Wind loads on fixed-roof cylindrical tanks with very low aspect ratio

  • Lin, Yin (Spatial Structures Research Center, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Zhao, Yang (Spatial Structures Research Center, Zhejiang University)
  • Received : 2013.08.05
  • Accepted : 2014.02.04
  • Published : 2014.06.25


Wind tunnel tests are conducted to investigate the wind loads on vertical fixed-roof cylindrical tanks with a very low aspect ratio of 0.275, which is a typical ratio for practical tanks with a volume of $100,000m^3$. Both the flat-roof tank and the dome-roof tank are investigated in present study. The first four moments of the measured wind pressure, including the mean and normalized deviation pressure, kurtosis and skewness of the pressure signal, are obtained to study the feature of the wind loads. It is shown that the wind loads are closely related to the behavior of flow around the structure. For either tank, the mean wind pressures on the cylinder are positive on the windward area and negative on the sides and the wake area, and the mean wind pressures on the whole roof are negative. The roof configurations have no considerable influence on the mean pressure distributions of cylindrical wall in general. Highly non-Gaussian feature is found in either tank. Conditional sampling technique, envelope method, and the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) analysis are employed to investigate the characteristics of wind loads on the cylinder in more detail. It is shown that the patterns of wind pressure obtained from conditional sampling are similar to the mean pressure patterns.An instantaneous pressure coefficient can present a wide range from the maximum value to the minimum value. The quasi-steady assumption is not valid for structures considered in this paper according to the POD analysis.


wind load;fixed-roof tank;wind tunnel test;non-Gaussian feature;conditional sampling;POD analysis


  1. Portela, G. and Godoy, L.A. (2005b), "Wind pressures and buckling of cylindrical steel tanks with a conical roof", J. Constr. Steel Res., 61(6), 808-824.
  2. MacDonald, P.A., Kwok, K.C.S. and Holmes, J.D. (1988), "Wind loads on circular storage bins, silos and tanks: I. Point pressure measurements on isolated structures", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 31, 165-187.
  3. Godoy, L.A. and Jaca, R.C. (2010), "Wind buckling of metal tanks during their construction", Thin Wall. Struct., 48(6), 453-459.
  4. Holroyd, R.J. (1983), "On the behaviour of open-topped oil storage tanks in high winds. Part I. Aerodynamic aspects", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 12(3), 329-352.
  5. Koo, C., Uematsu, Y., Kondo, K. and Okubo, K. (2010), "Wind Loads for designing open-topped oil storage tanks", Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium: Spatial Structures - Permanent and Temporary, Shanghai, China, November.
  6. Maher, F.J. (1966), "Wind loads on dome-cylinders and dome-cone shapes", J. Struct. Div. - ASCE, 91(3), 79-96.
  7. Myers, P. (1997), Aboveground storage tanks, McGraw-Hill, New York, American.
  8. Portela, G. and Godoy, L.A. (2005a), "Wind pressures and buckling of cylindrical steel tanks with a dome roof", J. Constr. Steel Res., 61(6), 786-807.
  9. National Standard of P. R. China (2012), Load code for the design of building structures, Beijing, China.
  10. Purdy, D.M, Maher, P.E, Frederick, D. (1967), "Model studies of wind loads on flat-top cylinders", J. Struct. Div. - ASCE, 93, 379-395.
  11. Rotter, J.M. (2009), "Silos and tanks in research and practice: state of the art and current challenges", Proceedings of Symposium on Evolution and Trends in Design, Analysis and Construction of Shell and Spatial Structures, IASS. Valencia, Spain, September.
  12. Sosa, E.M. (2005), Computational buckling analysis of cylindrical thin-walled aboveground tanks, Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Mayaguez.
  13. Sabransky, I.J. and Melbourne, W.H. (1987), "Design pressure distribution on circular silos with conical roofs", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 26(1), 65-84.
  14. Sun, Y., Wu, Y. and Lin, Z. et al. (2007), "Non-Gaussian features of fluctuating wind pressures on long span roofs", China Civil Eng. J., 40(4), 1-5. (In Chinese)
  15. Uematsu, Y., Koo, C. and Kondo, K. (2008),"Wind loads on open-topped oil-storage tanks", Proceedings of the 6th International Colloquium on Bluff Body Aerodynamics and Application, Milan, Italy, July.
  16. Chatterjee, A. (2000), "An introduction to the proper orthogonal decomposition", Current Science, 78(7), 808-817
  17. Godoy, L.A (2007), "Performance of storage tanks in oil facilities following hurricanes katrina and rita", J. Perform. Constr. Fac., 21(6), 441-449.

Cited by

  1. Buckling of vertical oil storage steel tanks: Review of static buckling studies vol.103, 2016,
  2. Strengthening effects of spiral stairway on the buckling behavior of metal tanks under wind and vacuum pressures vol.106, 2016,
  3. Numerical evaluation on shell buckling of empty thin-walled steel tanks under wind load according to current American and European design codes vol.95, 2015,