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Thursday, March 6 • 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Poster: Fragility assessment of above ground petroleum storage tanks under storm surge, Sabarethinam Kameshwar, Rice University

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ABSTRACT: Design guidelines for above ground storage tanks (AST) such as American Petroleum Institute (API) 620 and API 650 provide design details to prevent failure form internal liquid pressure, internal suction (vacuum), winds and earthquake loads. However, these design codes lack descriptive guidelines to prevent failure of tanks due to loads form hurricane storm surge. Due to the lack of such code provisions, failure of such ASTs due to surge loads was observed during hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav. During hurricane Katrina alone, tank failure led to release of 8 million gallons of crude petroleum products in to the surrounding environment. Spillage of petrochemical and other hazardous material leads to substantial economic losses due to loss of products, cleanup activities, lawsuits and repair/reconstruction of damaged tanks. Therefore, this study aims to assess fragility of ASTs subjected to storm surge loads in order to provide a basis for future design codes. Flotation and buckling have been identified as the major failure modes for tanks during storm surges. A probabilistic analysis is performed for floatation and buckling for anchored and un-anchored tanks. Random variables are identified for floatation analysis and random fields are used to generate geometric imperfections of ASTs to facilitate buckling analysis. A probabilistic analysis calls for a large number of time consuming simulations. For this purpose, the supercomputing facilities managed by the Research Computing Support Group at Rice University are used to perform the simulations. Using logistic regression, fragility of an AST typical to Houston ship channel area is assessed and measures to prevent future failure are suggested.


Sabarethinam Kameshwar

Graduate Research Assistat, Rice University

Thursday March 6, 2014 4:30pm - 6:30pm
BRC Exhibit Hall Rice University 6500 Main Street at University, Houston, TX 77030