The effect of welding residual stress on the buckling behavior of storage tanks subjected to the harmonic settlement was simulated using the shell-to-solid coupling method. In the numerical model of tanks coupled with the welding residual stress, the welding joint and its adjacent zone were modeled using the solid submodel and the zone far away from the welding joint was built by the shell submodel. Effects of welding parameters (e.g., welding velocities and welding passes) on the buckling behavior of tanks were analyzed systematically. Results indicate that the buckling strength of tanks is enhanced due to the welding residual stress. Comparatively, a slow welding velocity presents a more remarkable strengthening effect than the fast welding velocity due to a larger axial residual stress produced at the welding joint. Nevertheless, no significant difference between the double-side welding and the one-side welding for buckling strength enhancement is observed for the cases studied. This indicates that the current design method causes a conservative design without considering the welding residual stress.

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