Design of Cylindrical Concrete Water Tanks

by Harvey C. Olander, (F.ASCE), Retired; formerly Head; Canals and Bridges Sec., U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 5, Pg. 947-973

Document Type: Journal Paper


A comprehensive procedure is presented for design of cylindrical concrete water tanks based on the theory of beams on elastic foundations. Temperature stresses are given careful consideration including variation of temperature through the tank wall. Analysis shows that there is considerable variation of temperature stresses over the tank. Hydrostatic and earthquake forces are also covered. Wind stresses that relate to tanks with varying height to diameter ratios are analyzed and design procedures are given. Charts are provided to facilitate solutions by desk calculator; these cover temperature stresses and varying types of end restraints to tank walls. Sample design calculations for a storage tank on spread footing are included.

Subject Headings: Temperature effects | Stress analysis | Foundation design | Storage tanks | Thermal loads | Water tanks | Concrete | Cylindrical tanks

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