Retrofitting the Structure of the Catalytic Cracking Reactor, from Petrobrazi Refinery, Ploieşti by Transforming the Steel Structure into a Moment Resisting Frame and Enhancing the Damping of the Structure by Means of Viscous Dampers

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The present paper presents the structural and seismic retrofit solution for the structure of the Catalytic Cracking Reactor, from Petrobrazi Refinery, Ploiești, Romania. The spatial truss type steel structure was designed and built during 1965-1968, following United States codes of that time. The capacity of the reactor is intended to be increased, thus its weight increases by approx. 43%. The retrofit solution had to take into consideration many criteria, not only technical, but also technological. After analyzing several possibilities, it was decided that the only feasible solution in order to fulfill all these requirements was to significantly increase the viscous damping of the structure – by introducing viscous dampers in its diagonals, accompanied by the strengthening of steel structure and changing the structural system into a moment resisting frame.

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