Effect of Soil-Structure Interaction on Open-top Storage Tanks Subjected to Seismic Excitation

[+] Author and Article Information
Harsh Bohra

Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Eyas Azzuni

Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Sukru Guzey

Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043373 History: Received July 03, 2018; Revised March 22, 2019


The behavior of aboveground storage tanks subjected to seismic excitation was investigated using numerical methods by taking flexibility of foundation into account. The hydrostatic load due to stored liquid has an axisymmetric distribution on the tank shell and base. However, during seismic events, the hydrodynamic load originating from the seismic acceleration of liquid in the tank start to act in the direction of the earthquake motion. This leads to a non-axisymmetric loading distribution, which may result in buckling and uplifting of the tank structure. Finite element models were created having nonlinear material properties and large deformation capabilities. Three different tank geometries with liquid height to tank radius aspect ratios of 0.67, 1.0 and 3.0 were selected representing broad, nominal and slender tanks. These tanks were subjected to two different hydrodynamic loading based on Housner's and Jacobsen-Veletsos' pressure distributions, which forms the basis of design provisions used in American Petroleum Institute API 650 and Eurocode 8, respectively. These pressure distributions were formulated under the assumption of rigid tank wall and base. Furthermore, each tank for a given geometry was subjected to two different foundations; (1) representing a rigid foundation and (2) representing a flexible foundation. It was found that the effect of foundation flexibility from the practical design point of view may be neglected for broad tanks but should be considered for nominal and slender tanks.

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