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Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474
www.elsevier.com/locate/apm

Assessment of an edge type settlement of above ground


liquid storage tanks using a simple beam model
M.N. Hamdan, Osama Abuzeid, Ahmed Al-Salaymeh *

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan

Received 4 October 2005; received in revised form 17 August 2006; accepted 9 October 2006
Available online 1 December 2006

Abstract

Analysis of deformation and bending moment distributions along sections of the bottom plate of a large unanchored
cylindrical liquid storage tank with appreciable out-of-plane localized differential edge settlement is considered. The anal-
ysis uses approximate simple slender beam bending theory to model localized edge settlements of the plate and takes into
account the effects of foundation compliance, initial settlement shape, shell and hydrostatic loadings and the shell-bottom
plate junction stiffness. The obtained model is solved, in the elastic range, using a combined analytical–numerical proce-
dure for the deflection and bending moment distributions along the beam. The obtained approximate solutions were dis-
played graphically for selected values of system parameters: edge settlement amplitude, plate thickness, foundation
stiffness, and hydrostatic load. The maximum allowable edge displacement amplitudes based on the plate yielding stress
predicted by the present study are compared for the selected values of system parameters with those recommended in
the API standard 653.
 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Liquid storage tanks; Beam model; Edge settlement

1. Introduction

Unanchored large liquid storage steel tanks, depending on their design characteristics, soil stiffness and
loading history, are known to be prone to various shell and bottom plate settlement patterns. These settlement
modes may originate from different causes and may be considered to be one or a combination of shell and
bottom plate basic settlement patterns: uniform, planar tilt, and out-of-plane settlement patterns [1,2]. Fur-
thermore, the out-of-plane settlement of a tank bottom plate may be one or combination of the following
three main types [2]: dish type, localized dispersions and/or bulged type, and edge settlement. Due to structural
flexibility, a large tank is more likely to settle into a non-planar mode. Furthermore, while uniform and planar
rigid body tilt settlements of a tank are not known to cause a serious threat to its structural integrity, the out-
of-plane settlements can cause tank failures and thus are of main concern to engineers. They are the result of

*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +962 6 53 55 000; fax: +962 6 53 55 588.
E-mail address: salaymeh@ju.edu.jo (A. Al-Salaymeh).

0307-904X/$ - see front matter  2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.apm.2006.10.001
2462 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

localized and usually randomly distributed deformations and thus induce localized overstresses and radial dis-
tortions, known as ovality. Beyond permissible displacement (e.g. strain) limits the induced localized stresses
can cause rupture and spillage of tank content. And an excessive ovality can cause floating roof malfunction.
Evaluation of the maximum allowable settlement amplitude, and consequently the decision on the fitness-to-
service and the choice of an appropriate repair procedure for a tank with a given deformation profile requires
in general a rigorous stress analysis of the tank structure, especially for the areas of the tank with noticeable
deformations. Such a stress analysis is, however, rather involved when carried out numerically, and, even after
introducing significant simplifying assumptions, is complicated when done analytically. Therefore, various
researchers and engineers have in many cases used simplified stress–strain relations of simple beam bending,
thin plate or thin shell theories, simplified geometric considerations and boundary conditions, and field data to
develop criteria defining the allowable limits for various principal patterns of settlement of above ground
unanchored liquid storage cylindrical steel tanks, e.g. [1–14]; reviews of relevant literature are found in
[1,2,11–14]. Each of these criteria is usually concerned with a particular element of the tank structure (e.g.
the shell or the bottom plate) and with a single failure mechanism for a specified loading and boundary
conditions.
Marr et al. [2] analyzed the measure performance of 90 large cylindrical steel tanks used to store liquid at
ambient pressure and temperature. They used approximate stress analysis of simple beam bending theory and
arbitrary factors of safety to study the performance and refine various available criteria for the allowable dis-
placement limits in various patterns of tank settlements. Their study has shown that in many cases the avail-
able criteria are over-conservative and are far from being standardized. Kamyab and Palmer [13] derived
expressions to radial deflections and stresses in the shell of large, floating roof, oil storage tanks with a har-
monic shape differential shell settlement at the shell base. They obtained these expressions using solutions of a
beam on an elastic foundation model for the shell and primary wind girder (top ring stiffener), obtained as a
simplified version of the modified Donnell equation for a thin-walled circular cylinder [15], as well as a sim-
plified membrane solution. Their model assumed the shell (e.g. the beam) to be prevented from radial move-
ment at the base and thus ignored effects of base plate–shell interactions. Their analysis showed that the ratio
of the circumferential bending stiffness of the primary wind girder and the bending stiffness of the shell as well
as the shell extensional stiffness have significant effects on the shell out-of-plane displacement induced by the
out-of-plane shell settlement as the circumferential wave number exceeds certain critical values. Godoy and
Sosa [14] used a finite element method to investigate the displacements of the shell under out-of-plane settle-
ment of thin-walled cylindrical tanks with a fixed top roof. Their analysis also ignores the effect of the inter-
action between the tank base plate and the shell.
This work is concerned with an approximate theoretical analysis of bending stresses and deformation pat-
terns of a localized bottom plate edge type settlement pattern shown in Fig. 1 which is of major interest to
engineers as it is frequently found in large storage tanks and can lead to tank failure or costly unnecessary
repair if not evaluated properly. This edge type settlement develops when the tank shell vertical settlement
is not uniformly distributed around the periphery of the plate–shell junction (e.g. due to non-homogenous
geometry or material properties of the supporting foundations) leading usually to excessive and localized bot-

Tank Shell
Breakover Point
L

x
w0 (x) Q
w( x ) S
Kr

Bottom Plate Kt

Fig. 1. Edge settlement beam model.


M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2463

tom plate deformations near the plate–shell junction as shown for example in Fig. 1. Studies concerned with
this type of localized bottom plate out-of-plane settlements, which may take different patterns (API standard
635 [1]), are, to the authors best knowledge, not readily available in the open literature.
It is noted that the API standard 635 provides guidelines for measurement of the localized depression type
edge settlement and recommends using the following criterion to evaluate the allowable edge deflection limit,
S/L 6 0.03083 (S and L have the same units), where S is plate edge maximum deflection and L is the radial
length of the plate settled area as shown in Fig. 1. The API standard 635 also provides a set of curves for eval-
uating S for different values of the tank diameter in cases where the area of the localized edge includes floor
lap-welds approximately parallel to the shell and another for edge settled areas with no floor welds, or only
floor butt-welds, or lap-welds in the floor that are approximately perpendicular to the shell. The API standard
635 indicates that these curves which were developed for a plate thickness of 1/4 in. in thickness may be used
with reasonable accuracy for plate thickness in the range of 5/16 to 3/8 in. and it also provides an interpolation
formula for evaluating S for the case for which the area of the localized edge settlement has welds at an arbi-
trary angles to the shell. The API standard 635, however, does not indicate the deformation analysis procedure
and the failure mode used in developing these curves, nor do these curves show the effects of plate thickness,
and foundation and shell flexibilities where these flexibilities tend to relax part of the stresses induced in the
bottom plate by local settlements adjacent to the shell. Guber [6] developed a set of curves for the allowable
settlement limits for partial ring type depressions of the bottom plate adjacent to the shell which may be as
long as d < D/4 and d < 2d, where d is diameter of the largest horizontal circle that can be inscribed inside
the depression, D is the tank diameter and d is the length of the partial ring depression as shown in Fig. 2.
These curves show that at failure the allowable settlement limits for local edge depressions range from d/17
to d/33 for depression with single pass welds and from d/13 to d/26 for depression with multiple pass welds.
Marr et al. [2] indicated that the limits in these curves may be expressed by the approximate relation:
S 6 d (2.25rfD/d 0.75EFSh)0.5, where E is the modulus of elasticity, FS is a factor of safety, h is the tank
height, and rf is the ultimate stress of the weld in the bottom plate; (S, d, D, and h are measured in meters).
They concluded that, based on their evaluation of performance study of large steel cylindrical liquid storage
tanks at various facilities, the above relation provides a ‘‘rational’’ limit on the maximum allowable bottom
plate settlement adjacent to the shell and recommended that the factor of safety FS should be 64 in cases
where localized yielding is possible and 62 in case where severe overstress and rupture may occur. Recently
Hamdan [11] used simple beam theory to analyze a localized edge settlement depression in a tank bottom
plate which is assumed to be resting on a Winkler foundation, elastically restrained against translation and
rotation at one end (i.e. took into account of flexibility of the shell–plate connection) and hinged at the other
end as shown in Fig. 1. He used a linear model in which the initial beam deformation does not explicitly

h
d

Fig. 2. Ring type localized settlement.


2464 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

appear in the governing equation but was taken into account in the evaluation of the axial (e.g. membrane)
force. He obtained an approximate analytical solution for the beam deflection and the associated bending
moment distribution by assuming a constant axial force, which was evaluated using only the beam initial
depression profile. It is noted that a similar approximate approach (e.g. use of a linear beam element model
to study the bottom plate deformation) has been used by Malhotra and Veletsos [16,17] to study the uplift-
ing resistance of the base plate of large cylindrical liquid storage tanks. Their results showed that the
approximate beam model yields reasonably accurate predictions of the behavior of the uplifted bottom
plate. Plaut and Johnson [18] used the classical simple beam bending theory to model the free vibration
of a loaded elastic shallow arc about its static equilibrium configuration. They assumed the arch has an ini-
tial shallow half-sinusoidal shape, pinned ends, subjected to a sinusoidal static lateral load and attached to a
linear elastic foundation. They used linear differential equation theory to solve for the static deflection of the
beam (i.e. arc) taking into account the fact that the axial force is independent of the axial coordinates but is
dependent on the loaded (i.e. initial) as well as loaded beam deflections. They were able to obtain a simple
formula for the static deflection of the loaded arch, which is independent of the static lateral load. They
indicated that they were able to obtain this simple and unusual result because of the special choice of
the initial shape and load distribution. Fung and Kaplan [19] used an ‘‘elaborate’’ general Fourier series
solution to determine the buckling load for a shallow-half-sine-arc under static lateral loading and with axial
and lateral elastic end supports, but not attached to an elastic foundation. They used the usual Euler–Ber-
noulli beam theory for a small defection to derive the governing equation.
In the present work the model presented in [11], which accounts for an edge settlement in the form of a 1/4-
sine initial deflection only partially in the imposed boundary conditions and in the calculation of the axial
force, is modified as in [18,19] so that it accounts for the initial beam deflection in the governing equation
as well. The modified model, which takes into account the dependence of the axial force on the actual as well
as initial beam deflections, is solved using a combined iterative-linear differential equation approach. The
obtained results in this work are plotted and used to assess the effects of various system parameters on the
maximum allowable edge settlement amplitude using, as in [11], the yield stress criterion (that is: for given sys-
tem parameters, a settlement amplitude which results in yielding anywhere along the beam span is considered
above the maximum allowable edge settlement). To assess the usefulness of the present approach, the maxi-
mum allowable edge settlement predicted in the present work are compared to those suggested by the API
Standards 653 [1].

2. Statement of the problem

The localized edge depression of a uniform bottom plate resting on Winkler foundation of stiffness K per
unit area with settlement extending over a plate section of radial length L and having a maximum displace-
ment amplitude S at the plate edge is analyzed by considering the beam model shown in Fig. 1.
The uniform beam model representing the deformed strip is assumed to be of thickness t, width c, cross-
sectional area flexural rigidity EI, resting on elastic foundation of stiffness K and subjected to a uniform liquid
pressure Q. At the interior (break-over) end point (e.g. at x = 0) the beam vertical deflection w and bending
moment M are assumed, as was done in [11,16,17], to be zero. And at the connecting end to the shell, the beam
is assumed to be elastically constrained against both rotation and axial displacement by a rotational and a
translational linear springs of stiffness Kr and Kt, respectively. These end springs are assumed to be induced
by a linearly elastic and infinitely long cylindrical shell subjected at its base, due to hydrostatic loading, to
an axi-symmetric bending moment Ma and transverse shearing force Na, where Ma, Na, Kr and Kt are given
by [20]
0:5
Ect2s ðts =RÞ
Kr ¼ ; ð1Þ
2½3ð1  l2 Þ0:75
1:5
Ecðts =RÞ
Kt ¼ 1:5
; ð2Þ
½3ð1  l2 Þ
M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2465
 
1 ccRhts
Ma ¼ 1  ; ð3Þ
bh ½12ð1  l2 Þ0:5
 
1 ccRhts
N a ¼ 2b  ; ð4Þ
R ½12ð1  l2 Þ0:5
0:25
where b ¼ ð3ð1  l2 Þ=R2 t2s Þ , ts is the shell wall thickness, R is the tank radius, h is the tank (liquid) height, c
is the store liquid specific weight, and l is the Poisson’s ratio.

3. Governing differential equation

Using the classical Euler–Bernoulli bending beam linear theory the equilibrium total deflection y of the
above described beam shown in Fig. 1, in the presence of a constant force N normal to the beam cross-sec-
tional area, may be described by the following ordinary differential equation [18,19]:
d4 ðy  y 0 Þ d2 y
EI  N þ Kðy  y 0 Þ ¼ Q; ð5Þ
ox4 ox2
where y0 is the initial deflection of the unloaded beam, and N is the axial force, positive when it produces
tension, given by
N ¼ K t U þ N a ; ð6Þ
where U is the axial displacement of the end translational linear spring Kt. In this work the beam is assumed to
be inextensible; thus U becomes equal to the axial shortening of the bent inextensible beam, which is given by
[19,21]:
Z l "  2   2 #
1 dy dy 0
U ¼  dx: ð7Þ
2l 0 dx dx

Detailed derivation of a more general version of Eq. (5) may be found in [19]. Based on the assumptions given
in the previous section, the four boundary conditions associated with Eq. (5), considering the case where yield-
ing may take place at the bottom plat (beam)–shell junction (which in the sequel will be simply referred to as
beam–shell junction) but not at any point along the beam span, may be specified as follows [16–19]:
d2 ðy  y 0 Þ
At x ¼ 0 : y ¼ 0 and ¼ 0;
dx2 8
dðy  y 0 Þ ð8Þ
d2 ðy  y 0 Þ < k r þ Ma for MðLÞ < M y ;
At x ¼ L : y ¼ S and M ¼ EI ¼ dx
dx 2 :
M y for MðLÞ P M y ;
where S is a constant localized differential edge settlement of the shell and My is the yielding moment at the
beam–shell junction, i.e. at x = L. It is noted that in this work, the shell thickness is assumed, as in a typical
tank, to be greater than (about twice) the plate thickness so that yielding at the beam–shell junction, if it oc-
curs, is initiated in beam and not in shell. Therefore, My in Eq. (8) will be taken to be the beam yielding mo-
ment. Without loss of generality, the initial shape of the beam before loading (e.g. the localized edge settlement
profile) is assumed to be given by
y 0 ðxÞ ¼ S sinðpx=2Þ; ð9Þ
where S, as defined above, is a shell localized differential settlement at the beam–shell junction. Upon intro-
ducing the dimensionless quantities:

NL2 N a L2 K t L3
w ¼ y=L; S ¼ S=L; w0 ¼ y 0 =L; n ¼ x=L; N¼ ; Na ¼ ; Kt ¼ ;
EI EI EI
K rL K f L4 QL3 M yL M aL LMðnÞ d2 wðnÞ
Kr ¼ ; K¼ ; Q¼ ; My ¼ ; Ma ¼ ; MðnÞ ¼ ¼ ð10Þ
EI EI EI EI EI EI dn2
2466 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

and using Eqs. (7) and (9), the above model in Eqs. (5), (6) and (8) takes the dimensionless form:
d4 w d2 w
 N þ Kw ¼ Q þ S e sinðpn=2Þ; ð11Þ
dn4 dn2
Z  2
K t 1 dw p2
N ¼ dn þ K t S 2 þ N a ð12Þ
2 0 dn 16
subject to the dimensionless boundary conditions:
d2 w
At n ¼ 0; w ¼ 0 and ¼ 0;
dn2
8
>
> dw p2 S ð13Þ
2 < K r þ Ma  for Mð1Þ < M y ;
dw dn 4
At n ¼ 1; w ¼ S and Mð1Þ ¼ 2 ¼
dn >
> p2
S
: M  for Mð1Þ P M y ;
y
4
where
 
p4
Se ¼ Kþ S ð14Þ
16
is a dimensionless deflection parameter and S is a dimensionless parameter as defined in Eq. (10). Note that,
since the integral in Eq. (12) is a definite integral, the dimensionless axial force N parameter in Eq. (11) is an
unknown constant which depends on the unknown deflection w. Also, the parameter K in Eq. (11) is a known
constant. Consequently, Eq. (11) is a linear non-homogenous differential equation with constant coefficients,
which can be implicitly solved using standard methods of linear differential equations with constant coeffi-
cients. Accordingly, the solution of Eq. (11) is written as
wðnÞ ¼ wp ðnÞ þ wH ðnÞ; ð15Þ
where wp is the particular solution, given by
Q
wp ¼ þ S a sinðpn=2Þ; ð16Þ
K
where
   4 
p4 p p2 N
Sa ¼ K þ S þ þK ð17Þ
16 16 4
and wH is the homogenous solution, which may be assumed in the form:
wH ¼ Aern ; ð18Þ
where A and r are constants. Substituting Eq. (18) into the homogenous part of Eq. (11), leads to the following
fourth-order characteristic equation:
r4  N r2 þ K ¼ 0: ð19Þ
The four roots of the above equation are
 
N 1 2 1=2
ri ¼   N  4K ; i ¼ 1; . . . ; 4: ð20Þ
2 2
It is noted that the behavior of the solutionwH, and thus that of the total beam static deflection w, will depend
on weather the roots ri in Eq. (20) are real, complex, or pure imaginary, and on being repeated or non-
repeated. The different types of characteristic roots ri give rise to the possibility of different bifurcation points.
In the present work, based on preliminary numerical simulation results, the analysis will be limited to the case
N 2 < 4K, which is usually satisfied in many practical designs. For such a case, the four characteristic roots ri in
Eq. (20) become the set of two complex conjugate pairs:
M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2467

r1;2 ¼ ða1  b1 Þ1=2 ;


r3;4 ¼ ða1  b1 Þ1=2 ; ð21Þ
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
where a1 ¼ N =2 and b1 ¼ 4K  N 2 =2 are real constant parameters. For convenience, the above characteristic
complex roots ri are represented in a simpler rectangular form as follows: the root r1 may be rewritten as
1=2 1=2 1=2
r1 ¼ ðR1 ejh Þ ¼ R1 ejh=2 ¼ R1 ðcosðhÞ  j sinðhÞÞ ¼ a  jb; ð22Þ
qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi pffiffiffiffi   pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi!
b 1 4K  N 2
R1 ¼ a21 þ b21 ¼ K ; h ¼ tan1 ¼ tan1 ; ð23Þ
a1 N

where
   
h h
a ¼ K 1=4 cos ; and b ¼ K 1=4 sin :
2 2
Following a similar procedure as above yields:
r2 ¼ a þ jb; r3 ¼ a  jb; and r4 ¼ a þ jb; ð24Þ
where a and b are real constant as defined before in Eq. (23). Substituting for the characteristic roots ri from
Eqs. (22) and (24) into the homogenous solution in Eq. (18), using Euler identity e±jh = cos(h) ± j sin(h) and
Eq. (16), yields the following general solution for the beam dimensionless static deflection w(n):
 
Q pn
wðnÞ ¼ þ S a sin þ ean ½A1 cosðbnÞ þ A2 sinðbnÞ þ ean ½A3 cosðbnÞ þ A4 sinðbnÞ; ð25Þ
K 2
where Ai, i = 1, . . . , 4 are unknown constants to be determined from the boundary conditions specified in Eq.
(13). Substituting Eq. (25) and its derivatives into the two sets of boundary conditions in Eq. (13), and using a
direct substation procedure to solve for the constants Ai, leads to the following two solutions for the beam
static deflection wi(n):
Q
wðnÞ ¼ þ S a sinðpn=2Þ
K


þ ean ½A3 ðe2an  1Þ  Q=K cosðbnÞ þ ½G þ ða1 þ a2 A3Þðe2an  1Þ sinðbnÞ ; ð26Þ
where

ðb2  a2 Þ Q
K
S  KQ  S a ea þ KQ cosðbÞ  G sinðbÞ
ð1  e2a Þ cosðbÞ
G¼ a1 ¼ ; ; a 2 ¼ ; ð27Þ
2ab ð1 þ e2a Þ sinðbÞ ð1 þ e2a Þ sinðbÞ
8h 2 i
>
> p
ðS a  SÞ þ M a ea  a3 cosðbÞ  a4 sinðbÞ
>
> 4
>
< for Mð1Þ < M y ;
a5 cosðbÞ þ a6 sinðbÞ
A3 ¼ h 2 i ð28Þ
>
> p
ðS a  SÞ þ M a ea  a7 cosðbÞ  a8 sinðbÞ
>
> 4
>
: for Mð1Þ P M y
a9 cosðbÞ þ a10 sinðbÞ
with
a3 ¼ 2aba1 ðe2a  1Þ  ða2  b2 ÞðQ=KÞ  2abG þ K r ½aQ=K þ bG þ ba1 ðe2a þ 1Þ;
a4 ¼ Gða2  b2 Þ  2abQ=K þ a1 ða2  b2 Þðe2a þ 1Þ þ K r ½bQ=K  aG þ aa1 ðe2a  1Þ;
a5 ¼ ða2  b2 þ 2aba2 Þðe2a  1Þ þ K r ½ða þ ba2 Þðe2a þ 1Þ;
a6 ¼ ðe2a þ 1Þ½a2 ða2  b2 Þ  2ab þ K r ðaa2  bÞðe2a  1Þ;
ð29Þ
a7 ¼ 2aba1 ðe2a  1Þ  ða2  b2 ÞðQ=KÞ  2abG;
a8 ¼ Gða2  b2 Þ  2abðQ=KÞ þ a1 ða2  b2 Þðe2a þ 1Þ;
a9 ¼ ða2  b2 þ 2aba2 Þðe2a  1Þ; and
2 2 2a
a10 ¼ ½a2 ða  b Þ  2abðe þ 1Þ:
2468 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

Note that Eqs. (26) and (28) define two solutions for the beam static elastic deflection wi(n). The first of the two
solutions uses the value of A3 from Eq. (28) corresponding to the case where the beam maximum bending mo-
ment Mð1Þ at the beam–shell junction does not reach the yield value M y . The second of these solution uses the
other value of A3 value from Eq. (28) corresponding to the case Mð1Þ P M y . Both of these solutions, however,
are valid provided that the dimensionless maximum bending moment d2w(n)/dn2 at any point along the beam
span (except for the point at the beam–shell junction) does not exceed the yield moment M y , where, by differ-
entiating Eq. (26), one obtains:
 
d2 wðnÞ p2 an 2an 2 2 Q
¼  S a sinðpn=2Þ þ e 2aba 1 ðe  1Þ þ ðb  a Þ  2abG cosðbnÞ
dn2 4 K
 
2 2 Q 2 2 2an
þ Gða  b Þ  2ab þ a1 ða  b Þð1 þ e Þ sinðbnÞ
K

 2 2
 2an  2 2
 2an

þ ða  b Þ þ 2aba2 ðe  1Þ cosðbnÞ þ a2 ða  b Þ  2ab ð1 þ e Þ sinðbnÞ A3 ; ð30Þ

where A3 ; S a ; a1 , a2, G, a and b are parameters as defined by Eqs. (17), (23), (27)–(29). It is to be noted that all
of the parameters in these equations needed to evaluate the beam deflection wi(n) in Eq. (26) and the associated
bending moment distribution in Eq. (30) are function of the yet unknown axial force N defined by Eq. (12)
which involves a definite integral of the dimensionless slope dw dn
, given by
 
dwðnÞ p Q
¼ S a cosðpn=2Þ þ ean a þ bG þ ba1 ðe2an þ 1Þ þ A3 ða þ ba2 Þðe2an þ 1Þ cosðbnÞ
dn 2 K
  
Q 2an 2an
þ b  aG þ aa1 ðe  1Þ þ A3 ðaa2  bÞðe  1Þ sinðbnÞ ; ð31Þ
K
which is also involves some of above parameters that are function of the unknown axial force N . Thus the
present solution in Eq. (26) along with Eq. (12) is an implicit one that, for a given set of system parameters,
is solved iteratively using a specially designed MATLAB program. The iteration process starts with an initial
2
guess for the axial force N ¼ N 0 ¼ p16 K t S 2 þ N a . Then a new value of the axial force N is calculated using Eq.
(12) along with Eq. (31) where all of the parameters in these equations were calculated using the value of A3
from Eq. (28) corresponding to the case of no yielding at the beam–shell junction. The iteration used Simp-
son’s rule to evaluate the definite integral in Eq. (12) and was assumed to converge when the difference
between the newly calculated value of N and the previous one is less than 1 · 105. Then the maximum
bending moment at the beam right end Mð1Þ, obtained using Eq. (30), is compared with the yielding moment
M y : if Mð1Þ is found to be greater than or equal to M y the iteration process is repeated but with the expression
for A3 is replaced with that corresponding to the case Mð1Þ P M y as defined in Eq. (28). Results of the numer-
ical simulation obtained using the present solution are presented and discussed in the next section.

4. Results and discussion

The behavior of the elastic deflection configuration w(n) given by Eq. (26) and the associated bending
moment distribution along the beam span given by Eq. (30) of the beam model shown in Fig. 1, is analyzed
using the simulation procedure discussed in the previous section. The analysis was carried out for selected
range of values of the following system parameters: edge settlement, S, foundation modulus, K, tank (liquid
level) height, h, and the plate thickness t. Samples of the obtained results are displayed in Figs. 3–9. The solu-
tions displayed in all of these figures are for water filled mild steel tanks for which E = 2.06 · 1011 N/m2
(except those in Figs. 3 and 4 for which E = 2.06 · 1010 N/m2), yield stress ry = 6 · 108 N/m2, Poisson’s ratio
m = 0.3, shell thickness ts = 15 mm, specific weight of stored liquid c = 9820 N/m3; all of the system para-
meters I; Q; K t ; K r ; N a ; M a , and N are calculated per beam width. In obtaining these results, the beam dimen-
2
sionless bending moment MðnÞ ¼ ddnw2 was, for each given set of system parameters and edge settlement S,
compared at each point along the beam span with dimensionless yield moment M y , which for the present beam
is given by
M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2469

3Lry
My ¼ ; ð32Þ
Et
where ry and t are as defined above. If jM(n)j P jMyj at any of the beam interior points (e.g. for any n < 1)
then the corresponding edge settlement S is considered above the allowable limit. And the edges settlement S
was considered below the allowable limit when jM(n)j < jMyj even when yielding takes place at beam–shell
junction (i.e. even when jM(1)j = jMyj. It is noted that the above settlement evaluation procedure assumes
yielding at a beam section to take place when the maximum bending stress at that section exceeds the beam
(e.g. plate) material yield stress ry and thus ignores the effect of the normal (e.g. membrane) stress due to the
axial force N . This is justified by the fact that the normal stress due to N is usually small (i.e. <5%ry), [12], so
that ignoring this normal stress is not expected to have a significant effect on the obtained results. As noted in
Section 1, the API Standard 653 recommends evaluating the allowable edge settlement limit using the general
relation:
S
S¼ 6 :0308 ðS and L have same unitsÞ: ð33Þ
L
Fig. 3 shows the beam deflection and associated bending moment distributions along the beam length for the
case Kf = 5 · 105 N/m2, h = 8 m, E = 2.06 · 1010 N/m2, t = 5 mm and S = 3 cm, which can generally be con-
sidered as a moderately loaded beam on a moderately compact foundation. It can be seen from this figure that
the beam defection tends to reverse curvature at a point close to its junction point with the shell and does not
show yielding at any point along its span or at its junction with the shell.
Fig. 4 shows the beam deflection and associated bending moment distributions along the beam length for
the case Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, h = 12 m, E = 2.06 · 1010 N/m2, t = 7 cm and S = 4 cm, as well as the initial beam
deflection (e.g. the unloaded, h = 0, beam deflection). In this case the foundation is more compact and the load
is higher than those in the previous case. In this case the beam shows yielding at its junction point with shell,
with no yielding or noticeable reversal of curvature at any intermediate point along its span.

Fig. 3. Beam deflection and moment. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. h = 8 m, Kf = 5 · 105 N/m2, t = 5.0 mm, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108
N/m2, s = 0.03 m; (- - -) initial deflection.
2470 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

Fig. 4. Beam deflection and moment. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. h = 12 m, Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, t = 7.0 mm, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108
N/m2, s = 0.04 m; (- - -) initial deflection.

Fig. 5. Beam deflection and moment. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. h = 15 m, Kf = 5 · 104 N/m2, t = 4.0 mm, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108
N/m2, s = 0.03 m; (- - -) initial deflection.

Fig. 5 displays the beam deflection and associated bending moment for the case Kf = 5 · 104 N/m2,
h = 15 m, E = 2.06 · 1011 N/m2, t = 4 cm and S = 3 cm. In this case the foundation is relatively soft, the
load is higher and the beam is thinner than those in the previous cases. In this case the beam undergoes
yielding at its junction point with shell as well as along a section of significant length near the point of
M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2471

Fig. 6. Foundation modulus effect. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. t = 7.5 mm, h = 12 m, s = 0.03 m, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108 N/m2. (—)
Kf = 2.2 · 106 N/m2, (- -) Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, (- Æ - Æ) Kf = 1 · 107 N/m2, (  ) Kf = 5 · 107 N/m2.

Fig. 7. Liquid height effect. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. t = 7.5 mm, Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, s = 0.03 m, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108 N/m2. (—)
h = 10 m, (- -) h = 11 m, (- Æ - Æ) h = 12 m, (  ) h = 13 m.

its junction with the shell. It is noted that the present analytical solution in Eqs. (26) and (30) are valid only,
as indicated above and in Section 3, provided that no plastic yielding takes place along any intermediate
2472 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

Fig. 8. Plate thickness effect. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. h = 12 m, Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, s = 0.03 m, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108 N/m2. (—)
t = 5.5 mm, (- -) t = 7.0 mm, (- Æ - Æ) t = 7.5 mm, (  ) t = 8.5 mm.

Fig. 9. Edge settlement effect. (a) Deflection, (b) moment. h = 14 m, Kf = 5 · 106 N/m2, t = 6.0 mm, ts = 0.015 m, ry = 6 · 108 N/m2. (—)
s = 0.03 m, (- -) s = 0.04 m, (- Æ - Æ) s = 0.05 m, (  ) s = 0.06 m.
M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474 2473

point along the beam span (yielding is allowed only at the beam–shell junction). Despite their invalidity, the
results in Fig. 5 are used to indicate that the combination of a relatively high load and a relatively soft foun-
dation can lead to yielding failure at a significant section length of the beam near the beam–shell junction. It
is noted that all solutions which showed yielding at intermediate points along the beam length were
excluded.
It is noted that the behavior of beam defection and associated bending moment is sensitive to the combined
effect of its various system parameters. This behavior may exhibit a wide variation for a small deviation in any
of the presently studied, or other, system parameters. However, based on the example results presented in
Figs. 3–9, the following remarks may be made:

• The system parameters, namely the plate thickness and elastic foundation modulus, have a significant effect
on the edge settlement allowable limit, equilibrium deflection shape and associated bending moment
distribution.
• The effect of the liquid height on the allowable edge settlement, deflection shape and associated moment
distribution becomes more significant only when the tank foundation is relatively soft or is highly rigid.
• The evaluation of the permissible edge settlement limit using the above API Standard 653 relation in Eq.
(33) is, depending on the system parameters, in many cases appears to fairly conservative. For example, it
can be seen from Fig. 9 that for a base plate thickness t = 6 mm, settlement radial length L = 1 m and foun-
dation stiffness K = 5 · 105 N/m2, the obtained allowable edge settlement is S  45 mm which is about 46%
higher than the allowable limit S = 30.8 mm allowed by the above API Standard 653.
• For a relatively soft foundation, the profile of the beam deflection (e.g. settlement) as well as that of the
corresponding bending moment tend to have only a single maximum located at a point within the beam
span (e.g. n < 1): that is, no reverse of curvature of the beam deflection is observed at any point along the
beam span. As the foundation modulus is decreased and the lateral load (e.g. liquid height h) is increased,
the amplitude of the maximum deflection and that of the maximum bending moment tend to increase and
move away from the beam–shell junction towards the center of the beam. For a relatively low foundation
modulus the amplitude of this maximum deflection becomes greater than the allowable limit, i.e. the cor-
responding maximum bending moment reaches the yield limit at a point n < 1 due to excessive deforma-
tion, even when the amplitude of the settlement S is kept well bellow the allowable limit.
• For a relatively rigid foundation, the deflection profile and associated bending moment profile tend to
exhibit local maximum(s) and reversal of curvature sign, e.g. the static deflection profile tends to develop
localized bulge(s). The induced bulge becomes more localized; its maximum amplitude increases, and tends
to move closer to the bottom plate (beam)–shell junction as the foundation stiffness of the loaded tank is
increased. In this case the maximum of the deflection profile and that of the bending moment tend to be at
the beam–shell junction (i.e. yielding is first initiated at the beam–shell junction and wmax ¼ S. It is noted
that an induced bulge is usually associated with highly localized stresses, which may cause serious problems
if their maximum amplitude exceeds a certain limit.
• Based on the above results, one may conclude that a moderately rigid foundation is the best practical choice
for reducing the possibility of bulge formation and yielding due to excessive deflection at points along the
beam span.

5. Conclusion

The simple bending theory of a linear beam has been used to obtain an approximate analytic solution for
the deformation profile and associated bending moment distribution in the bottom plate area close to a local-
ized differential shell settlement of a large liquid storage tank. The present approach has the advantages of
being simple and requires significantly less computational efforts when compared to other approximate ana-
lytical and numerical methods using plate theory. Despite its limitations such as, i.e. its inability to account in
a more rigorous way for the shell–plate interaction, the present approximate solution may be used to gain
insight into the effects of various system parameters on the allowable edge settlement amplitude and the ini-
tiation of localized base plate bulges.
2474 M.N. Hamdan et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2007) 2461–2474

References

[1] American Petroleum Institute Publication, API standards 653, Washington DC, USA 1995; B1–B11.
[2] W.A. Marr, J.A. Ramos, T.W. Lambe, Criteria for settlement of tanks, J. Geotechn. Eng. Div., Proc. Am. Soc. Civil Eng., ASCE 108
(GT8) (1982) 1017–1039.
[3] R.A. Bell, J. Iwakiri, Settlement comparison used in tank-failure study, J. Geotechn. Div., ASCE 106 (GT2) (1980) 153–169.
[4] E.E. DeBeer, Foundation problem of petroleum tanks, Ann. L’Inst. Belge du Petrole 6 (1969) 25–40.
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[8] J.M. Langeveld, The design of large steel storage tanks for crude oil and natural gas, in: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the
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[9] Z. Malik, J. Morton, C. Ruiz, Ovalization of cylindrical tanks as a result of foundation settlement, J. Strain Anal. 12 (4) (1977) 339–
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[10] J.E. Rinne, Tanks on soft soils are economic challenge, Pet. Chem. Eng. 35 (10) (1963) 56–58.
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[12] S. Yoshida, M. Tomiya, Behavior of localized bottom bulge in above ground oil storage tanks under liquid pressure, in: Proceedings
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[13] H. Kamyab, S.C. Palmer, Analysis of displacements and stresses in oil storage tanks caused by differential settlement, Int. J. Mech.
Sci. 203 (1989) 61–70.
[14] L.A. Godoy, E.M. Sosa, Localized support settlements of thin-walled storage tanks, Thin-Walled Struct. 41 (2003) 941–955.
[15] L.S.D. Morley, An improvement on Donnell’s approximation for thin-walled circular cylinder, Quart. J. Mech. 12 (1959) 90–99.
[16] P.K. Malhotra, A.S. Veletsos, Beam model for base-uplifting analysis of cylindrical tanks, J. Struct. Eng., ASCE 120 (12) (1994)
3471–3488.
[17] P.K. Malhotra, A.S. Veletsos, Uplifting analysis of base plate in cylindrical tanks, J. Struct. Eng., ASCE 120 (12) (1994) 3489–3505.
[18] R.H. Plaut, E.R. Johnson, The effects of initial thrust and elastic foundation on the vibration frequencies of a shallow arch, J. Sound
Vib. 78 (4) (1981) 565–571.
[19] Y.C. Fung A. Kaplan, Buckling of low arches or curved beams, US National Advisory Council for Aeronautics, NACA, Technical
Notes 2840, Washington 1952.
[20] S.P. Timoshenko, S. Woinowsky-Krieger, Theory of Plates and Shells, McGraw-Hill International Book Co., New York, NY, 1984.
[21] R.S. Langley, The effect of linearization and longitudinal deformation on the predicted response of non-linear beams, J. Sound Vib.
116 (2) (1987) 390–393.
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