Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010

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Seismic isolation of liquefied natural gas tanks: a comparative assessment

Joaquín Martí, María Crespo and Francisco Martínez

Vol. 1 (2010), No. 1, 125–140

In severe seismic environments, tanks for storage of liquefied natural gas may benefit from seismic isolation. As the design accelerations increase, the inner tank undergoes progressively greater demands and may suffer from corner uplift, elephant’s foot buckling, gross sliding, shell thickness requirements beyond what can be reliably welded and, eventually, global uplift. Some of these problems cause extra costs while others make the construction impossible. The seismic environments at which the previous problems arise are quantified for modern 160,000 m3 tanks, whether supported on shallow or pile foundations, for both a conventional design and one employing seismic isolation. Additionally, by introducing some cost assumptions, comparisons can be made as to the cost of dealing with the seismic threat for each seismic environment and tank design option. It then becomes possible to establish the seismic environments that require seismic isolation, as well as to offer guidance for decisions in intermediate cases.

seismic isolation, LNG tank
Received: 1 March 2010
Accepted: 30 September 2010
Published: 12 October 2010
Joaquín Martí
PRINCIPIA Ingenieros Consultores
Velázquez, 94
28006 Madrid
María Crespo
PRINCIPIA Ingenieros Consultores
Velázquez, 94
28006 Madrid
Francisco Martínez
PRINCIPIA Ingenieros Consultores
Velázquez, 94
28006 Madrid