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Foundation for large tanks

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A few of the list members serve the oil/gas industry. Large storage tanks, say 150' diameter, are commonly used to store products. Among other things, the design of the tank foundations, depends on the level of tank settlement.

Typically, three types of tank settlement are addressed. Total settlement, differential settlement between the tank center and the circumference and the differential settlement along the circumference. Maximum settlement occurs at the center of the tank.

Problems can arise in the wall or bottom plate of the tank or at the nozzle connections if the settlement is "large". In floating roof tanks, the operation of the roof itself may be affected if the settlement issue is not adequately addressed in the design stage. So, what is a "large" settlement?

I have not come across any prescription for limiting any of the above three in the API codes, which commonly govern tank design for the gas/oil industry. Nevertheless, common sense suggests there must be threshold values to each of the above parameter for settlements.

What has been the experience of the list members? What performance criteria should be included in a typical geotechnical specification associated with developing a foundation design?



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