Field Study and Evaluation of Buckling Behavior of Cylindrical Steel Tanks with Geometric Imperfections under Uniform External Pressure


Civil Engineering, Urmia University


Construction and assembling process of shell structures has caused main problems. In these structures, there is no possibility for the integrated construction due to their large shell extent and they are built using a number of welded curved panel parts; hence, some geometrical imperfections emerge. Most of these imperfections are caused by the process of welding, transportation, inappropriate rolling, as well as installation and implementation problems. In this research, construction of steel cylindrical tanks in one of the refinery site is monitored using a field survey and created imperfections are identified and introduced. Relying on the statistical inference, they are classified and then, by studying the effective factors and origin in their generation, the common imperfections are identified. The impact of common imperfections on the buckling behavior is experimentally evaluated under uniform external pressure. Then, nonlinear analysis of the test specimens are performed by ANSYS software. Finally experimental results, finite element and analytical relations are compared. The obtained results show that the imperfections have a direct impact on the structural behavior of shells during the buckling under uniform external pressure load. Also, some imperfections caused by welding increase the buckling resistance of cylindrical shells.