A study was made to establish the strength of concrete chambers subjected to external pressure with special reference to the reinforced concrete cylindrical tanks. The finite element method as implemented in a nonlinear general purpose program produced analytical results which agreed with the experiment. The study concluded that the cylindrical tank was weakened in buckling by 20 percent due to geometric imperfection, 10 percent due to creep and 6 percent due to reinforcements. The main failure mode of the shell was compression shear.

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