Shielding effects and buckling of steel tanks in tandem arrays under wind pressures
This paper deals with the buckling behavior of thin-walled aboveground tanks under wind load. In order to do that, the wind pressures are obtained by means of wind-tunnel experiments, while the structural non linear response is computed by means of a finite element discretization of the tank. Wind-tunnel models were constructed and tested to evaluate group effects in tandem configurations, i.e. one or two tanks shielding an instrumented tank. Pressures on the roof and on the cylindrical part were measured by pressure taps. The geometry of the target tank is similar in relative dimensions to typical tanks found in oil storage facilities, and several group configurations were tested with blocking tanks of different sizes and different separation between the target tank and those blocking it. The experimental results show changes in the pressure distributions around the circumference of the tank for half diameter spacing, with respect to an isolated tank with similar dimensions. Moreover, when the front tank of the tandem array has a height smaller than the target tank, increments in the windward pressures were measured. From the computational analysis, it seems that the additional stiffness provided by the roof prevents reductions in the buckling load for cases even when increments in pressures develop in the top region of the cylinder.
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