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Shock and Vibration
Volume 11 (2004), Issue 1, Pages 33-45

Response of Base-Isolated Liquid Storage Tanks

M.B. Jadhav and R.S. Jangid

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai – 400 076, India

Received 27 July 2002; Accepted 21 April 2003

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Seismic response of liquid storage tanks isolated by elastomeric bearings and sliding system is investigated under real earthquake ground motions. The continuous liquid mass of the tank is modeled as lumped masses known as sloshing mass, impulsive mass and rigid mass. The coupled differential equations of motion of the system are derived and solved in the incremental form using Newmark's step-by-step method with iterations. The seismic response of isolated tank is studied to investigate the comparative effectiveness of various isolation systems. A parametric study is also carried out to study the effect of important system parameters on the effectiveness of seismic isolation for liquid storage tanks. The various important parameters considered are: (i) aspect ratio of the tank and (ii) the time period of the isolation systems. It was observed that both elastomeric and sliding systems are found to be effective in reducing the earthquake forces of the liquid storage tanks. However, the elastomeric bearing with lead core is found to perform better in comparison to other systems. Further, an approximate model is proposed for evaluation of seismic response of base-isolated liquid storage tanks. A comparison of the seismic response evaluated by the proposed approximate method and an exact approach is made under different isolation systems and system parameters. It was observed that the proposed approximate analysis provides satisfactory response estimates of the base-isolated liquid storage tanks under earthquake excitation.