Optimization calculation method determining wall thickness for large oil storage tank made of high strength steel is investigated in this paper. Taking three oil storage tanks with different volumes of 10×104 m3, 15×104 m3 and 20×104 m3 for examples, the wall thickness calculation methods of API 650, GB 50341, JIS B 8501 and BS EN 14015 have been analyzed and compared. Results show that as the volume of oil storage tank increases, some wall thickness calculation results of the standards have been larger than the allowable value, leading to the unreasonable distribution of the wall circumferential stress. The wall thickness calculation result applying the method of API 650 is more reasonable than other standards. While for the tanks made of high strength steel, like 12MnNiVR (GB 50341), the yield ratio of the steel has reached 0.803, which is larger than the upper limit value of API 650. In order to make up the deficiency, an optimization method based on API 650 is presented, which considers the effects of yield strength, tensile strength and yield ratio on the determination of allowable stress. Taking the 20×104 m3 oil storage tank and selecting a proper welded joint efficiency, the wall thickness is calculated by the presented optimization method. The wall thickness calculation result is more reasonable and the circumferential stress distribution is more homogeneous when the safety factor of tensile strength is taken to be 2.4. Results show that the optimization method is applicable to the thickness calculation of oil storage tanks made of high strength steel.

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