Steel bolted cylindrical water tanks are economical and efficient when used for bulk storage of water. When designed and constructed properly, they are reliable and requires little maintenance. Currently, there are no design standards in Australia dealing with these structures and very little research deals specifically with them. As such, designs have been based on industrial “know-how”.
These water tanks are often simplified as ideal cylindrical shells for design. Actual tank incorporates variations to the approximation, many of which have not been quantified in their effects. The aim of the thesis is to investigate these variations and give recommendations on design where appropriate.
Finite element models are used to model a water tank. These models are compared against analytical solutions based on linear shell theory for verification. Variation in tank wall thickness, stagger of plates due to lap joints, discrete restraints and wind girders are progressively added to the model and their effects noted.
The results show that an ideal cylindrical shell is adequate for design against hydrostatic loads, though it will underestimate bending. Under wind, the stress increase becomes significant.