Seismic Design Considerations for Uplifted Tanks

by Medhat A. Haroun,
Ali A. El-Zeiny,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


An evaluation of the most commonly used seismic design procedures for unanchored tanks is presented. It is noted that current standards are inconsistent in predicting the behavior of unanchored tanks. In general, the estimation of liquid-exerted overturning moments lacks explicit consideration of the support effects, and may not even include shell flexibility and site conditions. The capacity of the bottom plate to resist uplifting forces is generally underestimated because membrane forces are neglected. However, current design procedures are in most cases conservative partly because the allowable stress is significantly reduced by a large knock-down factor. The use of more elaborate analyses, which are increasingly becoming available, is recommended to complement current design standards.

Subject Headings: Seismic design | Seismic tests | Uplifting behavior | Storage tanks | Allowable stress design | Structural reliability | Structural safety | Load and resistance factor design

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