Nonlinear Seismic Analysis of RC Elevated Liquid Storage Tanks

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M. V. Waghmare
S. N. Madhekar
V.A. Matsagar


Liquid storage tanks are strategically important due to their essential requirement of service in the post-earthquake situation. Numerical modeling of the liquid storage tank needs special attention and cannot be done in the same manner as that of the conventional buildings. In the present paper, a numerical simulation of the RC elevated liquid storage tank is presented. The staging of the tank is modeled as a multi-degree freedom system, and the container with contained liquid is modeled as a two-mass system. Free vibration analysis of the tank is carried out, and mode shapes are extracted. Further, to study the seismic response of the tank, nonlinear time history analysis is carried out. The tank is subjected to time histories of real earthquake ground motions. The varying level of the liquid in the container is another characteristic feature of tanks. The filled condition of the tank is taken into account by considering the aspect ratio (S), defined as the ratio of height of the liquid to the radius of the container. The response of the tanks with two different aspect ratios viz. 0.5 (broad) and 2.0 (slender) is studied. The linear modal analysis also carried out to understand the significance of nonlinear analysis, particularly in liquid storage tanks. Displacement, velocity, and acceleration response at the bracing levels, as well as at container levels, are obtained. Additionally, the base shear response is also obtained. The effect of aspect ratio on the free vibration analysis and the seismic response of the tanks are presented. Liquid storage tanks are special structures that have typically low fundamental natural frequencies. The nonlinear time history response of the tank showed that the higher displacement and velocity response occurs at the convective level. It is found that the linear modal analysis significantly underestimates the response of the liquid storage tank.

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