Buckling of short, thin-walled cylinders, as applied to storage tanks.
Du Poujol, Geraldine Touche.
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This is an investigation of the buckling characteristics of short, thin-walled cylinders. This study was required as large storage tanks, which were converted from Boating roof to fixed roofed tanks, were found to buckle when severe atmospheric temperature drops and thus pressure differentials occurred. These severe ambient temperature changes are characteristic of the Highveld in South Africa where the tanks in question are situated. Since this modification is an uncommon procedure, codes of practice for storage vessels do not cover this type of cylinder. For the same reason, research performed in this field is limited. Buckling due to axial loading, lateral external pressure, hydrostatic pressure and a combination of axial loading and hydrostatic pressure are explored in this study. To compare with and verify theory, existing research for each case is examined, and the Finite Element Analysis package MSC Nastran used to determine trends. In some cases, to the best of the author's knowledge, no research exists and numerical analysis is performed to establish the relationships present in those cases. The study is extended to include the design of imperfect cylinders, as defined in the tank code AD Merkblatter where it is stated as being dependant on the major and minor diameters of the imperfect section . The study is also extended to the case of variable wall thickness cylinders, where the thickness variation is symmetrical about the axis of the cylinder.