FEA Enabled Strength and Buckling Assessment of Distorted Tank


A tank manufacturer in Europe had a problem where the top layer of the side wall of the tank was distorted due to excess heating. The customer wanted to check if the tank can be used safely or some design changes were needed to ensure safety of the operation. Any changes in design would have meant additional design and manufacturing costs. The manufacturer contracted Jilbee Engineering to check (using Finite Element Analysis) if the distorted plate can still be used safely.

Problem Definition and Technical Approach

  • Geometry was built using ANSYS Spaceclaim 16.
  • Meshing was done in ANSYS Professional NLS 16.
  • Loading and boundary conditions were applied.
  • Structural and Buckling analysis was performed on the full tank.


Fig: Roof Truss

Fig: Tank Geometry


Fig: FE Mesh

Fig: Tank Deformation


Fig: Stresses in the Distorted Region


FEA analysis and post-processing in this project was performed using ANSYS.

Stresses and buckling factor were within allowable limits as per API 650 Code, thus making the tank safe to use.

This analysis helped the customer save a lot of time and material cost as we suggested that the tank is safe to use and no changes or additional strengthening was required.