Steel bolted cylindrical water tanks provide one of the most economical and efficient solutions for storing large volumes of water. The storage of bulk water is required for a wide range of applications ranging from drinking water to industrial purposes. Currently there are no regulating design standards for cylindrical steel bolted water tanks in Australia. In fact, no universally accepted standard for the design of cylindrical steel bolted water tanks exists in the world (Oxenford (2002)).
A significant amount of research has been done on silos and general cylindrical shell structures. However, only a limited amount of research has been done on the design of steel bolted cylindrical water tanks.
For design, steel bolted cylindrical water tanks are often simplified as ideal cylindrical shells. However, actual tanks incorporate variations to the ideal cylindrical shell. The aim of this thesis was to investigate these variations under hydrostatic and wind loading and give recommendations on design where appropriate.
Finite element models were generated and results compared to analytical solutions based upon linear shell theory for verification. The incorporated deviations from an ideal cylinder included in the finite element models are: variation in the tank wall thickness; staggering of plates due to plate overlaps; discrete restraints; and wind girders. These deviations from the ideal cylinder are progressively added and their effects examined.
The results showed that an ideal cylindrical shell is adequate for design against hydrostatic loads, though it will underestimate bending. However, under wind loading, the stress increase becomes significant. Hence, for design against wind loads, the ideal cylindrical shell may not be adequate.