You are on page 1of 5

Structural Analysis of a Water Tank

Prepared by Emre Turkoz, BSME Can Ozcan, MSME


keep costs down and provide a robust & reliable design. Problem Setup The tank under consideration is 6m high and has the capacity of containing 50. which does not require any other geometry operation like extracting the mid-surface of the object to be meshed. which would allow mesh to be fine enough to cover the results. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate the displacement and stress distributions which exist due to tank’s own weight and fluid contained resulting in hydrodynamic pressure within. Autodesk Simulation Mechanical 2012 is used to perform this analysis. Since the plates are too thin compared to their length. Midplane meshing is easy-to-use.000 liters of water. 2 . 2. It is also an interesting finite element analysis problem. It has 5 supports beneath the bottom surface of the tank for the original configuration. The interior surfaces of the tank are loaded with hydrodynamic where the point on the surface of water is given as the reference point to pass the information of the height of the water in the tank. Figure 1: The bottom part of the water tank 40 mm is assigned for the element size. Autodesk Simulation Mechanical software employs “Midplane” mesh type. Displacements and safety factors against yielding are also documented. For shell meshing. The thickness of the sheet metal panel which build up the tank is 5 mm. The mesh is generated automatically. where a common solid meshing strategy turns out to be harder to implement and impractical regarding the computational cost for matching the accuracy levels of the calculations.928 nodes and 58. which has yield strength of 250 MPa. This results in total number of 55. Like solid meshing.062 elements. midplane meshing also only needs the element size input from the user. Introduction Structural analysis of a water tank is a common task in manufacturing industry as it is necessary to keep the design within standards.1. since it requires the utilization of the shell meshing technology for accurate stress calculation. The tank is made of alloy steel. Effects of changing sheet metal thickness and the number of equally spaced supports beneath the tank are studied. shell mesh type is preffered.

3 .5 mm. Table 1.12 873. shows maximum Von Mises stresses in the structure for 4 design variations. scaled from 0 to 250 MPa. 5 supports 1603. Stress values in red areas exceed or approach to the yield point. where 250 MPa is the yield strength of the material used. (b) 5 supports with 7. The critical section came out to be the bottom part of the tank. especially around the region where bottom surface and neighboring cylindrical surfaces meet. (a) 5 supports with 5 mm plate thickness.5 mm plate thickness. Sheet metal thickness values tested are 5 mm and 7.3.5 mm plate thickness. Two versions of support structure are tested: equally spaced 5 and 6 supports. (d) 6 supports with 7.13 Table 1: Maximum Von Mises Stress values for different design scenarios (a) (b) (c) (d) Figure 2: Von Mises Stress contours.5 688.5 mm thick.08 6 supports 1547. Design Scenarios and Results Four design scenarios are studied to address the effect of bottom plate thickness and number of supports beneath the bottom surface of the tank on yielding. Von Mises Stress [MPa] 5 mm thick. 7. (c) 6 supports with 5 mm plate thickness.

92 Table 2: Maximum displacement values of 4 different design scenarios 4. it can be deduced that increasing plate thickness and increasing number of supports results in lower stresses. it’s found out that both increasing bottom plate thickness and the number of supports result in decreasing Von Mises stress. Conclusion From the results given above.04 6 supports 22. Autodesk Simulation has an easy-to-use mid-plane mesher which allows this kind of studies to be completed with less effort and in a shorter time span. A further interpretation would state that increasing the bottom plate thickness has much stronger effect on stress than increasing the number of supports. 4 .5 mm thick. 7. Figure 3: Displacement Contour Plot Patterns of 5-support and 6-support Design Scenarios Maximum displacement values are given in the table below for the four design scenarios: Maximum Displacement [mm] 5 mm thick. A %50 percent increase in bottom plate thickness results in approximately halving the maximum stress and displacement.45 14. Displacement contour plots for 5-support and 6-support tanks are given below.14 10.From Figure 2. Mid-plane meshing is the appropriate meshing type for problems which deal with long and thin plate elements. 5 supports 23. It is also seen that plate thickness has more influence on the stress results than number of supports.

5 mm bottom plate thickness design scenario. 5 . Red denotes critical areas with 0<SF<1 whereas other colors denote safer regions.Figure 4: Safety Factor of the bottom plate of the tank for the 6-support 7.