Document Type

Thermal loading and fire engineering paper

Publication details

Maraveas, C 2014, 'Thermal buckling analysis of thin-walled steel oil tanks exposed to an adjacent fire', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. II, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 1089-1094. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



This paper presents a finite element study of a steel oil storage tank with cylindrical shell shape and conical roof subjected to an adjacent fire. Fire is one of the main hazards associated with tanks containing combustible materials. Several catastrophic accidents have taken place during the last decades revealing the consequences and losses arising from such events and highlighting the importance for proper design against thermal buckling. Oil storage tanks are usually placed in large groups and closed distances. Therefore, it is assumed herein that the fire occurs outside the tank. Critical buckling temperatures are calculated considering that the temperature profile along the circumference of the tank is defined according to a cosine square distribution. The influence of the roof stiffness, of the circumferential area exposed to fire and of the filling level is examined. Apart from the thermal loads, the self-weight of the tank and the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the liquid are taken into account in the static analyses. The mechanical properties of steel are taken according to Eurocode 3.