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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 10, Number 6, December 2000 , pages 533-543

Role of membrane forces in seismic design of reinforced concrete liquid storage structures
Schnobrich WC

    To prevent major cracking and failure during earthquakes, it is important to design reinforced concrete liquid storage structures, such as water and fuel storage tanks, properly for the hydrodynamic pressure loads caused by seismic excitations. There is a discussion in recent Codes that most of the base shear, applied to liquid containment structures is resisted by inplane membrane shear rather than by transverse flexural shear. The purpose of this paper is to underline the importance of the membrane force system in carrying the base shear produced by hydrodynamic pressures in both rectangular and cylindrical tank structures. Only rigid tanks constrained at the base are considered. Analysis is performed for both tall and broad tanks to compare their behavior under seismic excitation. Efforts are made to quantify the percentage of base shear carried by membrane action and the consequent procedures that must be followed for safe design of liquid containing storage structures.
Key Words
    membrane forces, reinforced concrete tanks, seismic loading, specifications
Schnobrich WC, Univ Illinois, Dept Civil Engn, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
Univ Illinois, Dept Civil Engn, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

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