Steel liquid storage tanks are widely used in industries and nuclear power plants. Damage in tanks may cause a loss of containment, which could result in serious economic and environmental consequences. For the purpose of the earthquake-resistant design of tanks, it is important to use a rational and reliable nonlinear dynamic analysis procedure. The analysis procedure should be capable of evaluating not only the comprehensive seismic responses but also the damage states of tank components under artificial or real earthquakes. The present paper deals with the nonlinear finite element modeling of steel liquid storage tanks subjected to seismic loadings. A reduce-scale unanchored steel liquid storage tank with the broad configuration from a shaking stable test (i.e., the INDUSE-2-safety project) is selected for this study. The fluid-structure interaction problem of the tank-liquid system is analyzed using the Abaqus software with an explicit time integration approach. In particular, the steel tank is modeled based on a Lagrangian formulation, while an Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian adaptive mesh is used in the liquid domain to permit large deformations of the free surface sloshing. The finite element results in terms of the sloshing of the liquid free surface and the uplift response of the base plate are evaluated and compared with the experimental data that is obtained from the shaking table test for the tank under the INDUSE-2-safety project.

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