• Seismic Brace Design
  • Equipment Anchorage
  • Vibration Isolation and Seismic Restraint
  • Steel Design
  • Thermal Pipe Design and Analysis
  • Piping Expansion and Contraction Joint Design


Seismic Brace Design


Mechanical, plumbing and electrical (MEP) systems represent a high percentage of the total capital investment in majority of buildings. MEP systems are critical for the continued operation of buildings. Past earthquakes have demonstrated the vulnerabilities of these system if they are not properly seismically braced. Failure of these components due to earthquake can disable the functionality of the building. Mason West is the leader in seismic brace design with extensive experience, capability and knowledge in all type of facilities.

We offer multiple seismic brace design solutions to fit your needs. Whether you want a simple mark up of your plans to a complex 3D model design with BIM coordination, we have the right option for you.


Equipment Anchorage


In an industry with constantly changing building codes, Mason West Engineers ensure that their design is based on the most current code requirements for the specific project using up to date anchorage selection software. We offer a wide range of project experience creating details and calculations for city, county, DSA and OSHPD review and approval. Equipment anchorage design experience includes pumps, tanks, transformers, custom air handling units, cooling towers, chillers and all other mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment. Support designs range from direct anchorage to building floors, to suspended and vibration isolated systems. Mason West’s Engineers use their vast knowledge and project experience to design and facilitate the most economically sound design.


Vibration Isolation and Seismic Restraint


Mason West represents Mason Industries, Inc., the world leader in vibration control products. Products range from natural rubber and neoprene to pneumatic air springs.

Vibration control or isolation is designed to decrease the amount of vibratory energy transferred from rotating or oscillating equipment to the supporting structure. This provides a more satisfactory environment for the occupants in the building by limiting the amount of vibration they might feel as well as the noise associated with structure borne vibration.

In general terms, a vibration isolation product can limit up to 99.99% of the vibration energy to the supporting structure. In most cases, 90 to 95% vibration isolation efficiency is both effective and economical. Vibration isolator efficiency is dependent on (3) variables:

  • The ratio between the disturbing frequency of the equipment and the natural frequency of the vibration isolator.
  • The stiffness of the supporting structure.
  • The mass of the supporting structure.

The disturbing frequency is based on the lowest RPM (rotations per minute) of the equipment. The natural frequency is based on the deflection of the vibration isolator under the weight of the equipment. As the ratio between disturbing frequency and natural frequency increases, so does vibration isolator efficiency. Therefore, isolator efficiency is directly related to its deflection under load. Following is a list of products that are typically used for a desired deflection or natural frequency:

  • Natural Rubber or Neoprene: up to 0.25”.
  • Spring Coils: 0.5” to 5”.
  • Pneumatic Air Springs: 1.5 to 3.0 Hertz.

The stiffness of the supporting structure, or lack of, can dramatically affect the performance of a vibration isolation system. Supporting structures, specifically upper levels and the roof, have their own natural frequency. The interaction of the natural frequencies between the vibration isolator and the supporting structure must be reviewed for maximum performance and to prevent amplification.

The mass of the supporting structure can also affect the performance of a vibration isolation system. Similar to a vibration isolator, the natural frequency of a supporting structure is directly related to its deflection. However, the mass also weighs in. A wood structure deflecting ½” under load is more critical than a concrete structure deflecting the same amount. The ability of the structure to absorb the balance of the rotating energy not dissipated by the isolators is directly related to its mass.

For more specific information about vibration isolation theory and products, please visit www.mason-ind.com or call us at (714) 630-0701.


Steel Design


Mason West's Engineering Department offers diverse Non-Structural Component steel design services. Our expertise in steel design includes custom pipe support, duct support and platform design for a variety of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and architectural equipment and components. Additionally our full line fabrication facility includes a skilled workforce with certified welders and is located directly adjacent to our engineering department to gaurentee maximum efficiency.


Thermal Pipe Design and Analysis


Mechanical pipes such as heating hot water or steam lines are subject to extreme pressure and temperature when in operation. This will cause the pipes to expand and elongate; without proper support and guidance, this can lead to pipe failure and damage surrounding equipment, walls, floors, and other pipes. By analyzing these thermal extremes and using pipe stress analysis software the pipe lines can be designed such that accidents and failures can be avoided.

Mason West thermal pipe design and analysis complies with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B31 code that includes gravity, pressure, thermal, and seismic forces. Experienced engineers use pipe run bends and elbows, hard pipe expansion loops, flexible loops and/or expansion compensators to accept thermal motion and then properly locate and design supports, guides and anchors to reduce pipe stresses and loads to the building structure. A final report is provided that includes an ASME B31 code compliant report, support/guide/anchor/ loads and pipe translations.


Piping Expansion and Contraction Joint Design


Piping expansion joints are needed for thermal expansion and piping going through building seismic separation. Also used for attenuating vibration isolation at various pieces of mechanical equipment (ex. pumps, chillers, cooling towers) to reduce vobration transmitted into the piping system. Our Engineering Department is experienced in designing piping systems based on the ASME B31.1 code procedure, where expansion joints are required to alleviate pipe stresses.

Mason West Incorporated