Stiffness characteristics and thermal deformations of the frame of high power marine engine
In the subject-matter literature detail data on stiffness of the crankshaft foundation connected with the frame of marine main engine are still lacking. Thermal deformation models of the engine's casing, proposed by engine producers, are excessively simplified. However the parameters are crucial for the shaft-line alignment analysis as well as for the analysis of interactions between the shaft-line and engine crankshaft, especially in the case of high power engines. This paper presents a determination method of the marine engine body characteristics as well as results of example computations performed for a Sulzer 7 RTA 84 C engine installed on a ~3000 TEU container ship. It has been demonstrated that the producer's assumption about parallel displacement of the crankshaft axis in thermal working conditions is too rough. The thermal deformation of the engine is of hogging character, which results in significant change of the moment load exerted on the crankshaft and shaft line. The stiffness parameters recommended by the producers for the shaft-line alignment are estimated correctly, however they represent only engine's body flexibility, without taking into account ship's hull flexibility.