Design of FRP Fluid Storage Vessels

by Frank J. Heger, (M.ASCE), Principal; Simpson Gumpertz and Heger Inc., Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 11, Pg. 2465-2499

Document Type: Journal Paper


Fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP) fluid storage vessels provide economical containers for many chemicals which are corrosive to metals, and for other applications where external environments are corrosive. Design and materials criteria, vessel configurations, analysis and design methods, and design approaches which are particularly relevant for FRP fluid storage vessels are described herein. Loads and factors of safety for strength and buckling are analyzed. The characteristics of fluid storage applications which determine the required factor of safety are described. Membrane stresses usually form the basic stress system. For more complex cases, two computer programs for general stress analysis are described. The physical buckling behavior of orthotropic, ribbed, and sandwich shells is described, and equations are provided for important critical buckling stresses. Illustrative design results are provided for three typical 10,000 gal. fluid storage applications.

Subject Headings: Buckling | Fiber reinforced polymer | Storage tanks | Ships | Corrosion | Load factors | Safety | Stress analysis

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