplified levels of vibration.

In this paper, finite element analysis software is utilized to first calculate the natural frequency of the pump/motor structure, and then potential modifications are modeled to determine their impact on eliminating harmful resonance.