Buckling failure analysis of storage tanks under the synergistic effects of fire and wind loads

Chao Chen*, Hang Chen, Li Mo, Shenbin Xiao, Changjun Li, Ming Yang, Genserik Reniers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Fire-induced domino effect is one of the main threats to hazardous material storage tanks, and many attempts have been conducted to assess the vulnerability of storage tanks exposed to fire to evaluate domino effect risk. However, past research ignored the influence of wind load on the thermal buckling behavior of storage tanks exposed to fire, which may underestimate the risk of exposed tanks. This paper thus conducts a numerical simulation of the thermal buckling behavior of steel vertical dome storage tanks under the synergistic effect of static wind loads and thermal effects. The effects of wind parameters and heat radiation parameters on the thermal post-buckling behavior and the time to failure (ttf) of storage tanks are investigated to analyze the synergistic effects of fire and wind loads. By comparing the circumferential and meridional stresses before and after the thermal post-buckling stage, it is found that under the disturbing effect of the positive wind pressure load, the thermal post-buckling of the tanks on downwind occurs earlier and more severe. Besides, the effects of wind angle, fire location height, and diameter on buckling damage were investigated. The comparative analysis of different scenarios shows that the tanks in the windy scenario are more prone to thermal post-buckling, and the deformation is intensified, with an increased likelihood of failure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105208
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Domino effects
  • Numerical simulation
  • Storage tank
  • Thermal post-buckling
  • Wind load


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