Thermal stability analysis of cylindrical thin-walled tanks subjected to lateral fire loading

Document Type : Research Article


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 دانشگاه تهران*مهندسی مکانیک

3 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran



Thin-walled cylinders are widely used as fluid storage tanks, such as water, which is a vital component in extinguishing facilities. Due to the thinness essence of these structures, the stability performance will be put in peril when exposed to various destabilizing side loads. Lateral thermal loads resulting from side fires can lead to unstable behavior of the tanks. The combustion and fire formation are multi-physics phenomena and require a multi-phase fluid perspective to analyze it more closely. In this study, to enhance the accuracy of the analysis, the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach is used to model the fire and estimate its thermal effects on the adjacent structures. The results consequently utilized for nonlinear stability analysis. The fire simulation results for empty and half-filled tanks are exploited to study the influence of various structural parameters such as geometrical imperfection, roof thickness, and the shell thickness distribution on the critical buckling temperature and instability time. The results reveal that the structure’s lateral thermal stability will be maximized at a specific ratio of the roof to the wall thickness. The stepped shell profile, as well as the geometrical imperfection of each configuration, can reduce the critical threshold by up to 40% and weaken the structure against heat. The outcomes of the present research would help the structural optimizing process of a fire-extinguishing tank subjected to fire-induced instability.


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