The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a concave sliding bearing system for the seismic protection of liquefied gas storage tanks through a seismic fragility analysis. An emblematic case study of elevated steel storage tanks, which collapsed during the 1999 İzmit earthquake at Habas Pharmaceutics plant in Turkey, is studied. Firstly, a fragility analysis is conducted for the examined tank based on a lumped-mass stick model, where the nonlinear shear behaviour of support columns is taken into account by using a phenomenological model. Fragility curves in terms of an efficient intensity measure for different failure modes of structural components demonstrate the inevitable collapse of the tank mainly due to insufficient shear strength of the support columns. A seismic isolation system based on concave sliding bearings, which has been demonstrated a superior solution to seismically protect elevated tanks, is then designed and introduced into the numerical model, accounting for its non-linear behaviour. Finally, a vulnerability analysis for the isolated tank is performed, which proves a high effectiveness of the isolation system in reducing the probability of failure within an expected range of earthquake intensity levels.
Phan, H.N., Paolacci, F., Corritore, D., Akbas, B., Uckan, E., Shen, J.J. (2016). Seismic vulnerability mitigation of liquefied gas tanks using concave sliding bearings. BULLETIN OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, 14(11), 3283-3299 [10.1007/s10518-016-9939-y].