Floating-roof steel tanks under harmonic settlement: FE parametric study and design criterion
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Large vertical steel tanks for fluid storage are usually constructed on soft foundations, so it is not surprising that the tank wall will settle unevenly with the settlement of the foundation, thus inducing deformations and stresses in the tank. This work investigates the linear static behavior of floating-roof tanks under harmonic settlement through finite element (FE) analyses. The influences of the radius-to-thickness ratio, the height-to-radius ratio and the wind girder stiffness on the structural behavior are first analyzed. Comparisons between the circumferential stresses in the wind girder and the vertical stresses in the tank bottom are then made. The displacement and the stress along the tank height are also discussed, and the concept of tank division along its height is presented. Finally, a design approximation for the radial displacement at the tank top is developed based on FE results, and a settlement criterion based on the top radial displacement is proposed which can be used in practical design.
Key wordsSteel tanks Floating-roof Differential settlement Harmonic settlement Finite element analysis Design criterion
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