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Tank Design

EN 1993‐4‐2 Eurocode 3
1. Reliability differentiation
• Consequence Class 3: Tanks storing liquids or liquefied
gases with toxic or explosive potential and large size
tanks with flammable or water‐polluting liquids in
urban areas. Emergency loadings should be taken into
account for these structures where necessary.

• Consequence Class 2: Medium size tanks with

flammable or water‐polluting liquids in urban areas.

• Consequence Class 1: Agricultural tanks or tanks

containing water.
2. Partial factors for actions on tanks
Recommended values for the partial factors for actions on 
tanks for persistent and transient design situations and for 
accidental design situation.
3. Partial factors for resistances
Partial factors for resistance
4. Actions on tanks
(EN 1991‐4:2006)
4.1. Liquid induced loads = the load due to the
contents should be the weight of the product to
be stored from maximum design liquid level to
empty and the hydrostatic pressure.

4.2. Internal pressure loads = the load due to

the specified minimum and maximum values of
the internal pressure.
4.3. Thermally induced loads (may be ignored if
the number of load cycles due to thermal
expansion is such that there is no risk of fatigue
failure or cyclic plastic failure).

4.4. Dead loads = the weight of all component

parts of the tank and of all components
permanently attached to the tank.

4.5. Insulation loads = the weight of the

4.6. Distributed live load

4.7. Concentrated live load

4.8. Snow

4.9. Wind

4.10. Suction due to inadequate venting
4.11 Seismic loadings

4.12 Loads resulting from connections = loads

resulting from pipes, valves and other items
connected to the tank.

4.13 Loads resulting from uneven settlement

4.14 Emergency loadings = loadings from events

such as external blast, impact adjacent external fire,
explosion, leakage of inner tank, roll over, overfill of
inner tank.
5. Main Load Combinations

1. Permanent + Live + Snow + Wind + Storage

2. Permanent + Live + Snow + Wind (empty)

3. Permanent + Snow + Storage + Quake
6. Design of cylindrical walls
• For tanks in Consequence Class 1, membrane theory may be
used to determine the primary stresses, with factors and
simplified expressions to describe local bending effects and
unsymmetrical actions.

• For tanks in Consequence Class 2 under axisymmetric actions

and support, membrane theory may be used to determine the
primary stresses, with bending theory elastic expressions to
describe all local effects.

• For tanks in Consequence Class 3, the internal forces and

moments should be determined using a validated analysis (for
instance, finite element shell analysis)
1) Shell plate strength check

≤ fy / γM0

(where indices “x” and “ϴ” refers to vertical direction and

respectively to circumferential direction)
2) Shell plate buckling check
1. Critical stress:

2. Body shell relative slenderness:

3. Imperfection factor:

4. Characteristic buckling stress: 
• At every point in the structure, the vertical 
membrane stress σx should satisfy the 

σx ≤ σx,Rk
3) Circumferential direction plate check

≤ fy / γM0

4) External pressure / internal partial vacuum 
For uniform partial internal vacuum (external pressure), where
there is a structurally connected roof, the critical buckling
external pressure Pn,Rcru for the isotropic wall should be found as:
r  is the radius of the silo wall;
t  is the thickness of the thinnest part of the wall;
I is the height between stiffening rings or boundaries.

• The design value of the maximum external

pressure Pn,Ed acting on the structure under
the combined actions of wind and partial
vacuum should satisfy the condition:
7. Resistance of circular conical 
• The critical buckling external pressure Pn,Rer for 
an isotropic conical roof should be calculated 

r  is the outer radius of the roof;
t is the smallest shell plate thickness;
Ø  is the slope of the cone to the horizontal.
• The design buckling external pressure should 
be determined as:
8. Edge ring at the shell to roof 
• The force in the effective ring (area where the 
roof is connected to the shell) should be 
verified using:

Aeff is the effective area of the edge ring 
indicated in figure 1
α is the slope of the roof to the horizontal at 
the junction
pv,Ed is the maximum vertical component of the 
design distributed load including the dead 
weight of the supporting structure 
(downward positive).
Figure 1: Edge ring at the shell to roof junction
9. Stiffening rings
• The height that may be taken to be stable 
without a stiffening ring should be taken from:

in which:
K= 1  if the axial stress σx,Ed is tensile
if the axial stress is compressive

where pEd is the maximum design value of the

inward component of the pressure on the shell
wall (pressure on the outside, negative pressure
on the inside) and (rlt) is taken at the same
location as the design value σx,Ed of the
compressive axial membrane stress.