Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Sukhvarsh Jerath


The static and dynamic buckling loads of cylindrical liquid storage tanks were studied in this thesis. Finite element analysis was performed using ANSYS computer program. Twelve different geometries of the cylindrical tanks were analyzed with height to diameter (H/D) ratios of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 and the diameter to thickness (D/t) ratios of 1000, 1500, and 2000 to cover tall and short cylindrical tanks. The transient dynamic analysis was performed to find the dynamic buckling loads. Applied dynamic loads in this study are horizontal earthquake excitations in terms of acceleration (g) due to gravity. Budiansky and Roth procedure was used to find the dynamic buckling load for both empty and tanks filled with water up to 90% of their height. Analysis results show that the dynamic buckling loads in terms of peak ground accelerations (PGA) are very high which are unrealistic for any recorded earthquake. For the cylindrical tanks filled with water up to 90% of their height; on the other hand, the dynamics buckling loads are small, and these dynamic loads are less than some recorded real world earthquakes. The H/D and D/t ratios have the important roles in the design of earthquake stability for the cylindrical liquid storage tanks. Results from the transient dynamic analysis represent that the dynamic buckling loads decrease when the H/D ratios increase, and the dynamic buckling loads decrease when the D/t ratios increase. Furthermore, with different characteristics of the earthquakes, the dynamic buckling behaviors of the cylindrical tank are dissimilar. Design curves for the cylindrical tanks of various geometries subjected to different earthquakes were generated in this thesis.