# [TowerTalk] FW: FW: Thrust Bearing Installation

maflukey at gmail.com maflukey at gmail.com
Fri Dec 25 23:25:57 EST 2020

```Hi Scott & you are spot on.  My original post was trying to point out exactly what you are conveying, that thrust bearings in tower applications are employed to better deal with horizontal loadings more so than vertical dead weight.

Very Merry Christmas to you!
73
Matt
KM5VI

-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk <towertalk-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of K9MA
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2020 9:26 PM
To: towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] FW: FW: Thrust Bearing Installation

Hi Matt,

Your calculations are correct, but the only reason the thrust bearing in your example reduces the bending moment on the mast  is because it is 2 feet above the rotator, shortening the length of mast above it. This would, in effect, require two more feet of tower minus the height of the rotator. If the thrust bearing were at the same location as the top of the rotator was, with the rotator located below, the moment on the mast would be the same. The bending moment on the mast just below the thrust bearing is almost exactly the same as that just above it. That, however, is the maximum bending moment, which is the important thing as far as the mast is concerned.

The rotator below the thrust bearing does see a bending moment, but it is smaller that what it would see if it were on the top of the tower without the thrust bearing. In your example, if the top of the rotator were 2 feet below the thrust bearing, and the rotator was 1 foot tall, the moment would be at most 500 ft-lb. It would probably be considerably less, because of the stiffness of the clamp at the rotator. Obviously, increasing the distance between the rotator and the thrust bearing would reduce this further.

Like most EE students, I really hated engineering mechanics when I had to study it in college. It's turned out to be very useful.

73,

Scott K9MA

On 12/25/2020 6:04 PM, maflukey at gmail.com wrote:
> Thanks Scott and good point about the rotor reaction, but actually
> both statements are true because the bending moment at the base of a
> mast, without any intermediate horizontal support (thrust bearing), is fully
> transferred to the rotor.   The addition of a thrust bearing eliminates
> point moment transfers to both the rotor and the bearing (but not the
> tower itself).  The thrust bearing, however, does reduce peak bending
> moment on the mast.
>
> Example as follows:
>
> Consider a 10 ft mast with 100 lbs of horizontal wind load on an
> antenna at the top of the mast.  Neglect wind load on the mast for now
> to keep the calculation simple.
>
> In the no thrust bearing case, the bending moment is maximum at the base of
> the mast and equal to 10 ft x 100 lbs = 1,000 ft lbs of torque.   This
> moment is fully transferred to the rotor so the rotor sees the same 1,000 ft
> lbs of torque.   The rotor also sees a horizontal shear reaction force that
> is equal to (100 lbs) and opposite to the direction of the wind load
> at the top of the mast.
>
> Now if we consider a thrust bearing placed at 2 ft above the rotor,
> top of the mast creates a 4:1 lever arm (8 ft above the bearing divided by 2 ft below
> the bearing) that acts on the bottom of the mast.   Consequently there will
> be a 100 x 4 = 400 lb horizontal shear load transferred to the rotor in the
> same direction as the load at the top of the mast.   At 2ft up from the
> bottom of the mast, the thrust bearing reaction will be the sum of the
> horizontal loads, or 400 (bottom) + 100 (top) = 500 lb that will act in the
> opposite direction as the wind load.   The peak bending moment in the mast
> will occur at the thrust bearing location and will be 8 ft x 100 lbs =  800
> ft lbs.   The bending moment at the bottom of the mast will be zero because
> the wind load and the thrust bearing reaction will cancel each other out...
> (10 ft x 100 lbs) + (2 ft x -500 lbs) = 0 ft lbs.   Note that the 500 lbs
> reaction at the bearing is negative because it acts in the opposite
> direction as the wind load.
>
> So the thrust bearing acts to reduce the peak bending moment that
> occurs in the mast, and as you correctly point out, it eliminates the bending moment
> at the rotor.   It also acts to increase the horizontal shear reaction force
> transferred to the rotor.  There are no point moments transferred to the
> rotor or the thrust bearing themselves.   The top of the tower however will
> see the full transferred moment of the antenna load which can be
> demonstrated by a similar example that includes the entire tower.
>
> Many 73 & QSH to all
> Matt
> KM5VI
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: TowerTalk <towertalk-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of K9MA
> Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 12:04 PM
> To: towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] FW: Thrust Bearing Installation
>
> The thrust bearing reduces the bending moment on the rotator, not the mast.
> With the rotator in the tower below the thrust bearing, there is very
> little bending moment on the rotator, just a horizontal force.
> There's also, of course, a vertical force, unless that is taken by the
> thrust bearing. The greater the distance between the thrust bearing
> and rotator, the smaller the horizontal force on the rotator.and thrust bearing.
>
> 73,
> Scott K9MA
>
>
>
>
> On 12/24/2020 3:37 AM, maflukey at gmail.com wrote:
>> It's typically not about the dead weight of the mast & antennas, it's
>>
>> 73
>> Matt
>> KM5VI
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: TowerTalk <towertalk-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of
>> krgoodwin at comcast.net
>> Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 3:52 PM
>> To: towertalk at contesting.com
>> Subject: [TowerTalk] Thrust Bearing Installation
>>
>> Installing a thrust bearing in a tower - Dead weight (along the
>> gravity
>> vector) all on the rotator or all on the thrust bearing?  Seeing such
> things
>> as sleeves for towers, I would surmise that all of the dead weight is
>> on
> the
>> rotator and only off-axis loads (perpendicular to the gravity vector)
>> are handled by the thrust bearing.  I use two thrust bearings in my
>> tower
> which
>> I don't believe effects the answer to the above question.  Ken K5RG
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>>
>>
>>
>

--
Scott  K9MA

k9ma at sdellington.us

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