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Engine Top Bracing

Engine Top Bracing


Hull structure

Top bracing

Learning Objectives

Understand the purpose of engine top bracing arrangement

Describe the mechanical top bracing arrangement

Explain the functioning of mechanical top bracing arrangement

Describe the hydraulic top bracing arrangement

Explain the functioning of hydraulic top bracing arrangement

Describe the periodic maintenance to be carried out


Engine top bracings are used to connect upper end of the engine
to a hull structure for damping lateral vibration generated by slow
speed main engines

Bracing bolts play an important role for satisfactory operation of

slow speed diesel engines

Prolonged running with slack bracing bolts may cause serious

vibration and damage to engine structure

Proper maintenance of engine top bracing arrangement is

essential at regular intervals.

Acting on
Due to

Guide Force Moment

Forces on the guides will cause the guide force moment between
guide shoe axis and c/shaft axis

Guide force moments are caused by the gas force on the pistons
and by the inertia forces

The moments may excite engine vibrations by moving the engine

top athwart ships

It may cause a rocking (excited by H-moment) or twisting

(excited by X-moment) movement of the engine.

Engines with less than seven cylinders, this guide force moment
tends to rock the engine in transverse direction

Engines with seven cylinders or more, it tends to twist the engine

Transverse Vibration of Engine

Transverse Vibration
Due to

Engine Top Bracing

To counteract the impact of guide force moments,
the installation of a set of top bracings is
recommended between the upper gallery of the
main engine and the hull structure.

Top Bracing
To detune lateral vibration of main engine by increasing
the natural frequency of engine vibrating system to such
an extent that resonance occurs above the running
range of engine speed.
If vibration level due to guide force moment is low and
within acceptable limit, top bracing may be eliminated.
Vibration level normally to be checked by measurements
with and without top bracing during sea trial.

Top Bracing Arrangement

Mechanical Friction Type

Hydraulic Type

Top bracing is installed between

the engine's upper platform

Top bracing is normally placed on

the exhaust side of the engine

Top bracing can alternatively be

placed on the camshaft side

Mechanical Top Bracing Arrangement

Mechanical Top Bracing Arrangement

Hydraulic Top Bracing

The hydraulically adjustable top bracing is an

alternative to the mechanical top bracing

It is intended for application in vessels where hull

deflection is foreseen to exceed the usual level

In cases where the detuning effect from the top

bracings is only required in part of the engine speed

top bracing

Hydraulic Cylinders And Pump Station


Hydraulic Top
Bracing Arrangement


Hydraulic Top-Bracing
Working principle
The hydraulic top-bracing consists of a single-acting hydraulic cylinder and
a hydraulic control-unit mounted directly on the cylinder housing.
The top-bracing is self-adjusting, using the vibration energy emitted by
the engine.
When the engine is running, the unit builds up a pressure in proportion
to the vibration level.
This detunes the engines natural frequencies and accordingly lowers the impact of
the vibrations.
When the engine is at standstill, the pressure is then released.

Working Principle
When the distance
between the hull and
engine increases,
oil flows into the cylinder
under pressure from the

Working Principle
When the distance between
hull and engine decreases,
a non return valve prevents
oil from flowing back to the
accumulator and the pressure

If the pressure reaches a preset

maximum value, a relief valve
allows the oil to flow back to
the accumulator, maintaining
the force on the engine and
hull structures below the
specified level.

The top-bracing is automatically
controlled by the RPM signal from
the propulsion control-system.
The system is active as standard
when the engine is running, but a
programmable switch makes it
possible to choose an RPM range
within which the top-bracing system
is active.
For service purposes, manual control
is also possible.


Mechanical Top Bracing

Relative movements between top bracing and

fastening plate to be checked with dial gauge

Accordingly tightening of bracing bolt to be carried

out with specified torque

Tightening to be checked with torque wrench or

by hydraulic tensioning

Checking should be carried out once or twice a year.

If relative
larger than
+/- 0.02 mm,

Hydraulic Top Bracing

Oil pressure of the hydraulic cylinders are to be

compared with each other at regular intervals

If one of the cylinders shows a considerable lower

pressure, the opposite hydraulic cylinder must be
released of its pressure until the problem has been

Oil leakages to be checked

Hydraulic cylinder to be overhauled in case of leakage