Assuming very large slide displacement subsequent to tank rock motion to be a possible scenario of tank walk motion, fundamental mechanics of the walk motion of unanchored flat-bottom cylindrical shell model tanks subjected to horizontal base excitation is examined. First, employing a 3DOF model consisting of a set of two masses connected by flexible columns, equations of motion are derived through a variational approach. The interaction among the translational motion of a harmonic oscillator consisting of the upper mass and the flexible columns, the rock motion of the 3DOF model and the slide motion of it is thoroughly studied. Comparison of the experimental results and their predictions demonstrate applicability of the proposed analysis. A reduction in nominal friction force accompanying the rock motion that plays a primary role in causing the very large slide displacement is also pointed out. Next, drawing an analogy between the mechanics of the walk motion of the 3DOF model and that of an unanchored flat-bottom cylindrical shell model tank, equations of motion for the tank walk motion are derived. Shaker table test and time domain analysis are conducted, employing a model tank whose bottom plate concentrically uplifts for readily evaluating fluid masses contributing to the tank rock motion. Comparison of the experimental and analytical results of the slide displacement and the rotational angle corroborates the applicability of the proposed analysis.

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