Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mr. Brian O'Rourke


The current study investigates the influence of heated water storage, upward of 95°C, on precast prestressed concrete circular tanks. Modem design standards for liquid- retaining concrete structures stipulate that thermal effects are to be considered for the serviceability limit state. They are also to be considered for the ultimate limit state when deemed significant. The standards, however, do not provide guidance for the analysis of such effects. Research in this area is also limited and exclusively concerned with ambient thermal conditions, with a maximum temperature of 30 °C in any instance.

A finite element study incorporating thermo-mechanical coupling investigates the magnitude of stresses associated with thermal storage, leading to the proposal of design tables for the analysis of thermal effects. Consequent design implications are established and recommendations made for accommodating the thermal loading. Moreover, a linear eigenvalue analysis reveals that the ultimate limit state of buckling of the tank wall is a necessary consideration due to the thermally-induced combined axial compression and bending.

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