Effect of Geometric Imperfection on the Dynamic of Elevated Water Tanks

Nasser Dine Hadj-Djelloul, M. Djermane


The elevated tanks are considered as very sensitive structures in seismic movement condition. Moreover, the conical steel tank manufacturing without local geometric imperfection seems to be too difficult. In generally, the latter is the most responsible factor to define the shell structures buckling capacity. For this reason, several theoretical and experimental researchers studied the performance of this type of structure under seismic loading.  The present study aims to demonstrate the local geometric imperfection effect on dynamic buckling of elevated water tank. Using the three dimensions finite element technique to study the seismic response of perfect and imperfect elevated water tank was established taking into account the following factors; the interaction fluid structure (FSI), the wall flexibility, the local geometric imperfection, the nonlinear time history analysis, the material and geometric nonlinearity, and this by the application of three different instability criteria for the critical PGA estimate. The critical PGA of the imperfect elevated water tank numerical models decreased by 45, 45% compared to the elevated water tank numerical model without local geometric imperfection. The obtained results confirm the local geometric imperfection effect on dynamic buckling of elevated water tanks.


Elevated Tank; Fluid Structure Interaction; Finite Elements; Dynamic Analysis; Geometric Imperfection; Instability Criteria.


Housner, George W. "The dynamic behavior of water tanks." Bulletin of the seismological society of America 53, no. 2 (1963): 381-387.

Joshi, Sanjay P. "Equivalent mechanical model for horizontal vibration of rigid Intze tanks." ISET Journal of Earthquake Technology 37, no. 1-3 (2000): 39-47.

Livaoğlu, R., and A. Doğangün. “Simplified Seismic Analysis Procedures for Elevated Tanks Considering Fluid–structure–soil Interaction.” Journal of Fluids and Structures 22, no. 3 (April 2006): 421–439. doi:10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2005.12.004.

Dutta, S.C., S.K. Jain, and C.V.R. Murty. “Assessing the Seismic Torsional Vulnerability of Elevated Tanks with RC Frame-Type Staging.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 19, no. 3 (April 2000): 183–197. doi:10.1016/s0267-7261(00)00003-8.

Dutta, S.C., S.K. Jain, and C.V.R. Murty. “Alternate Tank Staging Configurations with Reduced Torsional Vulnerability.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 19, no. 3 (April 2000): 199–215. doi:10.1016/s0267-7261(00)00004-x.

Dutta, S.C., S.K. Jain, and C.V.R. Murty. “Inelastic Seismic Torsional Behaviour of Elevated Tanks.” Journal of Sound and Vibration 242, no. 1 (April 2001): 151–167. doi:10.1006/jsvi.2000.3343.

Liu, Wing Kam, and Dennis Lam. "Nonlinear analysis of liquid-filled tank." Journal of Engineering Mechanics 109, no. 6 (1983): 1344-1357. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(1983)109:6(1344).

Nagashima, Hideaki, Kunio Kokubo, Masaaki Takayanagi, Kouichi Saitoh, and Tetsuo Imaoka. “Experimental Study on the Dynamic Buckling of Cylindrical Tanks. (Comparison between Static Buckling and Dynamic Buckling).” JSME International Journal 30, no. 263 (1987): 737–746. doi:10.1299/jsme1987.30.737.

Virella, J.C., L.A. Godoy, and L.E. Suárez. “Dynamic Buckling of Anchored Steel Tanks Subjected to Horizontal Earthquake Excitation.” Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62, no. 6 (June 2006): 521–531. doi:10.1016/j.jcsr.2005.10.001.

Djermane, M., D. Zaoui, B. Labbaci, and F. Hammadi. “Dynamic Buckling of Steel Tanks under Seismic Excitation: Numerical Evaluation of Code Provisions.” Engineering Structures 70 (July 2014): 181–196. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2014.03.037.

Sonali M. Pole, Amey R. Khedikar. “Seismic Investigation of RC Elevated Water Tank for different Types of Staging Systems.” International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology 6, no. 7 (July 2017): 13793-13806.

ACI 350.3-06. “Seismic design of liquid-containing concrete structures and commentary”. ACI Committee 350. Farmington Hills, MI: American Concrete Institute; (2006).

Shrimali, M.K., and R.S. Jangid. “Earthquake Response of Isolated Elevated Liquid Storage Steel Tanks.” Journal of Constructional Steel Research 59, no. 10 (October 2003): 1267–1288. doi:10.1016/s0143-974x(03)00066-x.

Veletsos, A. S. " Seismic Response and Design of Liquid Storage Tanks, Guidelines for the seismic design of oil and gas pipeline systems ASCE." New York: Technical council on lifeline earthquake engineering ASCE (1984): 255-370.

Capra, A., and Davidovici, V. “Calcul dynamique des structures en zone séismique.” Eyrolles (1979).

The ANSYS Structural Software System. ANSYS INC, Vol. 12.

Budiansky B, Roth S. “Axisymmetric dynamic buckling of clamped shallow spherical shells”. NASA collected papers on stability of shells structures. TN- 1510; (1962): 597–606.

Djermane, M., A. Chelghoum, and B. Amieur. "Nonlinear dynamic analysis of thin shells using a finite element with drilling degrees of freedom." International Journal of Applied Engineering Research 2, no. 1 (2007): 97-109.

Ari-Gur, Judah, and Samuel R. Simonetta. “Dynamic Pulse Buckling of Rectangular Composite Plates.” Composites Part B: Engineering 28, no. 3 (January 1997): 301–308. doi:10.1016/s1359-8368(96)00028-5.

CEN, May. European Committee for Standardization. Eurocode 8: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance. Part 4: Silos, Tanks and Pipelines, European Standard prEN 1998-4. Brussels, Belgium; (2004).

ENV 1993-1-6:1999. English Version. Eurocode 3 “Design of steel structures - Part 1–6: Strength and. Stability of Shell Structures.”, (2009).

Malhotra, Praveen K., Thomas Wenk, and Martin Wieland. “Simple Procedure for Seismic Analysis of Liquid-Storage Tanks.” Structural Engineering International 10, no. 3 (August 2000): 197–201. doi:10.2749/101686600780481509.

Moslemi, Mehdi, Amir Reza Ghaemmaghami, and M. Reza Kianoush. “Parametric Based Study for Design of Liquid-Filled Elevated Tanks.” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering 43, no. 7 (July 2016): 619–630. doi:10.1139/cjce-2015-0218.

Veletsos, Anestis Stavrou, A. M. Prasad, and Yu Tang. “Design approaches for soil structure interaction.” Technical Report NCEER-88-00331, National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, (December 1988).

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2020-03091455


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Nasser Dine Hadj-Djelloul

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.